Murphy wins 56th Daikin Spirit of America Golf Classic
Decatur native claims Amateur Tournament by four strokes
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - He grew up playing countless rounds of golf at Burningtree Country Club. His brother, and family watched countless swings, chips, and putts from Sam Murphy who grew up in Decatur, Alabama. After completing his final season of collegiate golf at Louisiana Tech, Murphy won the very Amateur Tournament he watched countless others win growing up in Morgan County.
Murphy held off another fellow Morgan County native and Jacksonville State golfer Ryley Heath by four strokes to claim the 56th Daikin Spirit of America Golf Classic Saturday. Murphy, who entered the event after playing the British Amateur, elated to win his hometown event
“I don’t think it’s hit me yet,” Murphy said after the final round. “Obviously it’s something that I wanted to do for a real long time, but to get done, it’s really awesome. I’ve grown up in this place to have (Matt) Gourgeot push me, Stew (Stewart Whitt) push me, guys like that. You come here and play in a competition setting and it’s pretty special. It’s fun to watch, it’s definitely fun to be around, it’s an awesome place for sure.”
Four of the top five atop the leaderboard were residents of Morgan County. Heath, finished at 10-under for the event after leading the first three rounds.
“This is the way I’m kinda looking at it right now,” Heath said after the final round “Sam (Murphy) is an incredible golfer. So for me this summer to go and hang with him, that’s just what I’m trying to build off of.”
Matt Gourgeot, who won the event in 2016 hung around the top of the leaderboard all week, but couldn’t string together enough to catch the very players (Murphy, Heath) that watched him play when they were kids.
“I played well all week,” Gourgeot said after his final hole of play Saturday. “I couldn’t get a round in the mid 60′s which is what I needed to catch Sam. I was proud with the way I hit it, I dd pretty well all week.”
Sam Murphy’s brother, Mac, played his best round in the final round carding a 67 Saturday. Sam and Mac will compete in Tuesday’s U.S. Amateur qualifier Tuesday at Burningtree Country Club.
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