PGA Tour winner Grayson Murray has died aged 30 after withdrawing from the Charles Schwab Challenge.

The two-time Tour champion withdrew from the tournament in Fort Worth, Texas during his second round on Friday due to illness.

Murray, who won his second title at this year's Sony Open in Hawaii, passed away on Saturday as the Tour confirmed the news through an organisational statement.

"We were devastated to learn – and are heartbroken to share – that Grayson Murray passed away this morning. I am at a loss for words," wrote Tour commissioner Jay Monahan.

Tiger Woods vowed he would "keep fighting" after missing the cut at this year's PGA Championship.

The four-time champion will be absent from the weekend at the second major of the season, having carded rounds of 72 and 77 in Valhalla.

Woods concluded his opening round with a bogey-bogey finish, while he hit two triple-bogeys in the first four holes of his second round - doing so multiple times in a single round at a major for the first time.

The 48-year-old, who finished seven over par and 19 strokes behind halfway leader Xander Schauffele, was making his first appearance on the PGA Tour since last month's Masters, and knows he needs to improve ahead of the US Open at Pinehurst in four weeks' time.

When asked about his next steps, the 15-time major champion responded: "Just keep fighting. Keep the pedal on, keep fighting, keep grinding, keep working hard at posting the best score that I can possibly post. That's all I can do.

"I got off to a bad start [in the second round] and the rough grabbed me at [the second hole]. I compounded the problem there at [the fourth].

"[I] just kept making mistakes and things you can't do, not just in tournaments but in majors especially. I hung around for most of the day, but unfortunately, the damage was done early.

"I need to play more. Unfortunately, I just haven't played a whole lot of tournaments. Hopefully, everything will somehow come together in my practice sessions at home and be ready for Pinehurst."


The second major of the year gets under way on Thursday, with the PGA Championship returning to Valhalla Golf Club for the fourth time, and the first since 2014.

That previous staging of the event in Louisville brought Rory McIlroy his fourth and most recent major title. The Northern Irishman enters this year's tournament in excellent form and among the favourites, but he will face plenty of competition.

Brooks Koepka lifted the hulking trophy for a third time last year and is again tipped to be in contention, headlining a list of 16 LIV Golf entrants as the fracture that has split the sport shows little sign of healing.     

However, the question on most people's lips ahead of tee-off is; who – if anyone – can stop Scottie Scheffler? The Masters champion and world number one has been out of action for three weeks following the birth of his first child, but few expect any rustiness from a man who has enjoyed a magical start to 2024.

Ahead of the 106th edition of the PGA Championship, we run through the key storylines and delve into the best Opta facts around the key contenders.

The course

The PGA Championship's lack of a permanent home may deny it the lustre of the Masters, but a return to Valhalla – a course which holds fond memories for some of golf's biggest names – should add something special.

Valhalla's fourth PGA Championship will make it the most common home of the tournament since the start of the 1990s, with only Southern Hills hosting more often since the competition was founded in 1916 (five times).

The previous three editions at Valhalla have provided plenty of drama, with the first two – in 1996 and 2000 – being decided by a playoff. Mark Brooks overcame Kenny Perry in 1996, then Tiger Woods saw off Bob May four years later for the third leg of the memorable 'Tiger Slam'.

In 2014, meanwhile, McIlroy beat Phil Mickelson by one stroke in a dramatic finish on a chaotic, stormy Sunday. In near darkness, officials moved Mickelson and playing partner Rickie Fowler off to the side to allow McIlroy to tee off on the 18th and avoid having to sleep on his slender lead.

McIlroy has failed to win on any of his subsequent 35 major appearances, but as he returns to the scene of his most dramatic success, it's no wonder the world number two feels "the stars are aligning" for him.

The contenders 

Indeed, McIlroy approaches the tournament in fine form, winning on his last two starts on the PGA Tour after enduring a mixed beginning to 2024.

Having triumphed at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans alongside Shane Lowry, McIlroy hauled in Xander Schauffele to win the Wells Fargo Championship for a record-extending fourth time last week, issuing a timely reminder of his brilliance by carding a six-under 65 in the final round.

