Clemson Freshman Sinks 94-foot Putt To Win $10,000

Student says when it comes to golf he’s still “really bad.”

<p>Kevin Murphy</p>

Kevin Murphy

Clemson University freshman Kevin Murphy had just five minutes last weekend to prepare for a 94-foot putt – the length of a basketball court – in front of a sold-out crowd at Littlejohn Coliseum.

Five minutes was all he needed.  He drained it.

The computer science major from Chicago said he was plucked out of the crowd during the game on Saturday, January 21, and asked to participate in the “Roto-Rooter Drain the Putt” contest.

“Why not try?” he thought, never believing he could actually make the putt.

In preparation for the putt, he amused his friends in the stands by pretending to “read” the hardwood basketball court like a golfer kneels down to “read” a green.

Murphy had hit a golf ball before – playing mini-golf and a few times on a golf course.  But, he said, “I’m really bad.”

When he hit it, Murphy said the shot “felt good.”  When it rolled straight, he thought, “that looks good.”  At one point, Murphy said it looked like the ball was going left. It turned back to the right “perfectly” and rolled through the middle of the “Roto-Rooter” target - a four inch hole at the bottom of a sign.

In Murphy’s words, “complete beginner’s luck.” 

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Maybe, but that “lucky” putt brought the 9,000 spectators to their feet in thunderous applause.  Murphy said he wasn’t sure what to do when he won, so he put his arms up and started jumping around.  Then he looked at his friends in the stands.

“They were going crazy,” he remembers, “so that was awesome.”

His successful putt had some on social media questioning whether or not Murphy has a place on Clemson’s golf team.  After all, Tiger Woods’ longest putt is 91-feet. Murphy’s putt was 3 feet longer than that – and on hardwood.

Any serious golf coach “would see me golf for five minutes and say ‘You need an Uber home.’  I’m really bad,” Murphy said.

Murphy said he plans to use some of the money for school and give a portion to his dad to save for him, making him perhaps the most responsible college freshman in history.

“Knowing me, that [money] will be gone in a semester,” he said.

The second-most dramatic win of the night? Clemson defeated Virginia Tech with a last-minute 3-pointer. 

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