US PGA rookie Murray takes Barbasol title by a shot

MURRAY

WASHINGTON: Grayson Murray, a 23-year-old American rookie, fired a three-under par 68 Sunday to win the Barbasol Championship, edging compatriot Chad Collins by a stroke for his first US PGA title.

Murray, who missed the cut in nine of his prior 23 tour starts, sank a tap-in birdie at the par-5 16th hole for his margin of victory at the Robert Trent Jones Grand National layout in Auburn, Alabama.

Murray finished 72 holes on 21-under par 263 with Collins second on 264 and Brian Gay, Tag Ridings and Scott Stallings next in an all-US top 10 on 265.

The event, played opposite the British Open at Royal Birkdale, featured players largely fighting to reach the US PGA points list top 125 and qualify for the season-ending playoffs that begin next month.

Six players were in the hunt down the final holes, but Murray endured down the stretch after a bogey-birdie start and closing the front nine with birdies at seven and nine around a bogey at the eighth.

Murray eagled the par-5 13th, dropping his second shot four feet from the cup and making the putt, but found a fairway bunker off the 14th tee and made bogey, setting up the birdie at 16 that proved the difference.

Stallings, seeking his fourth career PGA title and first since 2014, began the day with a one-stroke edge on Murray atop the leaderboard but fired a 71.

He fell back with a three-putt bogey at the par-5 13th, stayed within reach with a six-foot birdie at 16, but needing a birdie at 18 to match Murray, his tee shot went far right beyond a cart path and needed three shots to make the green at the par-4 18th to doom his hopes.