Rookie Grayson Murray wins first PGA Tour title

John Zenor
Associated Press

Opelika, Ala. — Rookie Grayson Murray won the Barbasol Championship on Sunday for his first PGA Tour title, holing a 5-foot par putt on the final hole for a one-stroke victory.

Murray closed with a 3-under 68 to edge Chad Collins on Grand National’s Lake Course. The 23-year-old former Wake Forest and Arizona State player set up the winning par with a 40-plus foot putt from below the hole. He finished at 21-under 263.

“I was in control,” said Murray, who nabbed $630,000 for the win. “I didn’t get out of my game plan once. I was going to let them make the mistakes instead of myself. I was going to make them have to birdie the last hole, or the last few holes. I was playing for par on 17 and 18. I knew if I parred those, they’d have to do something special to beat me.”

Murray missed the cut last week at the John Deere Classic and arrived in Alabama on Sunday to prepare. It paid off, the win securing him a spot in the PGA Championship in his home state of North Carolina though not the Masters.

Murray came in ranked 124th, with the top 125 qualifying for the FedEx Cup playoffs.

Collins closed with a 68 two days after posting one of the tournament’s two rounds of 60. A tap-in for par on No. 18 left him waiting to see if Murray would stumble.

Collins had a run of four birdies in five holes leading into the 18th. He missed a 6-footer with a shot at another one and a potential tie with Murray.

“I gave myself an opportunity,” he said. “It was a nervy bad putt. It wasn’t obviously what I wanted, but to put yourself in that position, that’s ultimately what you’re trying to do. And the more times I’m able to do that and put myself in that situation, maybe one day it will be my day. Just today it wasn’t.”

Collins tied for fourth at The Honda Classic and his best previous finish was third last year in the Texas Open.

Brian Gay had a 65 to tie for third at 19 under with third-round leader Scott Stallings (71) and Tag Ridings (69).

Coming off a third-round 60, Stallings took the solo lead with a birdie on No. 10 that put him under par for the first time of the day. He fell back with a double bogey on the par-5 16th, three-putting after taking a drop following an errant drop.

Amateur Sam Burns of LSU tied for sixth at 18 under after a 66, matching Ryan Blaum (64) and Cameron Tringale (68).

Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk, who didn’t qualify for the British Open, finished at 11 under after a third straight 68.