The 2017 Barbasol Championship at Grand National Golf Course is in the books with 23-year-old Grayson Murray earning his first career PGA Tour win. The North Carolina native, who is in his first year on tour, shot 64 in both second and third rounds and ended at 21 under par for the tournament. Chad Collins claimed the runner-up position at 20 under. (Click HERE for full results).
Making the PGA tournament more interesting for Auburn/Opelika residents and Auburn University supporters was the fact that five former or current Tiger golfers competed in the Barbasol Championship. Of the five, three made the cut and competed in the third and final rounds.
2012 Auburn graduate Blayne Barber was a three-time All-American during his collegiate career on the plains and earned full time status on the PGA Tour in 2014. Barber finished the Barbasol tournament -10 in a tie for 42nd place and was pleased with his overall performance this week.
“That’s my first bogey-free round in a while,” Barber said following the final round. “I had a couple of good saves and hit a ton of great shots. Putting is the thing that kept it from being really low.”
Barber and his wife, Morgan, along with their two children make Auburn their home so being able to compete in a PGA tournament in his own backyard was especially satisfying.
“It’s a normal week, which is great, “Barber said. “I mowed my grass, grilled out one night and had family over, so it was a good chill week. Hopefully, this is something to build on going forward the last few events of the season.”
The finish also soared Barber 13 spots in the FedEx Cup points race from last week, just above the cut line in 119th place.
Matt Gilchrest finished up his Auburn golf career this past spring and graduated in May. Although he does not hold a PGA Tour card like Kizzire and Barber, he received a sponsor’s exemption which allowed him to compete in the Barbosol Championship.
“This is a dream come true to get to play in a PGA event”, Gilchrest said after shooting an impressive 65 in the final round leading to a tie for 42nd place. “To get to play as a pro and have a Sunday tee time is really cool. This is just so much fun.”
He said being able to play in his first PGA tournament near the town where he played as a college golfer was special.
“I got a bunch of ‘War Eagles’ today and had 10 or 15 people following me so that was really nice”, Gilchrest said.
Patton Kizzire, who graduated from Auburn in 2008, earned his PGA Tour card in 2016 after leading the Web.com Tour money list. Kizzire finished five under par at the Barbasol and finished in a tie for 64th. After the round, Kizzire said he enjoyed being able to come back to the Auburn area to compete professionally.
“It’s great coming back to Auburn whether it’s for a golf tournament or a football game or just to be with friends and family, Kizzire said. “Auburn’s got a special place in my heart.”
Kizzire is currently sitting in 92nd place in the FedEx Cup standings with 439 points. The top 125 players in the FedEx Cup standings will make it to the 2017 FedEx Cup playoffs in September.
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