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Scheffler expresses sadness at loss of Grayson Murray – News – Irish Golf Desk

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World number one Scottie Scheffler roared into contention for his fifth win in seven starts but said his thoughts were with the family of the late Grayson Murray.

Scheffler fired a seven-under 63 in the third round of the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial just hours after the PGA Tour announced Murray’s shock passing at the age of 30.

He goes into the final round in solo second on 10-under, just four strokes behind Davis Riley, who shot 66.

“Yeah, obviously, the news hasn’t really sunk in quite yet,” Scheffler said. “But I’m thinking about his family and praying hard for all of them. 

“I can’t imagine how difficult of a time this is. I got to know Grayson a bit better over the last six months or so, and, yeah, really just, there’s not really a way to put into words how sad and tragic it is, but I’m thinking about his family.”

Murray, who had spoken openly about his battles with alcoholism and depression, had withdrawn with two holes of his second round remaining in Forth Worth, citing illness.

The PGA Tour announced his death in a statement from commissioner Jay Monahan.

“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,” Monahan wrote. “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 offer our deepest condolences, and during that conversation, they asked that we continue with tournament play.

“They were adamant that Grayson would want us to do so. As difficult as it will be, we want to respect their wishes.”

No cause of death has been released.

Murray won three times on the Korn Ferry Tour and twice on the PGA Tour, with his most recent win coming in January’s Sony Open.

Immediately after the win, an emotional Murray said: “It’s not easy. 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.”

He also praised his fiancee, Christiana Ritchie, and Jesus and said, “When you get tired of fighting, let someone else fight for you. … I hope everyone at home watching can get a little inspiration from it. If I can just help one person, that’s all it takes … I knew today was not going to change my life, but it did change my career, and I’m excited.”

He qualified for the PGA Tour in 2017 and won the Barbasol Championship but was not shy in discussing his personal problems.

In 2021, he revealed on Twitter that he was on probation from the PGA Tour for an incident in a hotel bar in Hawaii. 

He went on to write that he was an alcoholic and that playing the PGA Tour had been “awful” for him while claiming the tour had ignored his pleas for help. 

The PGA Tour released a statement in response, saying: “We can unequivocally say that the PGA Tour is a family, and when a member of that family needs help, we are there for him. That has been the case here and will continue to be.”

Monahan spoke to reporters at Colonial yesterday. 

“I spent a lot of time with him because I wanted to understand what we could do, in his estimation, in his opinion, to help everybody else out here,” he said.

“I’m devastated by Grayson’s loss … the conversations I had with him, particularly the last year, I learned an awful lot from him. He was very open and transparent with me.”

Murray was involved in a clash with Rory McIlroy in June last year when the PGA Tour and PIF announced their shock agreement.

According to Johnson Wagner, who listened remotely to a player meeting at the RBC Canadian Open, McIlroy was told to “f*** off” by Murray during an explosive meeting in Toronto.

Golf Channel reported that Wagner had access to an audio feed of the meeting and that McIlroy told Murray to “just play better” as Murray criticised Monahan.

Murray responded by telling McIlroy to “f*** off”.

Fellow player Wesley Bryan later confirmed the exchange on social media but added: “They were cordial and pleasant post-meeting. We chatted as a group of players and we were laughing about the comment. No beef or hard feelings either way.”

The death of world number 58 Murray hit players hard.

“It was a huge shock; my heart sank,” said Webb Simpson, who learned of Murray’s death shortly before teeing off at Colonial. 

“I just hate it so much. I miss him. I’m thankful he was in the place with his faith before this morning happened.”

European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald said on X: “Truly devastating news that Grayson Murray has passed away. 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. 

“My condolences and prayers to his whole family that they may find some peace.”

As for the Charles Schwab Challenge, Scheffler was pleased with his bogey-free round.

“Yeah, I played nicely today,” he said. “I got off to a pretty good start, had some nice up-and-downs there early in the round. 

“It was nice to keep a clean card today, for sure. I definitely, for sure, had some key up-and-downs to keep the round going, then I had those nice birdies coming down the stretch to move up the leaderboard a bit.”

Three behind when he finished, he’s four behind starting the final round.

“It’s nice,” Scheffler said. “Going into today I wanted to post a good number. I didn’t obviously know what the leaders were going to do, but just tried to do my best to not look too far ahead and continue to go out there and execute and try and give myself as many looks as possible.”

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