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myrtle beach classic

Chris Gotterup wins inaugural Myrtle Beach Classic in 27th PGA Tour start, earns trip to PGA Championship

May 12, 2024
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Raj Mehta

Victory is not necessarily inevitable in golf, but success, at least, seemed imminent for Chris Gotterup from the moment he left Oklahoma University in 2022 with the Haskins Award and the Jack Nicklaus Award in tow, presented to the top golfer in the NCAA Division I.

Yet in just his 27th career start on the PGA Tour, success was defined by victory for Gotterup, who on Sunday won the inaugural Myrtle Beach Classic by six strokes over Davis Thompson and Alistair Docherty. The victory earned him a start in the PGA Championship next week as well as a two-year exemption.

Gotterup, 24, took a four-stroke lead into the final round and closed with a four-under-par 67 at the Dunes Golf and Beach Club to complete 72 holes in 22-under-par 262. The winning margin suggested it was an 18-hole victory lap, though it was not that easy, at least at the outset.

He bogeyed the first two holes, to see his lead cut to two. Then he played the next three holes in four-under to regain momentum, and he capped off the victory with three birdies in his last four holes.

“I felt good, better than I thought I would coming out of the gate, even though I made two bogeys,” he said. “To bounce back the way I did, that’s the way I roll. No matter what tournament, I’m going to grind it out.”

Gotterup, who played four years of college golf at Rutgers, in his native New Jersey, transferred to Oklahoma for a fifth year and won twice en route to winning the Haskins Award.

He had eight PGA Tour starts in the 2021-2022 wrap-around season, and had two top 10s, tying for seventh in the Puerto Rico Open and tying for fourth in the John Deere Classic. He played the Korn Ferry Tour in 2023, returned to the PGA Tour in 2024, and had two quality finishes in his last two starts preceding the Myrtle Beach Classic. He tied for 11th in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, partnering with friend Austin Eckroat, and tied for 24th in the CJ CUP Byron Nelson the following week.

“It's been hard,” he said. “It sounds stupid, but the club didn't feel good in my hands for a couple weeks, and you just kind of get on a bad run of maybe practicing too hard and stuff like that, but I've worked hard these last couple weeks just not overdoing it and trying to simplify things.

“Ever since Zurich I've been in a good mood. Just everything has been fun. Golf has been fun. Honestly, Zurich I felt like things were starting to change…ever since then I feel like it's just been a little bit easier.”

Meanwhile, amateur Blades Brown, only 16, closed with a two-under par 69 and tied for 26th.