Back in 2014, McIlroy entered the PGA Championship as the favourite after winning The Open, but he believes he is in better shape now than he was a decade ago.

"I've been banging this drum for the last few years, but I'm a way better player now than I was back then," he told Sky Sports after his Wells Fargo win.

"I haven't had the major record to back that up, but I've had the wins, I've done everything else there is to do in the game since 2014. The only thing I need to do is get another major."

While hopes are high regarding McIlroy's chances of a title tilt, he is not the clear favourite. That honour goes to Scheffler.

After his four-stroke victory at the Masters, Scheffler could become just the third golfer this century to win the first two majors in a calendar year, after Woods (in 2002) and Jordan Spieth (2015). 

He has been in sublime form this year, shooting a staggering 161 under par across 39 rounds in 10 PGA Tour events, not finishing a single round over par.

Scheffler has won on four of his last five starts, triumphing at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Players' Championship and RBC Heritage as well as the Masters, and finished second at the other, one shot behind Stephen Jager at the Houston Open.

The 27-year-old has taken three weeks off since Augusta, with wife Meredith giving birth to son Bennett last week. Scheffler does not believe becoming a father has had a negative impact on his preparations, though.

"I talk a lot about how it's all about my prep work. I want to be as prepared as possible going into an event and, standing here today, I feel like I am extremely prepared and I feel like my game is in a good spot," he told the Golf Channel.

Should a lack of sleep get to the new dad, Scheffler can expect competition from the man who beat him and Viktor Hovland by two shots at last year's PGA Championship – Koepka.

Only Walter Hagen, Jack Nicklaus (five each) and Woods (four) have bettered his three wins at the event. 

Having gone back-to-back at the PGA Championship in 2018 and 2019, Koepka could become just the second player to win successive editions of the tournament twice in the stroke-play era, after Woods did so in 1999 and 2000, and again in 2006 and 2007.

What of 15-time major champion Woods? He has a lifetime exemption for the PGA Championship but has not played competitively since the Masters. At Augusta, he made a record 24th consecutive cut but finished last of all players to go the distance, a 10-over 82 in the third round being his worst-ever score at the event.

A Woods triumph would make even his incredible 2019 Masters comeback look like a minor upset, but he did not play his chances down at Tuesday’s press conference.

"I still feel that I can win golf tournaments," Woods said. "I just need to do it for all four days, not like I did at Augusta for only two." 

There are others going under the radar who are more likely to be in contention, though.

Jon Rahm entered last year's PGA Championship as world number one and hot favourite, only to finish with a share of 50th place at seven over for the tournament. 

Having joined LIV Golf in December before enduring a poor Masters defence, Rahm is not being spoken about in quite the same terms this time around. 

The Spaniard has, however, made the cut at each of his last 18 majors, the longest ongoing run among male golfers. The last time he failed to see the weekend was at the 2019 PGA Championship.

Schauffele and Max Homa have both been tipped for serious tilts at what would be a maiden major title for either player. 

Schauffele's 12 top-10 major finishes since 2017 are more than any other player without a title to their name, while Homa has been steadily improving, finishing T10 at The Open last year, then T3 at the Masters, having never previously managed a top-10 finish in 16 major appearances. 

The history 

The PGA Championship has not been all that welcoming to those travelling from overseas in recent years. In fact, the last eight editions have all been won by an American, the longest run of champions of a single nationality at any major since US-born players won 12 straight US Opens between 1982 and 1993.

The last non-US player to win the PGA was Jason Day in 2015, while the last European to lift the Wannamaker trophy was McIlroy one year earlier.

The likes of Justin Thomas (twice), Mickelson, Collin Morikawa and Jimmy Walker have helped Koepka establish home dominance in the last eight years. Prior to Walker's 2016 triumph, non-Americans had won six of the previous eight editions. 

Another American, Spieth, is eyeing a piece of history as he looks to complete the career Grand Slam, a feat only previously achieved by Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Nicklaus and Woods. 

