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Rory McIlroy reflects on ‘incredibly sad’ death of PGA Tour player Grayson

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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.

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Speaking in January after winning the Sony Open in Hawaii, Murray was open about struggles with his mental health

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

“It’s cliché, 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.

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PGA Tour golfer Murray died aged 30, just one day after withdrawing from the Charles Schwab Challenge

“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.”

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Speaking in January after winning the Sony Open in Hawaii, Murray was open about struggles with his mental health

If you have been affected by any of the themes raised in this article, you can contact The Samaritans for free by calling 116 123 in the UK and Ireland.

McIlroy begins busy PGA Tour stretch in Canada

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 the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Watch the best bits of McIlroy’s final round at the 2022 RBC Canadian Open, where the threatened a ’59 round’ on his way to victory

His bid for a third Canadian title marks the start of four consecutive PGA Tour events, with McIlroy also teeing it up at the Memorial Tournament, US Open and Travelers Championship over the coming weeks.

McIlroy partnered Shane Lowry to victory at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans last month before winning the Wells Fargo Championship in his next start, then extended his major drought with a tied-12th finish at the PGA Championship.

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Highlights of the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow, where McIlroy claimed a fourth victory at the event

He returned to Europe after his week at Valhalla, where he won his most recent major title in 2014, spending four days in Italy for a close friend’s wedding and then the weekend with family in Northern Ireland ahead of a busy stretch on the PGA Tour.

“I certainly switched off,” McIlroy said about his break. “I needed that reset. I’m playing four weeks in a row here. I’m ready to go, but it’s been a busy stretch and I’m sort of easing my way back into it. I probably hit a grand total of probably 150 balls last week.

“Not that I feel rusty, I feel like I’ve played enough golf to keep myself taken over, but last week was a good week to just reset and sort of start again.”