Grayson Murray overcomes playoff, personal struggles to win Sony Open

Grayson Murray celebrates after winning the Sony Open.

Grayson Murray worked hard to get back to the PGA Tour winner's circle.

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

More than two years ago, when Grayson Murray took time away from the PGA Tour, few could have envisioned him winning the 2024 Sony Open.

On Sunday, after Murray’s wayward tee shot on the 72nd hole — and with his playing partner looking to make birdie for the win — few could have envisioned Grayson Murray winning the 2024 Sony Open.

After another wayward Murray tee shot on the first playoff hole, one that clipped a tree and wasn’t even picked up by ShotLink, few could have envisioned Grayson Murray winning the 2024 Sony Open.

But with 106 yards to the flag for his third shot on that hole — and both his opponents, Keegan Bradley and Ben An, in trouble around the green — Murray’s caddie, Jay Green, pressed his man for some motivation.

“Show me something,” Green said to Murray. It took another shot for Murray to follow through, but, boy, did he deliver.

After pulling his wedge approach some 39 feet left of the hole, Murray drained the ensuing birdie putt and then watched as both Bradley and An missed their shorter putts to match, giving Murray the Sony Open title.

“A lot of hard work pays off,” Murray said when asked about Green’s comment. “It’s not easy, you know. I want 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, and when you get tired of fighting let someone else fight for you. That’s what happened.”

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It’s Murray’s second PGA Tour title after the 2017 Barbasol Championship, but this comes with far more benefits. He’s into the Masters for the first time in his career, as well as the Players, PGA Championship and the seven remaining Signature events on the PGA Tour calendar.

“I knew today was not going to change my life,” Murray said. “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.”

As unlikely as the circumstances were surrounding how Murray snatched the tournament from as many as four other players who were at one point tied for the lead Sunday, his simply being in Hawaii for the event was even more improbable.

Murray entered 2023 with his PGA Tour status in question. He took a hiatus from the game in 2021 as he entered a treatment facility for help with alcohol dependence. He then had a start-and-stop year in 2022 before a return to form in 2023. He won twice on the Korn Ferry Tour to secure his status for 2024 and also notched two top-10s on the PGA Tour.

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Murray’s final round was flat for much of the day. He picked up two just birdies, at 9 and 10, until he arrived at 18 — not exactly the firepower he needed to emerge from a crowded leaderboard on a day when contenders were posting a 61 and several 63s and 64s.

He blew his drive right at the par-5 but laid up in the fairway. From 78 yards, he stuffed his third shot inside three feet and converted to tie Bradley and An at 17 under.

Murray’s drive on 18 in the playoff, however, clipped a tree not far from the tee. Somehow, his ball made it past the majority of the palm trees and settled in the rough, giving him an angle for the layup.

It wasn’t pretty, but it didn’t matter. Murray is a champion again.

“It took me a long time to get to this point,” he said. “I’m a different man now. I would not be in this position right now today if I didn’t put that drink down eight months ago.”

Jack Hirsh Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is a 2020 graduate of Penn State University, earning degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his high school golf team and recently returned to the program to serve as head coach. Jack also still *tries* to remain competitive in local amateurs. Before joining GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as a Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but also producing, anchoring and even presenting the weather. He can be reached at