He has not made the top 25 at any major since 2019, though that T3 finish did come at the PGA.

Largely good conditions are expected in Louisville, making it highly unlikely this year's tournament becomes the first in 48 years to produce an over-par winning score. The last time the PGA was won with either an even or over-par score was in 1976, with Dave Stockton coming out on top at +1.

With 16 former PGA Championship victors taking their places among the strongest field in professional golf, expect a far higher bar to be set this time around.

Scottie Scheffler admits he does not allow himself to look too far ahead as he prepares to launch his bid for a first PGA Championship title.

The world number one, who finished tied-second behind champion Brooks Koepka at Oak Hill last year, is the player in form and favourite to go one better 12 months on and claim his third major.

The reigning Masters champion is aiming to become only the third golfer since the turn of the century to win the opening two majors in a calendar year, after Tiger Woods (2002) and Jordan Spieth (2015).

Scheffler arrives at Valhalla having won four of his last five tournaments, and is 161 under par across his 10 PGA Tour events in 2024 - shooting 60s in 30 of the 39 rounds he has played.

One of only two players to finish inside the top 10 in each of the last three majors - along with Cameron Smith - big things are expected of the 28-year-old, but he highlighted the importance of staying grounded.

"I don't really try to look that far ahead," he said. "If I listen to the narratives around myself, if it was two months ago, it would probably look significantly different than it does now.

"I'm sure that wasn't a conversation you were all having two months ago and, all of a sudden, now it's like: 'Oh, he's going to win this many tournaments, or do that and do this'.

"I don't really pay attention to it, I don't really care about it. I'm trying to do the best I can out there each and every week, and as far as anything else, I'm not really too concerned with it.

"I may win a lot of major championships, I may be stuck at two the rest of my career. It doesn't really concern me at the moment. I'm just trying to prepare as best as possible for this week."

Rory McIlroy believes "the stars are aligning" for him as he approaches this week's PGA Championship on the back of a fourth triumph at the Wells Fargo Championship.

McIlroy hauled in leader Xander Schauffele to win in Charlotte with a fine finish to his final round, surging clear with a run of four birdies and two eagles within eight holes.

That saw the Northern Irishman – who also won the Wells Fargo Championship in 2010, 2015 and 2021 – card a six-under 65 as he won by five shots.

Max Homa, in 2019 and 2022, is the only other player to have won the Wells Fargo Championship more than once. 

McIlroy has now claimed back-to-back PGA Tour titles, having won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans alongside Shane Lowry last month.

With the PGA Championship beginning at Valhalla Golf Club on Thursday, the course where McIlroy captured his last major crown in 2014, he feels he is building up a head of steam.

"I really got some confidence winning in New Orleans with Shane," McIlroy said after his final round.

"Coming into this week, at a golf course I am comfortable with, my golf swing feels more comfortable than it has done.

"Going to a venue next week where I have won, it feels like the stars are aligning a little bit. But I have a lot of golf to play and a lot of great players to try to beat.

"I am going into the next major of the year feeling really good about myself."

Even with a double bogey on the 18th hole, McIlroy played the final 11 holes at six under, leaving Schauffele with no way to respond.

"He's Rory McIlroy, you know?" Schauffele said. "He hits it 350 yards in the air downwind and he has shorter clubs into firm greens than anyone else. 

"When he's on, he's on. Hats off to him for winning. He played unbelievably well."

Rory McIlroy has urged professional golf to find a "compromise" to the ongoing rift between the PGA Tour and the breakaway LIV circuit.

The world number two suggested they should follow the example of the Northern Ireland peace process, recalling the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, a peace deal that helped to end the Troubles in his homeland.

McIlroy noted the advantages of a deal being reached soon while admitting that both golf tours would have to compromise in the process.

Speaking ahead of this week’s Wells Fargo Championship in North Carolina, McIlroy said: "I sort of liken it to like when Northern Ireland went through the peace process in the '90s and the Good Friday Agreement. Neither side was happy.

