’It’s a nightmare.’ Grayson Murray’s parents offer update following son’s death at age 30

Editors note: This story contains references to self-harm. If you are in a mental health crisis, help is available in the United States via the national suicide and crisis lifeline 988 or online at

The parents of professional golfer Grayson Murray, the Raleigh native who died at age 30 on Saturday, asked that kindness result from their son’s tragic decision to take his own life.

In a statement released by the PGA, Eric and Terry Murray asked people to “please honor Grayson by being kind to one another. If that becomes his legacy, we could ask for nothing else.”

A state champion golfer at Raleigh’s Leesville Road High School before playing collegiately at Wake Forest, Arizona State and East Carolina, Murray won twice on the PGA Tour during his career. He played in the Tour’s stop at Fort Worth, Texas, on Thursday and Friday before withdrawing from the event due to what was called an “illness.”

Grayson Murray tees off during The American Express at La Quinta Country Club in La Quinta, Calif., earlier this year.
Grayson Murray tees off during The American Express at La Quinta Country Club in La Quinta, Calif., earlier this year.

PGA commissioner Jay Monahan announced Murray’s death on Saturday. Murray’s parents provided further information in a statement on Sunday.

“We have spent the last 24 hours trying to come to terms with the fact that our son is gone,” they said. “It’s surreal that we not only have to admit it to ourselves, but that we also have to acknowledge it to the world. It’s a nightmare.”

Since turning professional in 2016, Grayson Murray talked publicly about depression and anxiety that led him to abuse alcohol. After winning the PGA Tour’s Sony Open in Hawaii last January, he said he’d been sober for eight months.

“We have so many questions that have no answers. But one,” Murray’s parents said in their statement. “Was Grayson loved? The answer is yes. By us, his brother Cameron, his sister Erica, all of his extended family, by his friends, by his fellow players and — it seems — by many you who are reading this. He was loved and he will be missed.”

Monahan decided to continue the PGA Tour’s Charles Schwab Challenge on Saturday and Sunday after Grayson Murray’s death. He said he consulted his parents before doing so and they insisted the tournament be played as scheduled.

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

Murray’s fellow golfers expressed shock and sadness over his death. That included Peter Malnati, who was in Murray’s playing group on Friday. Malnati wept during a CBS interview on Saturday during coverage of the Charles Schwab tournament.

“I’m taking it really hard,” Malnati said. “I didn’t know Grayson all that well but I spent the last two days with him. It’s so funny. We get so worked up out here about a break here or not getting a break there. We’re so competitive. We want to beat each other. And then stuff like this happens and you realize we’re all just humans. It’s just a really hard day because you see Grayson, who has visibly, outwardly struggled in the past. And he was open about it. You could see him get his life in a place where he was feeling good about things.”

At Murray’s parents’ request, players and caddies wore black or red ribbons on Sunday to honor Murray, who was an ardent Carolina Hurricanes hockey fan. Murray wore black and red, the team’s colors, on Sundays while playing in PGA Tour events.

Said Eric and Terry Murray, in their statement, “We would like to thank the PGA Tour and the entire world of golf for the outpouring of support. Life wasn’t always easy for Grayson, and although he took his own life, we know he rests peacefully now.”