Days after Grayson Murray’s death, Rory McIlroy opens up  

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy hits his tee shot on Thursday on the 8th hole at Hamilton Golf & Country Club.

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Rory McIlroy, reacting to the death of Grayson Murray, said his thoughts were with his fellow pro’s family.

He then turned introspective. 

McIlroy’s comments came Wednesday in a pre-tournament press conference for the Canadian Open, his first public-speaking appearance since Murray’s death was announced Saturday. Murray’s parents said Murray took his own life. 

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For clarity, here is the question asked to McIlroy, and his answer:

“On such sad news last weekend with Grayson Murray’s passing, when you hear that news, what goes through your mind, and what are the things to kind of take from that and make sure to hold on to?”

“Yeah, I mean, it’s incredibly sad, first and foremost,” McIlroy said, “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. 

“Yeah, I think, you know, it’s cliche, but it puts everything in perspective. It puts everything — you know, at the end of the day, you know, golf is golf and, yeah, we play it for a living, but it pales in comparison to the things that actually matter in life. That’s a — I’ve had to realize that at times and I’m still sort of working my way through that in terms of not making golf the be-all end-all for me. I think it slaps you in the face when something like that happens last week. 

“As I said, 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.”

McIlroy’s comments come about a year after McIlroy and Murray reportedly got into a dust-up at a meeting at the Canadian Open following the announcement of the deal between the PGA Tour and the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund. According to Golf Channel, Murray was critical of Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, McIlroy told Murray to “just play better,” and Murray responded with an obscenity. 

In Wednesday’s press conferences, pro Mackenzie Hughes was also asked about Murray. On Sunday, Hughes had written this on social media: “So unbelievably sad and shocking to hear about Grayson. I think he was a little misunderstood and was open about the battles he had faced, but I always felt he had a good heart. And it seemed like he was writing a new chapter in his life. Sending love to those closest to him.”

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Here is the question asked to Hughes, and his answer:

“I realize this is a tough one to speak on, but we spoke with Rory about it, and Grayson’s passing is clearly something that many people in the clubhouse are still processing. I thought your posts on social media on Sunday were very kind of eloquent and moving, and I just wonder kind of your thoughts and perspective as the days have gone on.”

“Yeah, that was really, really sad,” Hughes said. “I came on Tour in 2016, 2017 with Grayson, and, I mean, it was out there for everyone, his ups and downs. His life was well documented, and the fact that he had lots of great moments and he had some moments that he would love to have done over again, I’m sure. But like I said in my post, I always felt like he had a really good heart and wanted to help people. I think he was doing that as well by speaking about what he was dealing with. 

“I think people realizing that professional athletes that are making lots of money are also dealing with the same things that everyone else deals with, would resonate with a lot of people. I mean, if that’s going to be his legacy, that’s a pretty great one to leave. That, you know, it’s OK to be not OK. Yeah, I’m thinking about his family and people close to him, because I know it was so sudden, so unexpected. I know the Tour now will kind of look at how we can be better there, how we can continue to help people like that that are struggling and hopefully avoid this in the future.”

Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at

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