"Catholics weren't happy, Protestants weren't happy, but it brought peace and then you just sort of learn to live with whatever has been negotiated, right?

"That was in 1998, and 20, 25, 30 years ahead, my generation doesn't know any different. It's just this is what it's always been like, and we've never known anything but peace.

"That's sort of my little way of trying to think about it and trying to make both sides see that there could be a compromise here.

"It's probably not going to feel great for either side, but if it's a place where the game of golf starts to thrive again, and we can all get back together, then I think that's ultimately a really good thing."

Tiger Woods will play in next month's U.S. Open at Pinehurst after accepting a special exemption.

The 15-time major winner had been set to miss out on competing in the event for the first time in his professional career after failing to qualify.

However, Woods – whose five-year exemption for winning the Masters in 2019 has expired – has been given a special invitation by organisers.

"The U.S. Open, our national championship, is a truly special event for our game and one that has helped define my career," Woods said.

"I'm honoured to receive this exemption and could not be more excited for the opportunity to compete in this year's U.S. Open, especially at Pinehurst, a venue that means so much to the game."

Woods, ranked 789th in the world, has played just two tournaments this year as he continues to struggle with a leg injury sustained in a car accident three years ago.

The 48-year-old finished 60th in last month's Masters after making the cut for a 24th successive time.

Woods is a three-time winner of the US Open, most recently doing so in 2008, with this year's event beginning on June 13.

Rory McIlroy said his 25th PGA Tour title was made all the more special by the fact it came alongside Shane Lowry after the Irish duo won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in a play-off on Sunday.

Chad Ramey and Martin Trainer were among the early starters in Avondale and set a target of 25 under by carding a nine-under 63 in the fourth round.

It went down to the wire as McIlroy and Lowry birdied the final hole to set up a play-off, which they won by making par after Trainer missed his par putt.

The victory took McIlroy to a quarter of a century on the PGA Tour, and he said lifting the trophy alongside a close friend made it one of his most memorable.   

The world number two said: "To win any PGA Tour event is very cool, but to do it with one of your closest friends… 

"Think about where we met and where we've come from, to be on this stage and do this together, it was just awesome to be able to do it alongside this guy."

Former Open champion Lowry, who now has three PGA titles to his name, added: "Rory brings a crowd, and people love him. 

"We've got a lot of love this week in New Orleans, we've had just the best week. We went out there, we had loads of fun, and we won the tournament. You couldn't ask for a better week."

Andrew 'Beef' Johnston believes an Indian Premier League-style draft would make the LIV Tour more exciting and appealing following its merger with the PGA Tour.

In a contentious move earlier in June, the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Tour were merged, with all three now backed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF).

Johnston now wants to see improvements made to the sport, and one suggestion he has would be the introduction of a draft system for the LIV Teams.

Speaking to Stats Perform on behalf of the Beef's Golf Club podcast, Johnston pointed to the success that the IPL cricket competition has enjoyed using a similar formula.

"I'd like to see a kind of IPL draft. They have the franchises and then they do the draft, don't they? So, I'd love to see that," he said.

"Golf going into almost that kind of situation where the PGA and DP [Tours] play up until the end of July, and there's a big draft for the LIV [competitions].

"So, no one knows what team they're going to be on. You're going to have captains for that team, but no one really knows who they're going to be playing for and then go into a big team shoot-out for a few months, and I think that'd be a really good way to work it.

"I don't think it happens but in my perfect world, I'd love to see that happen."

LIV Golf caused much controversy after its emergence in 2022, with plenty of big names heading over to the rival tour.

"It'd be interesting if there's another one that comes up in a year's time - you never know, you can never say never, look what's happened," said Johnston when asked if the merger would prevent any other rival tours from emerging.

"You've seen it with cricket with the IPL and now there's loads of T20 leagues knocking around all over the world. So, you can never say never.

"Hopefully, now these three can settle down and build something good. And as a player, I want to be able to step off on that first tee knowing that if I play well, you can have a lot of crazy opportunities.

"If you do so, I don't think it's bad for the players. I think it's good for golf, that we're out of this crazy standoff.

