An albino dolphin swimming the waters of Wappoo Creek in recent weeks apparently is a golf fan, making an appearance Sunday near the Country Club of Charleston's 10th green in time to witness Columbia's Will Murphy chip in for an important birdie during Sunday's final round of the Azalea Invitational golf tournament.
Buoyed by that birdie (and three more), the University of South Carolina junior beat M.J. Maguire of St. Petersburg, Fla., in a one-hole playoff after the pair tied at 6-under-par 207. Murphy shot a final-round 3-under 68 while Maguire posted even-par 71 on a blustery day. The scheduled four-round tournament was shortened to 54 holes after heavy overnight rains washed out play on Saturday.
It was the first playoff in the tournament since 2007 when a pair of current PGA Tour pros, Webb Simpson and Billy Horschel, went extra holes with Simpson winning his second Azalea title.
Dylan Meyer of Evansville, Ind., Patrick Christovich of New Orleans and Grayson Murray of Raleigh, N.C., tied for third at 209.
A playoff seemed almost inevitable with a tightly bunched field heading into the final round, and indeed there were six players either tied or one shot back midway through the back nine Sunday.
Murphy posted his 6-under total first, making a birdie from 25-30 feet on the par-3 17th and then making an 8-footer for par on the 18th for a final-round 68.
Playing three groups behind Murphy, Maguire knew what he needed to do to force the playoff. He made a big save for par on No. 17 and then hit an 8-iron to 20 feet and made the birdie putt on 18.
But on the first playoff hole, No. 1, Maguire hit his second shot left and could not salvage par while Murphy two-putted for the win.
"(Maguire) is obviously a great player so you almost had to expect him to make the putt," Murphy said of Maguire's birdie to force the playoff.
"This is definitely my biggest amateur victory. I've won a handful of junior events," said Murphy, who played in the Junior Azalea at the Country Club of Charleston a couple of times but was making his Azalea debut.
"Last year I had a bunch of runner-ups and got myself in position, so it finally feels good to get a win."
Maguire was disappointed after battling his way into the playoff.
"I felt like I had a good chance to win. I was just a little too quick," the University of North Florida junior said. "It would have been a good win."
Will Murphy, Columbia 72-67-68-207
M.J. Maguire, St. Petersburg, Fla. 70-66-71-207
Dylan Meyer, Evansville, Ind. 71-70-68-209
Patrick Christovich, New Orleans 72-67-70-209
Grayson Murray, Raleigh, N.C. 70-68-71-209
Edward Figueroa, Naples, Fla. 66-71-73-210
Michael Johnson, Birmingham, Ala. 69-66-75-210
Lee McCoy, Athens, Ga. 70-69-72-211
Jonathan Hardee, Greer 73-68-71-212
Keith Mitchell, Athens, Ga. 70-68-74-212
Max Buckley, Rye, N.Y. 73-71-70-214
Nicholas Reach, Athens, Ga. 74-68-72-214
Caleb Sturgeon, Laurens 70-7-74-214
Brennen King, Charleston 70-65-79-214
Tom Lovelady, Birmingham, Ala. 72-71-72-215
Alex Ellis, Austin, Texas 72-69-74-215
Parker Derby, Columbus, Ga. 69-71-75-215
Tyler Hitchner, Tuscaloosa, Ala. 73-70-73-216
Will Zalatoris, Plano, Texas 76-68-72-216
Mike McCoy, West Des Moines, Iowa 74-71-71-216
Hans Reimers, Lake Oswego, Ore. 66-72-78-216
John Sawin, San Francisco 72-71-74-217
Greyson Sigg, Augusta 72-70-75-217
Skip Berkmeyer, Wildwood, Mo. 71-71-75-217
Miller Capps, Denver, N.C. 76-64-77-217
Robin Petersson, Augusta 71-72-75-218
Stratton Nolen, Austin, Texas 70-73-75-218
Carson Young, Pendleton 73-72-73-218
Joey Garber, Athens, Ga. 73-72-73-218
Billy Kennerly, Alpharetta, Ga. 72-69-77-218
Scott Harvey, Greensboro, N.C. 72-71-76-219
Tony Gil, Vaughan, Ontario 73-69-77-219
John Pitt, Raleigh, N.C. 71-70-78-219
John Patterson, Okatie 65-73-81-219
Andre Tourinho, Bradenton, Fla. 72-75-72-219
Ryan Abbate, Weston, Fla. 72-72-76-220
Christopher Petefish, Danville, Calif. 73-72-75-220
Conner Pratt, Birmingham, Ala. 77-68-75-220
Doug Ghim, Arlington Heights, Ill. 74-71-75-220
Blake Kennedy, Campobello 73-68-79-220
Michael Cromie, Cary, N.C. 75-72-73-220
Vincent Whaley, Atlanta 73-70-78-221
Andrew Morgan, Long Beach, Calif. 73-71-77-221
Andy Zhang, Reunion, Fla. 70-74-77-221
Andrew McCain, Tarpon Springs, Fla. 75-70-76-221
Austin Langdale, Townville 72-74-75-221
Thomas Bradshaw, Columbia 78-69-74-221
Richard Lamb, Knoxville, Tenn. 74-72-76-222
Luiz Jacintho, Orlando, Fla. 74-73-75-222
Greg Earnhardt, Greensboro, N.C. 74-73-75-222
Brady Exber, Las Vegas 73-74-75-222
Todd White, Spartanburg 73-73-77-223
Nick Gilliam, Gainesville, Fla. 74-72-77-223
James Willis, Savannah 74-70-80-224
Qi Wen Wong, Bradenton, Fla. 74-71-79-224
Edward Richardson, East Sussex, England 74-69-81-224
Matt Williams, Calgary, Alberta 74-72-78-224
Brad Wilder, Fort Wright, Ky. 71-75-79-225
John Assey, Mount Pleasant 74-72-79-225
Michael Assey, Mount Pleasant 72-75-78-225
Walter Todd, Laurens 75-70-81-226
Michael Pisciotta, Alpharetta, Ga. 72-75-79-226
Steven Liebler, Columbia 73-74-80-227
Lee Palms, Greenville 70-75-83-228
Gene Elliott, West Des Moines, Iowa 72-75-83-230
Wes Strang, Scottsdale, Arizona 70-77-85-232
Danny Nelson, Savannah 72-69-WD
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