Grayson Murray Wins Sony Open

Grayson Murray Wins Sony Open January 14, 2024

PGA Tour golfer Grayson Murray, from Raleigh, North Carolina, the guy they call “golf bad boy,” just won the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii, in a most dramatic fashion. He had gotten himself into a tie for the lead entering today’s last round by shooting a 63 on Friday and a 64 on Sunday. He lost the lead and birdied the last hole to get into a three-man playoff.

On the first extra hole, a par five, Keegan Bradley and South Korean Byeong-Hun An drove well into the fairway so that they could go for the green on their second shots. But Murray pulled his drive, and the ball hit a palm tree, leaving him with a forced layup for his third shot to the green. Bradley then hooked his second shot with a fairway metalwood into the grandstand beside the green. An muscled his second shot with a one iron barely to the right of the pin and into the edge of the right rough just short of the green, relatively close to the hole.

Murray pulled his wedge shot rather poorly to the middle of the green, leaving him a 38-foot putt for a birdie. Keegan got a free drop from the gallery grandstand. He then chipped his third shot miserably, leaving himself about a 25-foot birdie putt. For An’s third shot, he chopped the ball delicately from that thick rough to about three feet or more from the hole. Byeong-Hun An then appeared to have about a 3 to 1 chance or better to the win this tournament that Yours Truly played maybe 15 times.

But Murray then stunned the crowd by making his 38-foot putt right in the middle of the cup for a birdie four. Bradley, putting on the same line, barely missed his 25-footer to the left to make a par five. An now looked like he would send the playoff to a second extra hole between just him and Murray. But most surprisingly, he pushed his putt to the right, and the ball didn’t even touch the edge of the hole as it missed. Murray therefore instantly emerged most shockingly as the winner. And it apparently couldn’t have happened to a more controversial guy on the PGA Tour at that moment in time.

Why is Grayson Murray being called the “golf bad boy”? For one thing, even though he had only won one PGA Tour tournament in eight years as a pro golfer, Murray–a pro who has bounced back-and-forth between the PGA Tour and its lesser Korn Ferry Tour–has sounded off negatively about the direction the PGA Tour appears to be taking in its struggle to make a deal with the rebel, Saudi-backed LIV Golf League. Rory McIlroy reportedly replied to one such Murray comment by saying, “Just play better, Grayson.” When Murray was informed of what Rory had said, Grayson then dropped the F-bomb on superstar Rory McIlroy.

But the main thing about Murray’s waywardness that has led to his moniker of “golf bad boy” has been his admission of having an alcohol addiction and even some mental depression. I haven’t known about Murray until now. Some incident while he was drunk had resulted the PGA Tour placing him on probation. At some point in time, he admitted on his X account, “I’m a f—ing alcoholic that hates everything to do with the PGA Tour life, and that’s my scapegoat.” In 2021-2022, Grayson entered a treatment facility for alcoholics. He eventually said he had had a “come to Jesus moment.” He now says he’s been sober for eight months and he has a lovely, supportive fiancée.

Thus, it was an entirely different Grayson Murray in his victory interview just minutes ago in the beautiful islands of Hawaii. His speech revealed a back story of spiritual redemption. The first words out of his mouth in response to his television interviewer were, “Jesus Christ made this possible.” He then explained, “It’s not easy, you know? I wanted to give up a lot of times, give up on myself, give up on the game of golf, give up on life at times. When you get tired of fighting, let someone fight for you.” Who is that?

Joyful Grayson Murray continued, “I knew today was not going to change my life. My fiancée changed my life. Jesus Christ changed my life. Today wasn’t going to change my life, but it did change my career a little bit, and I’m excited.”

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