Murray captures Barbasol Championship
July 23, 2017
By Tim Gayle, PGATOUR.COM
Grayson Murray claims his maiden victory at BarbasolIn the final round of the 2017 Barbasol Championship, Grayson Murray holds off the field posting a 3-under 68 to capture his 1st PGA TOUR title.
OPELIKA, Ala. – Add Grayson Murray to the growing list of golfers born in 1993 that have won a PGA TOUR event.
On the same day Jordan Spieth (who turns 24 this week) won The Open, Grayson Murray won his first PGA TOUR event by capturing the Barbasol Championship at the RTJ Golf Trail at Grand National.
“It’s impressive,” Murray said. “There’s probably another dozen or 20 that could win it next week. Bryson (DeChambeau) won last week, Xander (Schauffele) won the week before, Jordan wins the Open today. Daniel Berger, Justin Thomas, Rickie (Fowler). Although Rickie’s kind of old compared to us.”
Berger, who won the FedEx St. Jude Classic, is already 24, as is Justin Thomas, who most recently won the Sony Open. Schauffele, who won the Greenbrier Classic, will turn 24 in October, a month after DeChambeau and two months after Spieth. A youth movement that started in 1993 seems to be taking over the PGA Tour.
“I guess it just means we’re more prepared coming out of school,” Murray said. “We’re not afraid. I think when you see the success Jordan has had – he’s about to be 24 and he had his 11th win today on TOUR, three majors – that makes a lot of 22, 23-year-olds less scared, I think, because he’s done it all.
“But I don’t compare myself to any of those guys because we’re all on a different timetable. Hopefully, I’ll get to 11 (wins) sooner rather than later but right now I’m taking it one step at a time.”
Murray won in just his 24th start with a one-stroke victory over Chad Collins. The North Carolina native, who competed on the Web.com Tour last year, finished with a 21-under-par 263, a tournament record.
Grayson Murray news conference after winning Barbasol
There were plenty of golfers at the Barbasol Championship who are on the bubble in the FedExCup rankings and a good showing definitely boosts the confidence of those hoping to make the FedExCup playoffs.
“A lot of positives,” said Ryan Blaum, whose sixth-place finish helped his ranking (105th) entering the week. “One of my goals is to wrap up the first two playoff events. I’m not sure what that number is, but just get as many points as you can.”
“I think I was 115 starting the week, so that’s probably going to put me in pretty good shape,” said Brian Gay. “It’s not any fun coming down to the last few events knowing you’ve still got to do some more work, but I think I did enough this week.”
Among those on the bubble who helped their cause, in addition to Blaum and Gay, was tournament championship Grayson Murray, who entered the week ranked 124th; Ben Martin, who was one spot behind Murray in the rankings and finished sixth; and Cameron Percy, who was 135th entering the week and finished tied for 12th.
At No. 147 in the standings was 17-time PGA TOUR winner and 2010 FedExCup champion Jim Furyk, who posted rounds of 69-68-68-68 to finish tied for 35th at 11-under-273.
LOOKING FOR THAT ELUSIVE 60
Chad Collins and Scott Stallings put themselves at the front of the pack with a tournament-record 60s as Collins took the lead on Friday and Stallings surged into the lead on Saturday.
On Sunday, it was Ryan Blaum who looked as if he may join the elite club. Through 11 holes, he had seven birdies and four pars for 36.
“On a Sunday, though, especially when you’re in contention, you’re just looking to get to a number, catch the leaders and get ahead of them,” Blaum said. “The front end today was very encouraging. My goal for the day was to reach 20, 21 (under). I knew it was out there.”
Three pars and a bogey later, his magical run was over. He would finish with a 65, the third lowest round of the day, and finished with a 19-under 265, good for third place.
“Going into about the last four holes, I thought if I could get two more (birdies) maybe I would have a shot or at least get up there really close,” Gay said. “I hit a good shot, I just didn’t quite get over the ridge on 18.”
Gay finished tied with Scott Stallings and Tag Ridings, two others ho flirted with the lead but couldn’t stay on top. Stallings, the leader entering the day, pulled back within a stroke with a birdie on No. 16, but missed an 18-footer for birdie on No. 17, then finished with a bogey on 18. Ridings led for part of the final round but saw his chances slip away with a double bogey on No. 16.
Sam Burns celebrated his 21st birthday on Sunday with a ninth-place finish at the Barbasol Championship after making the cut and finishing as the highest-rated amateur in the event.
The LSU junior-to-be, who plans to turn pro in the next couple of months, tied for sixth at 18 under after shooting 66 for the third consecutive day.
“I think I played pretty well today,” he said. “I think it’ll definitely give me some confidence going forward to know that I can play out here.”
He plans to compete in the Western Amateur and the U.S. Amateur as well as the Walker Cup before turning pro and was satisfied with his performance in his first PGA TOUR finish.
“Any time you’re playing on the PGA TOUR on your birthday, it’s always a nice feeling,” he said.
Aa he left the course with his parents, the Shreveport, La., native couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate his birthday.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I think we’re going to head back home.”
Sam Burns' beautiful approach at Barbasol
John Merrick, by his own admission, hasn’t had strong finishes to tournaments.
That’s why his hole-in-one on the par-3 eighth hole and his eagle on the par-4 11th hole was a little surprising, even to him.
“My second hole today, No. 11, I pulled an eight-iron from the fairway for a two,” Merrick said. “That shot was 150-something. I hit the right edge of the green and it came in. I hit a six-iron on No. 8. I hit a good shot and it hit the right slope and came in. Just blind luck. Two hole-outs on one round? I’ve never done that in my career.”
Merrick has just one career PGA TOUR win since turning pro in 2004, but finished 73rd in the John Deere Classic last week after failing to make the cut in four of his previous five tournament appearances. On Thursday, he closed out with a bogey and two pars, and on Friday, he bogeyed the final two holes, so he was appreciative of the Sunday round that lifted his finish.
“I feel like, lately, I’ve been doing the opposite, so to finish like that feels really good,” he said. “Hopefully, I’ll get some momentum going into next week.”
SHOT OF THE DAY
Shot of the Day
Grayson Murray's perfect approach leads to eagle at Barbasol
BEST OF SOCIAL MEDIA