Murphy outlasts Maguire to win Azalea Invitational
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- After enduring four days and 54 holes against one of the year's deepest fields, Will Murphy needed just one more hole.
He made the most of his time and extra opportunities, defeating M.J. Maguire on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the 2014 Azalea Invitational at the Country Club of Charleston.
Murphy, a senior at South Carolina, fired a final-round, 3-under 68 to finish tied alongside Maguire atop the leaderboard and force the playoff.
Murphy, a Columbia, S.C. resident, shot a second-round 67 to get into contention. His first-round 72 was the only round above par.
Murphy has played well this collegiate season. He was fourth at the Seahawk Intercollegiate and sixth at the Rees Jones Invitational.
Maguire, who logged top 5s at last year's Furman Intercollegiate, SunTrust Gator Invitational, Oglethorpe and Dixie Amateur, in addition to winning the Atlantic Sun tournament, went low on Friday, too. He followed first-round 70 with a red-hot 66 before rain forced the cancellation of Saturday's play.
Maguire closed with a final-round 71 to finish tied with Murphy.
Dylan Meyer took low junior honors. The Illinois commit shot 71-70-68 to finish tied alongside Louisiana mid-amateur Patrick Christovich (72-67-70) and Grayson Murray (70-68-71), a 2013 U.S. Open participant and recent transfer to Arizona State.
Second-round leader Michael Johnson of Auburn finished tied for sixth place. He shot 69-66 over the first two days before closing with a 75 on Sunday. He finished tied with Florida Gulf Coast's Edward Figueroa (66-71-73).
John Patterson, a Hilton Head-area mid-amateur and former professional, held the lead after Round 1. He shot 65-73-81 to finish tied for 31st.
Clemson's Austin Langdale, the 2013 champion, finished tied for 42nd.
The 2014 field had a strong mix of golfers from several age groups. Notable mid-amateur finishers included reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Mike McCoy (74-71-71, T-18), Skip Berkmeyer (71-71-75, T-22) and reigning Stocker Cup champ John Sawin (72-71-74, T-22).
The strength of the field was aided by open schedules of several ACC and SEC teams. The leaderboard was stacked with collegiate stars, including: Georgia's Nicholas Reach (74-68-72, T-11), Alabama's Tom Lovelady (72-71-72, T-15) and Georgia's Joey Garber (73-72-73, T-26), the top-ranked player in the Golfweek collegiate player rankings.