Opening-round 64 at John Deere Classic, playing up from Korn Ferry Tour
SILVIS, Ill. — Grayson Murray swears he much prefers making headlines on a golf course.
He did just that in Thursday’s opening round of the John Deere Classic with a 7-under 64 at TPC Deere Run, two off the early pace of Jonas Blixt.
It could have been better. He missed a pair of 5-foot birdie putts on his first two holes, Nos. 10 and 11, and bogeyed his last, the par-4 ninth, after going bunker-to-bunker with his tee shot and approach.
Still, Murray was pleased with his day and proud of his patience after a round that included five birdies and a chip-in eagle from 42 feet at the par-5 second.
Murray, who has ridden plenty of personal ups and downs, credited his on-course patience to changes in his off-course lifestyle.
“I’ve been working really hard on just a lot of things off the course,” he said. “It makes my golf just seem easier. When things are in place off the course, you can tell a guy that has his mind in a good spot off the course by his game.”
Recent success on the Korn Ferry Tour — where he won the AdventHealth Championship in May and tied for third at the UNC Health Championship presented by STITCH last month —has put the tempestuous but talented 29-year-old golfer in a good spot to rebuild a career that hasn’t met his own expectations.
A break in the Korn Ferry Tour schedule afforded him an opportunity to test his resurgent play this week on TOUR.
“I’m in a good position out there to lock up my card here soon,” he said, “and I felt like coming out here with an opportunity to kind of double-dip, as you could say, and play a little more free knowing that my card is pretty much locked up out there.”
He finds himself playing his best recent golf while still feeling the effects of injuries suffered in a head-on collision with a car while riding a motor scooter in the Bahamas last October.
Murray said scar tissue still brings occasional discomfort in his golf swing, but added, “I feel a lot better than I did. It took a few months. My knee really took a beating. That was just adversity that I’ve dealt with in the past along with other adversity moments. I think it’s one of those things that that’s part of my story now.”
He called the mishap “a coming-to-Jesus moment” that led to a renewed commitment to a less volatile lifestyle and a rededication to fulfilling his potential.
“It’s tough,” he conceded. “I try to fill my time with some positive things off the course, whether it’s going to the gym or hitting up a movie. We have a lot of downtime, and I would say I was not good at prioritizing that in the past.
“I have an opportunity here,” said the 29-year-old North Carolinian. “I probably haven’t reached my prime yet. You know, I can get on a good solid 10-year run, and that’s what I plan on doing. I’m in such a good spot right now where I don’t want to change anything I’m doing.”
Source : PGA Tour