The late Grayson Murray is still part of golf's world ranking for another few weeks

DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — Payne Stewart perished in a plane crash on Oct. 25, 1999, when he was the U.S. Open champion and No. 8 in the Official World Golf Ranking. He remained in the ranking for an additional three weeks before his name was removed.

That is what the OWGR is likely to do with Grayson Murray, who died by suicide on May 25.

Murray was at No. 61 in the world this week, and given the rolling two-year formula, he could actually climb back into the top 60 briefly. The OWGR officially said it is “currently discussing how this delicate item could be managed.”

But a person with direct knowledge of the OWGR's plans said Murray would stay on the ranking for a four-week period, similar to Stewart, and would be removed in the June 23 ranking after the Travelers Championship. The person spoke on condition of anonymity without being authorized to share the plans.

Murray's ranking matters because the OWGR will be used again Sunday for the top 60 players not already exempt for next week's U.S. Open. One of those spots will go to Robert MacIntyre, who went from No. 76 to No. 39 by winning the Canadian Open.

There is a mathematical chance Murray would move back into the top 60, though it is unlikely with so many players right behind him who are at the Memorial.

According to an email from the USGA as it relates to that exemption category, Murray would be removed from the OWGR list used to determine the top 60, an indication that it would go to No. 61 if that player isn't already in the field.


Charley Hull played in her first Solheim Cup at age 17. She has five wins on the LPGA and Ladies European Tour and has been runner-up three times in the majors.

And then she became one of the most popular players at the U.S. Women's Open last week.

“All over a cigarette,” said Hull, a 28-year-old from England who shoots from the hip in speech and with her aggressive golf game.

It all started with a picture of her last week on social media with a cigarette dangling from her lips as she signed an autograph for a young fan at Lancaster Country Club.

Let her explain.

“I genuinely was walking to the range, had my hands full, someone asked me for an autograph,” Hull said. “I’m not going to say, ‘No,’ because I always like signing autographs. Had a cigarette in my mouth, signed it, and then it’s gone viral.”

Smoking and golf have been around for years, it's just more rare these days. In her case, it apparently runs in the family.

“My dad smokes 40 a day since he was 12 years old and now he’s 75, and my nephew smokes, who is like 25. My whole family smokes, so it’s not something that I’ve noticed being odd,” she said. “I hate smoking. I used to curse at my dad when I was younger for smoking, but I think it’s to do a little bit when I’m stressed.”

She said she tried vaping last year but prefers to light up when she's outdoors.

“When it’s a slow round on the golf course I smoke quite a few more than I should,” she said.

Hull has always been known as a character. It took a cigarette to bring that out to the masses, and it was quite a week.

“All my friends always say I should have a TV show with what goes on in my life. If you think I’ve got a lot of personality on the golf course, you should see what my life is like at home,” she said. “You don’t know what’s coming out of my mouth next. I don’t know what’s coming out of my mouth next. I’m just me. I’m not going to change for the world.

“I’ll just be me, and people will either like it or lump it.”


Juli Inkster is so bullish about players getting their college degree — she got hers from San Jose State before embarking on a Hall of Fame career — that she started the Inkster Award to recognize the highest-ranked college golfer in her final year of eligibility.

The winner this year was Ingrid Lindblad of LSU, an obvious choice with a twist.

“Our first five-time All-American,” Inkster said with a laugh. Lindblad wound up getting five years of eligibility because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The award began in 2020. The winner gets $50,000 from presenting sponsor Workday and a spot in the Portland Classic the first week in August. Lindblad could not be at the presentation because she makes her pro debut this week on the Epson Tour.


The U.S. Open now has 150 players for next week at Pinehurst No. 2, holding back six spots for anyone who qualifies through top 60 in the world ranking or as a multiple winner since last June of PGA Tour events that offer full FedEx Cup points.

One of the goes to Robert MacIntyre, who moved to No. 39 by winning the Canadian Open. There are six players at the Memorial who can still get in — Chris Gotterup, Ben Griffin, Lee Hodges, Andrew Putnam, Riley Davis and Patrick Rodgers. A win would assure them moving into the top 60, and for Hodges, it would be his second victory.

Then it's a matter of filling the field from the alternates. The order of alternates from the 13 qualifying sites is not published. The USGA uses a formula based on the strength of field at the qualifier and how many spots it received.

Of particular interest is Sergio Garcia, who is believed to be high on the list of the alternate order. He hasn't missed a U.S. Open since 2000. Adam Scott is first alternate out of Springfield, Ohio. He hasn't missed a major since the 2001 British Open, the longest active streak.

For now, the field includes 16 amateurs, 10 of whom made it through qualifying Monday. It also includes 11 players who had to go through two stages of qualifying — 18 holes of local qualifying and 36 holes of final qualifying. Chris Naegel pulled that off for the third time.


U.S. captain Jim Furyk has selected Stewart Cink, Kevin Kisner and Justin Leonard to be assistant captains in the Presidents Cup matches later this year at Royal Montreal. ... Robert MacIntyre flew home to Scotland to celebrate this first PGA Tour title at the Canadian Open, withdrawing from the Memorial and its $20 million purse. ... Yuka Saso's victory in the U.S. Women's Open shot her up to No. 6 in the women's world ranking and assured her returning to the Olympics for the second time, this time for Japan. She tied for ninth competing under the Philippines flag in 2021 outside Tokyo. ... Jackson Koivun of Auburn, the first freshman to sweep all the award as the top college player, has been added to the Memorial field without counting against the four exemptions for signature events. The Jack Nicklaus Award winner could never play because the Memorial — previously held a week earlier — was the same week as the NCAA men's championship.


Robert MacIntyre became the eighth first-time winner on the PGA Tour this year.


“The first thing you do is the same thing you’re doing right now, is you go win.” — Jack Nicklaus, when asked by Auburn freshman Jackson Koivun how he separated himself from everyone on the PGA Tour. Koivun won the Nicklaus Award as the nation's best golfer.


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