Get familiar with the name Marcus Byrd, golf fans. You'll see a lot of him over the next month.
Last week Byrd was announced as the 2023 Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption for the PGA Tour's upcoming Genesis Invitational, Feb. 16-19 at Riviera Country Club, and he celebrated by winning the APGA Farmers Insurance Invitational on Sunday at Torrey Pines.
Byrd was the first-round leader after he opened with a 1-over 73 and then cruised to a five-shot win after a 3-over 75 in the final round. A former star for Middle Tennessee State and 2019 Conference USA Golfer of the Year, Byrd finished atop the standings for the APGA's Farmers Insurance Fall Series back in November and now has three APGA Tour wins.
"The conditions today were extremely difficult, but that's really what we want as players," said Byrd. "We want to be tested and measure ourselves against the best. To be able to birdie the final two holes and win this event is extremely gratifying and a great way to start my season."
Byrd's victory on Sunday came with a $30,000 prize as well as an exemption to the PGA Tour's Honda Classic, which will be held Feb. 23-26 at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The Genesis Invitational and Honda Classic will be Byrd's second and third career starts on the PGA Tour, respectively, after he debuted at the 2022 Corales Puntacana Championship.
"A goal of mine is just to be a sponge. I'm going to be around the best players in the world so I want to learn as much as I can, pick their brains, see how I can keep improving, make the most of these opportunities," Byrd said. "I feel like I have the game to be there. Most importantly, I just have to learn. A lot of those guys, they've been out there for years. I'm going to take advantage of these two opportunities and learn as much as I can. And hopefully, the game is in a good spot to where I can play well and perform well those weeks."
The APGA Tour was established in 2010 as a non-profit organization with the mission to bring greater diversity to the game of golf. The Tour expects to hold 18 tournaments in 2023 with close to $1 million in prize money.
Story originally appeared on GolfWeek