Moneyball – Rory’s $200,000 72nd-hole penalty and Murray’s millions

Mark McGowan

Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

Mark McGowan

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Rory McIlroy’s pulled tee shot on the 72nd hole of the Dubai Invitational, combined with playing partner Tommy Fleetwood’s birdie saw the Holywood man relinquish top spot and drop to a tie for second alongside South African Thriston Lawrence, meaning the Englishman walked away with the $425,000 top prize, while McIlroy and Lawrence each got $216,500 for their troubles.

Tom McKibbin, who ended the week tied for 25th after making two double bogeys in his final round, earned $26,250, while Ken Wayand, the sponsor’s invite who was making his first OWGR accredited start at the age of 54, still pocketed almost $8,000 for the week, despite finishing 72 shots behind Fleetwood and 39 behind Jens Dantorp who finished 59th in the 60-man field.

The other side of the world, Grayson Murray, less than nine months after giving up alcohol after a long and sometimes tempestuous battle, held his nerve in a three-man playoff to take top spot at the Sony Open in Hawaii, and with it, the guts of $1.5 million in prize money.


Murray, who’d not won the PGA Tour since the 2017 Barbasol Championship, had spent the last few years dipping in and out of the Korn Ferry Tour, but is now exempt on the PGA Tour through 2026 and will make a first appearance at Augusta National for the Masters in April.

Keegan Bradley, who looked primed for victory on the 18th tee in regulation play, had to settle for a two-way tie for second with Korea’s Byeong Hun An, who thought victory was within his grasp when he chipped to four feet on the first playoff hole only to watch Murray pour in a near 40-footer to pile on the pressure.

Courtesy of a Joel Dahmen missed six-footer on the final green in Friday’s second round saw Seamus Power squeeze into the weekend at Waialae Country Club, and despite further frustration as his already cool putter suffered frostbite, he still walked away with over $16,000 for the week’s work, which, combined with the $57,000 earned at The Sentry the week prior takes his PGA Tour career earnings past the $11,000,000 mark.

Prizemoney breakdown for selected players at the Dubai Invitational

1 Tommy Fleetwood -19 €387,213.68
T2 Rory McIlroy -18 €197,251.20
T2 Thriston Lawrence -18 €197,251.20
4 Jordan Smith -16 €113,886.38
5 Francesco Molinari -15 €96,575.65
T6 Sean Crocker -14 €74,253.92
T6 Zander Lombard -14 €74,253.92
T8 Thorbjorn Oleson -12 €53,982.14
T8 Yannik Paul -12 €53,982.14
10 Adrian Meronk -11 €45,554.55
T25 Tom McKibbin -5 €23,916.14

Prizemoney breakdown for selected players at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

1 Grayson Murray -17 $1,494,000
T2 Keegan Bradley -17 $738,700
T2 Byeong Hun An -17 $738,700
T4 Russell Henley -16 $373,500
T4 Carl Yuan -16 $373,500
6 J.T. Poston -15 $300,875
T7 Nick Taylor -14 $260,758
T7 Emiliano Grillo -14 $260,758
T7 Matthieu Pavon -14 $260,758
T74 Seamus Power -1 $16,019


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