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We’re only human, says McIlroy as Tour deals with Murray suicide

ANDREW WEVERS-USA TODAY SPORTS/FILE PHOTO
                                Grayson Murray hits a tee shot on the 16th hole, in April 2023, during the third round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans golf tournament.
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ANDREW WEVERS-USA TODAY SPORTS/FILE PHOTO

Grayson Murray hits a tee shot on the 16th hole, in April 2023, during the third round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans golf tournament.

ADAM CAIRNS-USA TODAY SPORTS/ FILE PHOTO
                                Rory McIlroy walks to the 2nd tee, on May 19, during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club.
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ADAM CAIRNS-USA TODAY SPORTS/ FILE PHOTO

Rory McIlroy walks to the 2nd tee, on May 19, during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club.

ANDREW WEVERS-USA TODAY SPORTS/FILE PHOTO
                                Grayson Murray hits a tee shot on the 16th hole, in April 2023, during the third round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans golf tournament.
ADAM CAIRNS-USA TODAY SPORTS/ FILE PHOTO
                                Rory McIlroy walks to the 2nd tee, on May 19, during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club.

HAMILTON >> Before launching his bid for a Canadian Open hat-trick Rory McIlroy took a moment today to remind fans that golfers are only human as the PGA Tour comes to grips with the suicide of two-time winner Grayson Murray.

McIlroy, winner of the Canadian Open in 2019 and 2022, has also been dealing with some personal turmoil having announced earlier this month that he was ending his seven-year marriage and had filed for divorce.

The four-time major winner has also found himself under frequent attack as one of the front-line figures in the sometimes bitter feud between the PGA Tour and renegade LIV Golf circuit.

“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,” the Northern Irishman told reporters following some practice at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club. “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.

“I think if there’s a lesson for anyone out there it’s just to be kinder to each other.”

Murray’s death, one day after he withdrew from a PGA tournament citing health reasons, has rocked the golf world.

The 30-year-old American turned professional in 2015 and won his first PGA Tour title in 2017. He reached a career-high 46th in the world rankings after winning this year’s Sony Open in Hawaii.

“I came on Tour in 2016, 2017 with Grayson,” said Canadian hope Mackenzie Hughes. “It was out there for everyone, his ups and downs, his life was well documented.

“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.

“If that’s going to be his legacy, that’s a pretty great one to leave, that it’s okay to be not okay.

“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.”

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