Golf: Rookie Murray clinches first PGA Tour title by one stroke

(Reuters) - A lucky break at the 13th hole paved the way for PGA Tour rookie Grayson Murray to win the Barbasol Championship by one stroke in Alabama on Sunday.

 

Murray hung his head in disgust after pulling his seven-iron approach shot at the par-five, fearing his ball would find a greenside bunker, but it barely cleared the sand before taking a big bounce and then a hard right turn, trickling down to within five feet of the hole.

 

He capitalized on his good fortune by sinking the eagle putt to take the lead and held on to edge fellow American Chad Collins by one stroke, with overnight leader Scott Stallings among a trio two shots back.

 

Collins, after three consecutive birdies, had a chance to tie it up at the par-four 18th, but missed a five-foot birdie putt with a weak attempt that failed to reach the hole.

 

Murray then held his nerve and holed a four-footer for his maiden tour victory before emotionally hugging his parents.

He carded 68 and finish at 21-under-par 263 at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Grand National course in Opelika.

“The amount of work I’ve put in over my lifetime, seeing my parents walking up now, how much they’ve sacrificed for this moment, it’s very special,” Murray, 23, said in a greenside interview.

“I knew this was going to be the toughest year of them all and now I have a two-year exemption I can play stress-free.”

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ian Ransom)

 
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