30-Year-Old Pro Golfer Grayson Murray Exits PGA Tournament, Then Dies

Michael Reaves
Michael Reaves

Two-time PGA Tour winner Grayson Murray died suddenly this weekend, the tour announced on Saturday. He was 30 years old.

News of Murray’s death came just one day after the pro golfer withdrew from the second round of the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, citing an unspecified illness. The cause of his death was not immediately clear.

“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,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement. “We mourn Grayson and pray for comfort for his loved ones.”

Monahan added that the Schwab Challenge would continue to respect the Murray family’s wishes.

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

Murray skyrocketed to fame as a talented young player in the early 2010s. He earned full status on the PGA Tour in 2016, just a week before his 23rd birthday, and won the Barbasol Championship the next year. In the years that followed, however, Murray bounced between the PGA Tour and the lower-level Korn Ferry Tour before securing his second PGA title at the Sony Open in Hawaii in January 2024.

Grayson Murray of the United States and fiancee, Christiana, pose for a photo with the trophy after winning the Sony Open in January

Grayson Murray of the United States and his fiancée Christiana pose for a photo after Murray won the Sony Open in January.

Michael Reaves

Murray struggled with alcohol abuse, depression, and anxiety throughout his career. After his Sony win, he opened up about his alcohol use and about being unprepared for life on tour at such a young age.

“Yes, I would drink during tournament weeks,” Murray said in an interview with the tour in January. “It was my outlet. I thought I was invincible coming out here as a 22-year-old, winning as a rookie, played three days hungover when I won. Best thing and worst thing that ever happened to me was winning my rookie year—but also feeling like I was invincible.”

Murray seemed to be on the upswing after his January win, sharing that he’d been sober since early 2023.

“It took me a long time to get to this point,” he continued. “…I’m a different man now. I would not be in this position right now today if I didn’t put that drink down eight months ago.”

On Saturday afternoon, fellow pro golfers shared tributes to Murray on X.

“Very sad to hear the news of Grayson Murray’s passing today,” Bubba Watson wrote. “Life is so fragile… I was just hugging you at the Masters, telling you how proud of you I am. Thankful to have known you.”

European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald shared he was devastated by the loss of Murray.

“He asked me for some advice on how to play Augusta a few months ago, last week I saw him at the PGA Championship, life truly is precious,” Donald posted. “My condolences and prayers to his whole family that they may find some peace.”

Golf writer Pete Pappas took to X to share one memory of Murray, whom he’d never met but who, he says, still left an impression.

“About eight years ago before Grayson ever won a pro event he bought someone on twitter a brand new car. I know this because that person is one of my followers,” Pappas wrote. “This person was getting hit down by life in every way imaginable. This somehow came to Grayson’s attention.”

“Grayson contacted this person, wanted to help, and bought the family a new car. It was never talked about or reported. No one cared about publicity. Grayson just did what someone with a big heart does… Make a difference.”

Murray’s hometown newspaper, The News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina, did take notice in 2017.

Their report cited the PGA rookie’s Twitter account, which wrote in response to the man who fell on hard times: “I’ve seen your post about your wife and her brain surgery. No one should go through that. I’ll buy you guys a new car if this gets 10k RTs.”

That user, who no longer uses his handle, replied, “No words can describe our feelings right now! Just know that we are truly thankful and blessed. It means the world to us. God Bless!”

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