Rory McIlroy calls for kindness as he speaks out on death of Grayson Murray

Photo showing Rory McIlroy
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy believes the death of two-time PGA Tour winner Grayson Murray has highlighted how “vulnerable and fragile” top sports stars can be. Murray withdrew from the Charles Schwab Challenge last week with two holes remaining of Friday’s second round and was found inside a residence in Palm Beach Gardens around 11am on Saturday, according to local police.

In a statement released on Sunday, his parents said Murray had taken his own life. The 30-year-old had been open about his battles with anxiety and depression and revealed in January that he had sought treatment in the past few years for alcohol abuse, but had been sober for several months.

“It’s incredibly sad, first and foremost, and I think we’re all thinking of Grayson’s family and hoping that they’re doing OK and getting through this incredibly tough period,” McIlroy said ahead of the RBC Canadian Open.

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“It’s cliche, but it puts everything in perspective. At the end of the day golf is golf and, yeah, we play it for a living, but it pales in comparison to the things that actually matter in life.

“I’ve had to realise that at times and I’m still sort of working my way through that in terms of not making golf the be-all and end-all for me. I think it slaps you in the face when something like that happens last week.

“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.”

Photo showing Grayson Murray
Grayson Murray -Credit:Getty Images

The RBC Canadian Open returns to Hamilton Golf and Country Club for the first time since 2019, when McIlroy carded a closing 61 to lift the title he eventually successfully defended in 2022 following two years without a tournament due to coronavirus >Covid.

After winning the Players Championship in March, McIlroy had passed up a number of other opportunities and was determined to seal victory, but joked he was still upset at not shooting 59 in the final round.

“I played in quite a few final groups and hadn’t got the job done,” McIlroy said.

“I remember going out that day just thinking be as aggressive as you possibly can be. Thankfully got off to a really good start and kept it going until the point where 59 sort of entered the equation in the middle of the back nine.

“When I eagled 17, knowing that I needed to birdie the last to shoot 59, and blew a five iron right into the bunker and ended up making bogey, I had to remind myself when I tapped in to look happy, because I had just won a tournament.

“But I was sort of disappointed I didn’t shoot 59. Not that I still think about it.”

McIlroy finished ninth last year when Nick Taylor became the first Canadian to win their national Open since 1954 by holing from 72 feet for eagle on the fourth play-off hole to deny Tommy Fleetwod a first PGA Tour title.

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