"The standoff was not healthy for golf. So, we can move on."

Johnston added that some players may struggle to trust the tours after the move.

He said: "I think a lot of players are going to struggle with trust. And I think the whole thing that's quite interesting is generally the PGA Tour and DP Tour are built on the fact that the players own that, so we have control.

"Now, literally, we have zero control. And you've seen that the players don't have an actual say in it, not even Rory [McIlroy] or Tiger [Woods].

"You look at the football players who play for [PIF-backed] Newcastle [United], we're in the same situation now. So, I think the players should be freed up of any questions. We're supposed to have a say, and we don't."

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The merger of the PGA Tour with Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf will help preserve the Ryder Cup.

That is the view of Andrew 'Beef' Johnston, who was speaking to Stats Perform on behalf of the Beef's Golf Club podcast.

It was announced last week that the PGA Tour and DP World Tour (formerly the European Tour) had merged with LIV Tour's backers – Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF).

While the merger has left high-profile players like Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm in difficult positions, Johnston does believe the move will help save golf's flagship team competition.

Players who had left for LIV Golf were set to be barred from competing in the Ryder Cup, which takes place in Rome in September and early October.

"Yeah 100 per cent [it's saved the Ryder Cup]," he said. 

"You want to see the best players go head to head, 100 per cent. The best players of their time you want to see playing, that's what makes great Ryder Cups, when you've got the best players and if you're missing certain players, I don't think it's ideal.

"On the flip side, there's always going to be players coming up, the new generation and there are great players no matter what happens.

"So, I always thought the Ryder Cup would be in safe hands, but it's better that everyone can play."

As for welcoming LIV rebels back onto the PGA and DP World Tours, Johnston has few issues.

"Yeah, I have never been fussed at all," he added.

"I know there's been some players unhappy about them going, a few have been a bit awkward about it. I'm not too sure exactly who it was or why it was or whatever reason. But I still keep in touch with a couple of them.

"You've got to do what you've got to do. You're not doing anything terrible. The whole moral situation I found quite interesting from the start and the PGA Tour and DP Tour were saying it's morally wrong to go. But we already played in Saudi a few years ago. So, I found that a bit funny.

"We're self-employed. If you get that opportunity, go, and take it. What I didn't quite understand were some of the guys trying to come back and play on the DP Tour.

"If they've signed the full contract to go and play on LIV, my perspective would have been: 'Alright, I'm gonna move over to LIV Golf, sign on for a lot of money. I'm going to go and play the 16 events, enjoy my time off with family or whatever I want to do'.

"I'd personally go and BBQ a lot and hang out with my mates. But that's their choice again and everyone's got their choice. I don't think we should be saying: 'Oh, you can't come back. You can't come and do this'. I'm not really fussed [about them doing that]."

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Andrew 'Beef' Johnston feels Rory McIlroy "wasted a lot of energy" in his staunch support of the PGA Tour.

McIlroy was one of the biggest opponents of the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series, which lured huge names from the PGA Tour, including Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Cameron Smith and Bryson DeChambeau.

Yet in a shocking turn of events this week, it was announced that the PGA Tour and DP World Tour (formerly the European Tour) had merged with LIV Tour's backers – Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF).

That has left McIlroy, who said he still "hates LIV" in an awkward position, and Johnston feels the world number three has expended unnecessary energy defending the PGA Tour.

"Potentially, I think in some respect it could help him because I think he's just going to turn around and say, 'Alright, I'm going to concentrate and I'm going to do me'," said Johnston in an interview with Stats Perform.

"And that's what he should [do]. I've kind of been hoping Rory would do that. He shouldn't have to get involved and back the PGA Tour as hard as he has.

"I think he's wasted a lot of energy on that and I'd love to just see him focus on golf and pick up more titles and more majors because he's one of the best golfers we've seen.

"I just want to see him concentrate on his golf. So hopefully he gets through this meeting and he just goes, 'Do you know what I'm looking forward, just let it be.' And he can crack on. I'd like to see him do that, to be honest."

