After Grayson Murray called out the PGA Tour in 2021, commissioner Jay Monahan had lengthy talks with him about mental health

FORT WORTH, Texas — After Grayson Murray called out the PGA Tour via social media in 2021, saying he hadn’t been given enough support through bouts with alcoholism and mental health, commissioner Jay Monahan had lengthy talks with the star player, he revealed on Saturday.

Murray died on Saturday morning, after withdrawing from the Charles Schwab Challenge on Friday. No cause of death has been listed. He was 30.

In his 2021 post, Murray said he hadn’t had pleas answered during difficult times, especially when he was at his lowest.

“No the pga tour didn’t force me to drink. but the pga tour never gave me help. In my 5 years of experience of being on tour not once have i ever had a request been acknowledged by the commissioner or the PAC other than ‘we will get back to you’. I hope not only the PGA tour steps up in the areas they need to step up but i also hope people are held accountable in their roles they serve,” said the tweet from Murray’s account that was later deleted.

After the post went viral, a number of players reached out to Murray, who became the second youngest player to make the cut at a Korn Ferry Tour event when he did so at the age of 16.

And Monahan said he instantly talked with Murray, who at the time had a single PGA Tour victory — the Barbasol Championship — under his belt. Murray later went on to win the 2024 Sony Open as well, and had three Korn Ferry Tour victories on his resume.

“When Grayson said that, I called him right away,” Monahan said at Colonial Country Club on Saturday after flying in from the Tour’s headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. “You know, over the last several years, 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. We’ve made a number of advancements along those lines and, you know, it’s become a real point of focus and emphasis. We’re proud of the programs we have in place to support our players, to support everybody out here.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan prepares for a spot on Golf Channel at the Charles Schwab Challenge. Monahan flew in from Florida after learning of the death of Grayson Murray. (Photo: Tim Schmitt/Golfweek)

“You know, I’m devastated by Grayson’s loss, obviously, but — not but — 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. Most importantly, I think back to, he was talking about, you know, how he was interested in real estate and how he had become interested in things he wasn’t interested in before. He talked about just the peace he had in his life. He talked about — you know, go back to that Sony Open transcript. I mean, everything he talked about after he won the Sony Open, he talked to a lot of people about, and I found inspiration in that personally, and I also found inspiration in that as a leader of this Tour.”

Photos: PGA Tour winner Grayson Murray through the years

Murray had dealt with alcohol issues, but after months of sobriety, a victory at the Sony Open seemed a vindication that he’d put any demons behind him. When he dropped a 40-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff against Byeong Hun (Ben) An and Keegan Bradley, Murray seemed to have found himself fulfilling all the potential he’d displayed as a decorated amateur.

“It just goes back to just my life is so good right now. I wouldn’t trade anything. I have a beautiful fiance. I have beautiful parents. I have beautiful nephews, siblings,” Murray said after the victory in January. “Everyone in my life right now who is close to me who has been through the struggles with me, it’s all a team effort. I’m not sitting here — I am sitting here alone, but all of them are part of this.

“I think this is just the start of something really special.”

Monahan acknowledged on Saturday that he had long talks with Murray, hoping to provide as many resources to players as possible, especially considering how isolating PGA Tour life can be on a consistent basis.

In retrospect, he hopes Murray will be remembered as one of the pioneers on that front, a player who pushed the Tour to maintain a focus on mental health.

“I just want to be clear. We don’t know the circumstances around Grayson’s passing,” Monahan said. “My conversations with Grayson in the past, you know, in the area of mental health, we’re always challenging ourselves to make certain that we’re on the front edge of being able to provide the support that we can for everybody out here.

“Listen, these are some of the best athletes in the world. They think they’re — you know, and they are, in many respects, invincible. I think one of the things that I think back about Grayson’s openness is — and I speak about courage, he taught us all a lesson on that front.

“And that’s something I’ll never forget.”

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek