Grayson Murray death ‘incredibly sad,’ Rory McIlroy says at RBC Canadian Open

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‘Incredibly sad’: Rory McIlroy speaks about Grayson Murray’s death at RBC Canadian Open
WATCH - ‘Incredibly sad’: Rory McIlroy speaks about Grayson Murray’s death at RBC Canadian Open – May 29, 2024

The following article contains references to suicide. Please read at your own discretion.

Rory McIlroy says the death of fellow PGA Tour player Grayson Murray is both “incredibly sad” but a reminder pro athletes are “still human beings.”

McIlroy made those comments to reporters on Wednesday during a news conference for the annual RBC Canadian Open, which begins Thursday at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club.

The news of Murray’s death has shocked the golfing world. The 30-year-old died by suicide last Saturday morning, just one day after he withdrew from a PGA tournament citing health reasons.

“It slaps you in the face when something like that happens,” McIlroy, a two-time Canadian Open winner, said.

“It’s incredibly sad and everyone has to remember out here that we go out and we do things that a lot of people can’t, but at the end of the day we’re still human beings, and we’re vulnerable and we’re fragile, and I think if there’s a lesson for anyone out there it’s just to be kinder to each other.”

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Click to play video: 'Pro golfer Grayson Murray dead at age 30'
Pro golfer Grayson Murray dead at age 30

Murray, a two-time PGA Tour champion, was open about his struggles with mental health and alcoholism.

“Life wasn’t always easy for Grayson, and although he took his own life, we know he rests peacefully now,” Eric and Terry Murray wrote of their son’s death in a statement shared by the PGA Tour on Monday.

“Please respect our privacy as we work through this incredible tragedy, and please honor Grayson by being kind to one another. If that becomes his legacy, we could ask for nothing else.”

Last week, Murray played in the Charles Schwab Cup Challenge. He shot 68 in the opening round and was five over in the next round when he withdrew, citing an illness. The next day he was found dead.

Murray won twice on the PGA Tour; at a news conference in January, he described his first ever tour win at 22 the “best thing and worst thing that ever happened to me,” and said he would drink during tournaments because he felt “invincible.”

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After this early career high, Grayson encountered road bumps on the PGA circuit. In 2021, he was suspended by the PGA for an alcohol-related incident at a hotel bar in Hawaii.

Murray briefly lost his PGA Tour card for the 2023 season over poor performance, however, he regained eligibility shortly after following two tournament wins on the Korn Ferry Tour – the developmental tour for the PGA.

Grayson Murray poses with the Sony Open championship trophy after victory on the first play-off hole during the final round play at the Waialae Country Club on January 14, 2024 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

In January this year, Murray won the Sony Open in a triumphant return to the circuit, marking his second PGA Tour win.

“It’s not easy,” Murray said immediately after winning.

“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.”

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McIlroy said Wednesday his thoughts are with Murray’s family.

“It’s cliche, but it puts everything in perspective,” he said.

“At the end of the day, golf is golf … we play it for a living, but it pales in comparison to the things that actually matter in life.”

— with files from Kathryn Mannie

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help. 

For a directory of support services in your area, visit the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention

Learn more about how to help someone in crisis. 

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