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USC's Murphy wins Azalea Invitational

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USC's Murphy wins Azalea Invitational

Will Murphy, a junior at South Carolina, parred the first hole of sudden death to win the Azalea Invitational on Sunday at the Country Club of Charleston.

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