Grayson Murray earns spot in all remaining Signature Events with Sony Open win
HONOLULU – Grayson Murray isn’t in a hurry.
After signing his final-round scorecard Sunday at the Sony Open in Hawaii, Murray shared a poignant embrace with his fiancée Christiana Ritchie before commencing a three-man playoff against Keegan Bradley and Byeong Hun An. They said a prayer that no matter the outcome, it wouldn’t be life-changing. Before entering the proverbial spotlight, they lingered in the moment’s serenity.
Minutes later, Murray drained a 39-foot birdie on the first extra hole, the par-5 18th at Waialae Country Club, to win the Sony Open for his second PGA TOUR title – his first since the 2017 Barbasol Championship.
Murray’s victory offers a laundry list of laurels. He’s assured a spot in all remaining Signature Events on the 2024 PGA TOUR schedule, as well as the Masters, THE PLAYERS Championship and PGA Championship. He’s fully exempt on TOUR through 2026 after beginning the season in the Korn Ferry Tour graduates category (subject to reshuffle). He’ll have ample chances to test his game against the world’s best under the brightest lights. After years of wrestling with anxiety, depression, alcoholism and a nagging feeling that he was underachieving as a pro, the golf world is now Murray’s oyster.
Murray played three rounds hungover en route to that Barbasol victory, he admitted Sunday at the Sony Open. Now he’s eight months sober, engaged and at peace with his place in the game. After winning the Korn Ferry Tour’s Simmons Bank Open for the Snedeker Foundation last fall, he expressed confidence about going on a “pretty nice 10-year run.” Consider the run activated.
“He mentioned that our lives don’t change, and it’s so true,” Ritchie said afterward. “His career does change, but we just go home to each other; I’m just excited to hang out with my man tonight, and we’re just excited to be with our family. We love those things that stay the same, but we’re also grateful for this change.
“It took both of us maturing together over the past few years to really make this all the sweeter.”
Although Murray believes success doesn’t define him as a person, he’s excited about what’s to come. He’ll compete against the TOUR’s biggest stars for the remainder of 2024 – and, if his recent trajectory is any indication, for years to come.
“Obviously, it was a goal to be in all those (Signature) Events,” Murray said afterward. “It happened sooner than I thought it would, to be frankly honest. But it’s special that I am in those events, and I’m looking forward to playing against the best players in the world.
“When you wake up and you wake up early and you work so hard and you put in all the hours, these are the moments that you live for. Tiger had to do 80-some of these (winner’s press conferences), and I felt like maybe he might have got tired of some of those, but I don’t think he did. I think every single one of them he enjoyed doing.”
With his Sony Open victory, Murray took the lead in the Aon Swing 5 for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and The Genesis Invitational. The top five FedExCup points earners across the Sony Open in Hawaii, The American Express and Farmers Insurance Open who are not yet exempt into the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am will earn spots into the field.
The top five points earners across the Sony Open, The American Express, Farmers and WM Phoenix Open will earn spots in The Genesis Invitational.
Murray will likely earn one of those five spots. If he doesn’t, he will get in those Signature Events via his Sony win. Winners of TOUR events (that offer at least 500 FedExCup points) get into the remainder of the Signature Events for the year. (Murray is counted in the Aon Swing 5 because that is a higher eligibility category than current-season tournament winners in the priority ranking for Signature Events.)
Additional spots in Signature Events are available via the Aon Next 10; these spots for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and The Genesis Invitational were allotted to Nos. 51-60 on last year’s FedExCup Fall standings through The RSM Classic. For Signature Events later in the year, the Aon Next 10 will comprise the top 10 players on the 2024 FedExCup standings not otherwise eligible.
Here’s how the Aon Swing 5 stands after the Sony Open in Hawaii. Five spots at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am are available via a three-event FedExCup points list that includes the Sony Open in Hawaii, The American Express and Farmers Insurance Open.
- 1. Grayson Murray, 500 point
- 2. Carl Yuan, 122.5 points
- 3. Matthieu Pavon, 85 points
- 4. Taylor Pendrith, 70 points
- T5. Akshay Bhatia, 55.2 points
- T5. Patton Kizzire, 55.2 points
Yuan tied for fourth at the Sony Open at 16-under, one stroke back of the playoff. Pavon finished T7 and Pendrith finished T10. Bhatia and Kizzire finished tied for 13th.