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PGA Tour player Grayson Murray dies at 30 day after WD from Colonial

May 25, 2024
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Grayson Murray celebrates winning the 2024 Sony Open in Hawaii.

Michael Reaves

PGA Tour player Grayson Murray is dead at age 30.

The tour announced his death in an email on Saturday with statements from commissioner Jay Monahan.

“We were devastated to learn—and are heartbroken to share—that PGA Tour player Grayson Murray passed away this morning. I am at a loss for words,” Monahan wrote. “The PGA Tour is a family, and when you lose a member of your family, you are never the same. We mourn Grayson and pray for comfort for his loved ones.

“I reached out to Grayson’s parents to offer our deepest condolences, and during that conversation, they asked that we continue with tournament play. They were adamant that Grayson would want us to do so. As difficult as it will be, we want to respect their wishes.”

Murray's parents, Eric and Terry, provided a statement on Sunday to the PGA Tour, acknowledging the death was a suicide. He was in Fort Worth this week playing in the tour's annual Charles Schwab Challenge. Murray shot 68 at Colonial Country Club in the first round, but in the second, he was two over when he made three straight bogeys at holes 14-16 and withdrew with two holes remaining, citing illness.

Murray had battled alcohol addiction and depression for years, but also experienced what looked like a career resurgence when he won twice in 2023 on the Korn Ferry Tour to re-earn his PGA Tour card. In January, he then the Sony Open in Hawaii in a playoff, holing an improbable 38-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole to claim his second career victory and first in seven years.

Immediately after the win, an emotional Murray said, "It's not easy. I wanted to give up a lot of times. Give up on myself. Give up on the game of golf. Give up on life, at times."

He had also praised his fiancee, Christiana Ritchie, and Jesus and said, "When you get tired of fighting, let someone else fight for you. ... I hope everyone at home watching can get a little inspiration from it. If I can just help one person, that's all it takes ... I knew today was not going to change my life, but it did change my career, and I'm excited."

Social media reaction from players began showing up soon after the news broke.

On Saturday, Murray's caddie, Jay Green, told Golf Channel, "Grayson was the absolute best. Not only was he an incredible, thoughtful and generous boss, he has an even better friend. He truly would do anything for anyone."

As a youth, Murray won three consecutive Junior World championships and was the top-ranked player in his age group. The Raleigh, N.C., native captured a state title in high school and then played for three different universities—Wake Forest, East Carolina and Arizona State. Murray earned conditional status through Q School on the then-Web.com Tour in 2016. He not only reached the PGA Tour the next year, he won his first title at the Barbasol Championship.

But there were also dark times ahead for Murray. He frequently battled commentors on X (then Twitter), and in July 2021, he said on social media that his elderly aunt and uncle were killed in their North Carolina home. Those deaths came on the heels of the recent passing of Murray's grandmother.

Following a second-round WD at the 3M Open that same month, Murray took to Twitter to talk about his battles with drinking and said he was on probation by the PGA Tour for an incident in a hotel bar in Hawaii. He went on to write that he is an alcoholic and playing the PGA Tour has been “awful” for him, while claiming the tour had ignored his pleas for help. In response, the PGA Tour released a statement: “We can unequivocally say that the PGA Tour is a family, and when a member of that family needs help, we are there for him. That has been the case here and will continue to be.”

Speaking to reporters on Saturday at Colonial, Monahan said he reached out to Murray soon after those comments, and that over a period of time they had meaningful discussions about mental health.

"I spent a lot of time with him because I wanted to understand what we could do, in his estimation, in his opinion, to help everybody else out here,” Monahan said.

“I’m devastated by Grayson’s loss … the conversations I had with him, particularly the last year, I learned an awful lot from him. He was very open and transparent with me.”

In August 2021, Murray revealed on social media that he was in treatment for alcohol abuse. “I still have a long ways to go and have made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t leave until I was 100% ready for the real world again,” he wrote.

More than a year later, in October 2022, Murray was in a serious scooter crash while competing in Bermuda and suffered injuries to his face, hands and knee.

After his win this year in Hawaii, Murray said he had been sober for eight months, and he spoke of the anxiety and depression that contributed to his drinking.

“I struggle with comparing myself to others, self-esteem,” Murray said. "I think they're common issues that we all endure. I got tired of trying to fight it alone, and I asked for help one day, and that's when my life changed.”