Birthplace: Raleigh, North Carolina
Resides: Raleigh, North Carolina
College: Arizona State University
Turned Professional: 2015
2015-2016 FedEx Cup Rank: N/A
Professional Wins: 1 (2016 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship - Web.com Tour)
Honors & Accolades: N/A
Driving Distance & Putting: Grayson Murray has the killer combination of prodigious length off the tee and a great putting stroke. On the Web.com Tour, Murray ranked 4th in driving distance and 5th in putting average. When you put those stats together it's easy to understand why Murray finished 1st in birdie average.
Areas for Improvement:
Wedge Play: It’s nitpicking as Murray ranked high in almost every statistical category on the Web.com Tour during the 2016 season. The start of the 2016-2017 season on the PGA Tour shows that his wedge play could be a little bit better. This isn’t surprising as many long hitters’ wedge play takes a few years to develop on Tour ala Dustin Johnson.
A look at Grayson Murray’s swing
Murray creates a ton of lag and counters by pushing back through impact to release the club. This technique is the foundation for his incredible distance off of the tee.
PGA Professional Golf Digest's 40 best under 40
2016-2017 Season Outlook
Grayson Murray heads to the PGA Tour after a stellar season on the Web.com Tour where he finished 2nd in total money after earning the most during the Web.com Tour Finals. Murray was in the top 5 in driving distance on the Web.com Tour and led the tour in birdies per round. Murray’s game should bode well on the PGA Tour, and I expect him to become one of its stars in the near future.
Grayson Murray’s path to the PGA Tour
The Early Days
Growing up in Raleigh, North Carolina, Murray had a stellar junior career that saw him win an individual state championship, qualify for the match-play portion of the U.S. Junior three times, win the Callaway Junior World Championships three straight years (‘06,’07,’08) and win the 2010 and 2012 Rex Hospital Open Junior Invitational. The win at the Rex Hospital earned Murray a spot in the 2010 and 2012 Web.com Rex Hospital Open Championship. During the 2010 championship at the age of 16, Murray shot a second round 66 which helped him become the second-youngest player to ever make a cut at a Web.com Tour event. Murray parlayed his strong junior career into the Arnold Palmer Scholarship at the local golf powerhouse, Wake Forest.
The college years (2011-2015)
College really wasn’t Murray’s thing as the former prep phenom struggled to find a place in college golf. Murray left Wake Forest after one semester, transferring to East Carolina where he spent the spring semester of his freshman season. East Carolina didn’t suit Murray either so he decided to head to North Carolina at Greensboro where he never played a round before finally deciding to take his talents west to powerhouse Arizona State. While Murray competed in very few events as a collegiate, when he did he was quite good, registering strong finishes at all of the schools he tee’d it up at.
Amid all the turmoil, Murray played stellar golf on the amateur circuit where he rose to 40th in the world amateur rankings in 2014. Some of his amateur career highlights include 3 U.S. Amateurs, qualifying for the 2013 U.S. Open, making the semifinals of the North-South Amateur and a 4th place finish at the 2014 Saguaro Amateur.
Turnin’ pro (2015-present)
After his short stint at Arizona State, Murray decided enough with school and turned professional. In the summer of 2015, Murray played in mini-tour events and state opens, where he won the egolf Tour’s Southern Open and again at the New Hampshire State Open.
With his game in order, Murray headed to Web.com Tour Q-School where he cruised into the final stage after finishing t4th in pre-qualifying, 2nd at first stage, and t14th at second stage. Reaching the final stage was huge as it assured Murray of some playing status on the Web.com Tour. Unfortunately, his t74th finish only gave the young professional conditional status which guarantees 0 starts.
He got his big break on the Web.com Tour at a familiar place, the Rex Hospital Open, where he received a sponsor’s exemption into the field. Murray made the most of the opportunity finishing t10th at the event and earning a place in the following week’s BMW Charity Pro-Am where he again finished in the top 10. Murray’s back-to-back top 10’s were enough to earn him full-status on the tour and the rest is history. Murray racked up 4 more top 10s during the regular season to finish 18th on the money list and earn his PGA Tour card.
During the playoffs, Murray caught fire coming in 3rd at the Alberstons Boise Open before breaking through to win the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship. His strong play during the playoffs vaulted him to 2nd on the money list, earning him full-status on the PGA Tour.