Earning $630,000 and his first victory on the PGA Tour, Grayson Murray won the Barbasol Championship on Sunday after firing an overall 21-under to win the tournament. Held at Robert Trent Jones Grand National in Opelika, the PGA Tour event is only in its third year.
In the final round on Sunday, Murray carded a 68 on the 7,302 yard, par-71 course to advance to the 2017 PGA Championship. The Barbasol victory will raise Murray from 127th to 60th place in the FedExCup race and earn him 300 points. It will also secure the 23-year old from Raleigh, NC a spot in several 2018 events.
“My goal was to just get into the FedEx playoffs this year,” Murray said. “I get to play in the PGA Championship in a few weeks in my home state, so that’s pretty exciting.”
Murray, Tag Ridings and Scott Stallings teed off at 10:31 a.m. on Sunday to begin the final round of the championship. Ridings, Stallings and Brian Gay all finished tied for third and shot 19-under-par.
“I didn’t get out of my game plan once,” Murray said. “I was going to make them have to birdie the last two holes. I was playing for a par on 17 and 18 because I knew if I parred on one of those, they’d have to do something special to beat me.”
Murray also had good things to say about 23-year old Jordan Spieth, who won the The Open this weekend at Royal Birkdale. Murray said he looks up to the three-time major champion and believes he is an inspiration to younger golfers like himself.
“It’s impressive, and I think it makes a lot of the other people our age less scared because he’s done it all,” Murray said. “I hope I can keep playing like I know I can so I can be a world class player like them.”
Coming into the Barbasol Championship, Murray had made 14 of 24 total cuts. Although he didn’t make the cut at the John Deere Classic last week, he let that have no effect on his game this weekend.
“My game felt really solid coming into this week,” Murray said. “I knew there was room for improvement coming off 10 straight cuts in a row.
“I just needed to put together a couple good weekends, but it all came together this week.”
Auburn was well-represented in the 2017 Barbasol Championship as three former Tigers survived the cut to advance to the final rounds on Saturday and Sunday.
Going into round four, Auburn native Blayne Barber was carding just a combined five-under through three rounds. He finished the tournament with an overall 10-under and tied for 42nd.
Matt Gilchrest, a 2017 Auburn graduate, also fired an overall -10 to finish the tournament tied for 42nd place.
2007 SEC Champion and Auburn graduate Patton Kizzire finished Sunday’s championship tied for 64th with a combined five-under through four rounds.