30-year-old professional golfer Grayson Murray dies suddenly after withdrawing from the Charles Schwab Challenge | The Gateway expert

Grayson Murray on May 16, 2024 in Louisville, Ky. (Credit: David Cannon/Getty Images)

Two-time PGA Tour winner Grayson Murray died suddenly on Saturday morning, the PGA Tour confirmed.

The news comes just 24 hours after Murray withdrew from the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas during his second round due to illness on Friday.

In a statement released by the PGA Tour on Saturday, commissioner Jay Monahan expressed deep sorrow over Murray's unexpected death. The details surrounding Murray's death were not disclosed in the press release.

Read the full statement from the PGA Tour:

“We were devastated to learn – and heartbroken to share – that PGA TOUR player Grayson Murray passed away this morning. I'm at a loss for words,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “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 express our deepest condolences, and during that conversation they asked if we could proceed with tournament play,” Commissioner Monahan continued. “They were convinced that Grayson would want us to do that. No matter how difficult it will be, we want to respect their wishes.”

Grief counselors will be available at the venues for this week's PGA TOUR and Korn Ferry Tour events. Commissioner Monahan is also on his way to the Charles Schwab Challenge and said more information will be shared as it becomes available.

Murray, 30, was a standout golfer from his youth. He won three consecutive Callaway Junior World Championships (2006-2008) and was the top-ranked golfer in his age group. He made his first appearance on the Korn Ferry Tour at the age of 16, becoming the second-youngest player ever. After stints at Wake Forest University, East Carolina University and Arizona State University, he got the break he needed in 2016 when he was given a sponsor exemption for the Korn Ferry Tour event near his hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina.

He finished in the top 10 at that event, the Rex Hospital Open, which qualified him for a fresh start. When he recorded another top 10 at the BMW Charity Pro-Am, his professional career began. He capped his season with a win at the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship, finishing second on the Korn Ferry Tour money list and earning full status on the PGA TOUR for the 2016–17 season. The win came a week before his 23rd birthday.

Murray wasted little time in establishing himself as a rookie on golf's biggest stage. He won the 2017 Barbasol Championship when he was just 23 years old. His final-round 68 not only secured a one-shot win, but also earned him a two-year exemption during the 2019 PGA TOUR season. He finished 66th in the FedExCup and earned nearly $1.5 million.

Grayson struggled on the PGA TOUR for the next few seasons. In 2023 he found his game again on the Korn Ferry Tour; he earned two wins – the Advent Health Championship in Kansas City and the Simmons Bank Open outside Nashville – to finish fourth on that tour's points list and earn back a spot on the PGA TOUR for the following season.

Murray opened the 2024 season with a playoff victory at the Sony Open in Hawaii. He made a clutch up-and-down on the 72nd hole for birdie to force sudden death. He then sank a 40-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole to beat Byeong Hun An and Keegan Bradley. After that victory, he reached a career-high 46th place in the official world golf rankings.

At the time of his death, Murray was ranked No. 58 in the world, having previously reached No. 46 in the world golf rankings.

Here's a video of Grayson Murray, who won his second PGA TOUR title this year at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

The cause of his death is currently unknown.

In 2021, Grayson Murray expressed skepticism about the COVID-19 vaccine. His views emerged from ongoing debates about the necessity and safety of vaccination.

The News and Observer reported:

“Personally, I'm not too scared about the whole thing,” he said. “That's my opinion on it. Now that the vaccine is out, people will get it. If they choose not to get it, that's fine.

“I think the tour will ultimately force us to get our own (COVID-19) test and pay for our own test, which would be difficult. That's their way of saying go get yours (vaccine). I don't want it, but I have family members who do.”
Why his resistance to taking the vaccine?

“Technically, it's not FDA approved,” Murray said. “Last time I checked, it wasn't. I don't know what people's complications from this will be years from now. I will if it is approved by the FDA. I've already had it (COVID-19). It won't kill me. If it makes my life here easier, I'm pretty much forced to do it. That's pretty much what the tour does, which I don't agree with. … If 60 or 70 percent of the guys here are vaccinated, I don't think there's a problem. …

“I think at some point we will all get over it and be ready to return to normal life. It took longer than it should have, to be honest. … I feel sorry for the businesses that have closed their doors because of who their governor is or who was responsible for allowing the states to open up. I have my political vision and am very open about it, but I also respect everyone's opinion about it.”

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