Reflecting on the news, Johnston said: "It's just insane. It's nuts. For what, two years, it's been so far away from that, so far away from doing that.

"I think I was talking about it a week ago or so. I said 'There's never ever going to be a deal because there's lawsuits going on and everything's kicking off, and no one will budge at all'. And all of a sudden, bang! That news comes out of the blue. And when I mean out of the blue, I don't think anyone knew.

"I don't even think Tiger [Woods] or Rory knew. I mean if they don't know that none of us are going to know."

Asked if it was a positive step for the sport, Johnston said: "It depends how they format it.

"If they format it where a player can tee up on any of the three tours knowing that if I have a good couple of seasons I can get into the Ryder Cup, I could get into LIV or however they're going to format the tournaments, and there's a way that you could be rewarded for playing good golf and getting into these high money bonus events, which I'm sure is going to happen, then great.

"There's going to be a lot of unhappy people and a lot of unhappy players right now. My first thoughts are people who have backed the tour, like Rory and Jon Rahm, people like that, and they've turned down a hell of a lot of money.

"They really propped the Tour and backed the Tour only to be sort of stabbed in the back. Absolutely blindsided by this. I can't imagine how they're feeling, they've got to be absolutely fuming about it."

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Rory McIlroy was reportedly involved in an angry exchange at a meeting of PGA Tour players as commissioner Jay Monahan attempted to justify the shock declaration of peace in golf’s civil war.

McIlroy and Tiger Woods had established themselves as the biggest supporters of the PGA Tour in its battle with LIV Golf, but were both kept in the dark about the stunning deal announced on Tuesday.

Fellow players reacted with surprise and a sense of betrayal at the news that the PGA Tour and DP World Tour were merging their commercial operations with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), which bankrolls LIV Golf.

The announcement came after 12 months of unprecedented disruption in the men’s professional game following the launch of LIV, which held its first event from June 9-11 in 2022 in Hertfordshire.

Monahan faced calls to resign at a 75-minute players’ meeting which he described as “intense and certainly heated”, with his previous comments that anyone who took LIV money would never play on the PGA Tour again cited and greeted with applause, according to former player Johnson Wagner.

Golf Channel reported that Wagner had access to an audio feed of the meeting and that McIlroy told world number 227 Grayson Murray to “just play better” as Murray criticised Monahan.

Murray responded by telling McIlroy to “f*** off”, although another player, Wesley Bryan, later confirmed the exchange on social media before adding: “They were cordial and pleasant post meeting.

“We chatted as a group of players and we were laughing about the comment. No beef or hard feelings either way.”

Monahan accepted that he will be labelled a “hypocrite” but insisted the players who remained loyal to the PGA Tour had made the right decision.

“They have helped re-architect the future of the PGA Tour, they have moved us to a more competitive model,” Monahan said.

“We have significantly invested in our business in 2023, we’re going to do so in ’24. (But) we’ve had to invest back in our business through our reserves. Between our reserves, the legal fees, our underpin and our commitment to the DP World Tour and their legal fees, it’s been significant.

“But this puts us in a position where we’ve got capital that we can deploy to the benefit of our members and through our tournaments, and it gives us capital to deploy in growth businesses that ultimately will generate a return that we’ll reinvest in our players.”

Asked if the likes of Woods and McIlroy would be compensated for turning down lucrative offers from LIV, or whether those who took massive pay-outs to join the breakaway would have to pay that money back, Monahan said: “I think those are all the serious conversations that we’re going to have.

“Ultimately everything needs to be considered. Ultimately what you’re talking about is an equalisation over time and I think that’s a fair and reasonable concept.”

Emiliano Grillo won his second PGA tour title after he edged out Adam Schenk in a double playoff hole while English golfer Harry Hall finished tied third in Texas on Sunday.

The Argentinian was two strokes clear and looked primed to take out the Charles Schwab Challenge at the Colonial Golf Course in Fort Worth.

But the 30-year-old hit a double-bogey on the last hole, providing an opening for Schenk to come back into contention, seeking to win his first PGA Tour title.

