Advertisement

Grayson Murray wins Sony Open in a playoff as Rory McIlroy slips in Dubai on DP World Tour

Grayson Murray sank a 39-footer to win a three-way playoff over Ben An and Keegan Bradley on Sunday in Hawaii

Ever since a heated exchange with Rory McIlroy where he was allegedly told to
Ever since a heated exchange with Rory McIlroy in which he was allegedly told to "just play better," Grayson Murray has done just that. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images) (Michael Reaves via Getty Images)

Grayson Murray got the job done.

Murray survived a three-man playoff to win the Sony Open on Sunday in Hawaii, marking his first win on Tour in nearly six years. Murray sank a 39-footer on the first playoff hole at Waialae Country Club to beat Ben An and Keegan Bradley.

The win caps what has been a great stretch of golf for Murray, who was struggling just a few years ago. Murray withdrew from the Bermuda Championship in 2022 after a scooter accident on the island and fell to as low as No. 803 in the Official World Golf Rankings.

He also reportedly got into a heated exchange with Rory McIlroy last year after PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan announced a surprise deal to partner with LIV Golf. McIlroy reportedly told Murray to “just play better.”

Since then, he has done just that. He has won twice worldwide in his past 13 starts since that exchange, including his win at the Simmons Bank Open on the Korn Ferry Tour.

“Hard work pays off. It’s not easy,” Murray said, via the Action Network’s Jason Sobel. “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. Just persevere. When you get tired of fighting, let someone else fight for you. And that’s what happened.”

Murray started the final round on Oahu tied with Bradley for the lead at 14-under thanks to his third-round 64. He then rolled through the final round without much of an issue, opening the day with eight straight pars. He rattled off two straight birdies and then birdied the 18th to force a three-way playoff with An and Bradley.

Carl Yuan and Russell Henley finished tied for fourth at 16-under after they both went 7-under on the day. J.T. Poston finished alone in six after his 9-under 61 on Sunday, which jumped him up 33 spots on the leaderboard.

Murray, who entered the week at No. 132 in the world rankings, will jump to No. 46 on Monday. It marks his first time in the top 100 since 2017.

Tommy Fleetwood edges out Rory McIlroy in Dubai

Elsewhere in the golf world on Sunday, it seemed as if McIlroy was going to pull off his first win of 2024.

McIlroy held a one-shot lead over Tommy Fleetwood when the two stepped into the 72nd tee box at the Dubai Invitational on Sunday. McIlroy made five birdies on his back nine and pushed ahead in the DP World Tour event.

Yet McIlroy’s tee shot on the 18th landed in the water up the left side of the fairway, which led him to make bogey. Fleetwood instead played it perfectly and sank a 16-foot birdie putt to card his 67 on the day and take a one-shot win.

Fleetwood has now won seven times on the DP World Tour, most recently at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in 2022. Fleetwood has yet to win on the PGA Tour. He had nine top-10 finishes last season, including a T5 finish at the U.S. Open, and he fell in a playoff at the RBC Canadian Open.

McIlroy won twice on the PGA Tour last year but failed to win a major championship once again. He finished inside the top 10 in his final 10 events of the season and is currently ranked No. 2 in the Official World Golf Rankings.

“I’m really happy for Tommy,” McIlroy said after the round. “He’s played some incredible golf over the last year without actually getting a win. So for him to get the win here, it’s great for him, and it will do his confidence a world of good, and hopefully he kicks on from it.

“But yeah, it was a good battle out there, and hopefully I have many more with him this year and for the years ahead.”