Grillo hit his drive into a small stream on the final hole which took the ball back 150 yards before stopping against a rock.

He decided to take a penalty stroke and landed a two-putt from 20 yards to tie with Schenk.

Schenk made par on the final hole while English PGA Tour rookie Harry Hall needed a par on the final hole to compete in the playoff.

Hall hit a bogey on the last hole after landing his drive into the water and finished tied in third with world number one American Scott Scheffler on 7-under.

Grillo struck a five-foot birdie putt to claim the title on the second playoff hole to get his first tour win in more than seven years, finishing the tournament on eight-under with 68 on his final day.

Grillo’s last win was in Napa in 2015 and has had four top 10 finishes this season.

American Adam Schenk finished second place for the second time this season and is still pushing for his first tour win.

Hall, 25, was leading after the first and second day but failed to hang on to the lead with two birdies and five bogeys on Sunday.

Englishmen Aaron Rei and Justin Rose finished tied 12th on three-under.

Wyndham Clark overcame the swift loss of his overnight lead to claim his first PGA Tour title in the Wells Fargo Championship.

Clark’s two-shot advantage was wiped out in the first three holes and the 29-year-old American found himself a shot behind playing partner Xander Schauffele after seven holes of the final round at Quail Hollow.

However, Clark responded superbly to birdie five of the next eight and with Schauffele stumbling around the turn, the win became something of a formality.

A closing 68 gave Clark a winning total of 19 under par and four-shot victory over Schauffele, with England’s Tyrrell Hatton and American Harris English three strokes further back in third.

Tommy Fleetwood and former world number one Adam Scott finished in a tie for fifth on 11 under.

“Gosh, sorry, I’m a little choked up,” Clark told CBS after joining the likes of Anthony Kim, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Max Homa in making the Wells Fargo Championship their maiden PGA Tour title.

“It’s been a long five years to get to this point on Tour and I thought I would have had one earlier, but it’s well worth the wait and I’m so grateful.

“There’s so much that goes into this and there’s so many times I wanted to cry and break clubs – and I did break the club sometimes – in this journey and to get to this point is so sweet.

“It’s just amazing to finally do this.

“I didn’t start out great, I was kind of shaky and I think in years past I might have folded. This time I just stayed patient and hung in there and got hot on the back side.”

Lee Westwood has accused the DP World Tour of being “fully in bed” with the PGA Tour after announcing his resignation from the European circuit.

Westwood and fellow Ryder Cup stars Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia have resigned their membership and are therefore no longer eligible for the biennial contest against the United States.

The trio were among the players fined £100,000 and suspended for two tournaments after playing the first LIV Golf event last year without permission.

Westwood and Poulter were also among the 12 members of the Saudi-funded breakaway who lost an appeal against the sanctions last month and were deemed to have committed “serious breaches” of the DP World Tour’s code of behaviour by a three-man arbitration panel.

Westwood confirmed he has paid the fine and is keen to “move on”, but reiterated his criticism of the way the PGA Tour and DP World Tour have reacted to the emergence of LIV Golf.

“I’ve been a dual member of the European Tour and PGA Tour, but always said I was a European Tour member first and foremost and that I had fears about the US circuit basically being bullies and doing everything it could to secure global dominance,” Westwood told The Telegraph.

“Check my old quotes, it’s all there.

“But now, in my opinion, the European Tour has jumped fully in bed with the PGA Tour and even though Keith (Pelley, the chief executive) says he hates to hear it, it is now a feeder tour for the PGA Tour.

“The top 10 players on the tour, not already exempt this year, have a pathway to the PGA Tour – that’s giving our talent away. That was never the tour’s policy before this ‘strategic alliance’.

“Sorry, I don’t want to play under that sort of regime.

“I mulled it over and just didn’t like the thought of the tour continuously hitting us with more fines and bans that would have been hanging over me.

“I’ve paid my fine out of respect for the arbitration panel and have then taken the decisions out of the tour’s hands. I honestly want to move on.”

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