Home / News / Raleigh native Grayson Murray’s rocky pro golf journey appears to be straightening out

Raleigh native Grayson Murray’s rocky pro golf journey appears to be straightening out

Jun 07, 2023Jun 07, 2023

Grayson Murray walks and talks — and plays golf — like a changed man.

Recovered from a horrendous scooter accident in Bermuda last fall that could have killed him, the Raleigh native is back on the Korn Ferry Tour. He won the tour event in Kansas City two weeks ago and is contending again this week in the UNC Health Championship at Raleigh Country Club.

After rounds of 66, 65 and then another 66 on Saturday, Murray will go into the final round Sunday with a one-shot lead as he seeks his third career Korn Ferry victory.

What Murray really wants is to return to the PGA Tour full time again, and to win again, which he believes he can do.

He looks the part. His game is solid. He has trimmed down to 192 pounds, a good "fighting weight" for him and appears fit. He works out in the gym, then on the practice range.

"I feel like I’m doing a good job of having a balanced life and putting things in perspective," Murray said Friday. "Talent never leaves you. You just have to work and work through your tough times and be patient."

All seems normal for a man who now is 29 and whose golfing life has been anything but normal.

Social media has not often been his friend. He has strong political beliefs and has willingly shared them. He has feuded with other golfers — Kevin Na comes to mind — on Twitter.

Murray has been very public about some of his personal problems. Drinking, for example. He has confessed to battling alcoholism, saying Friday that it marked his 32nd day of sobriety.

"Off alcohol and the body is feeling great." he said Friday. "My dad said, ‘You’ve made a lot of birdies since 32 days ago.’ He's right."

When Murray won the AdventHealth Championship two weeks ago, his first victory since 2016, he was emotional and introspective during his post-round press conference, saying, "My parents have been through hell and back basically for the last six years with me fighting some mental stuff," he said. "It's not easy on me and the people around me that love me."

A part of that was the rental scooter incident. Murray was at the PGA Tour's Bermuda Championship and headed back to his hotel — his caddie following on another scooter — when he crashed into a car on a narrow street.

"The Good Lord was on my side," Murray said. "It was nasty. There are a lot of people who get in those accidents who don't walk about from them."

Murray, who said alcohol was not involved, does not recall much about the accident. He remembers lying in the street and trying to get to his feet. Falling unconscious, he said he woke up in the hospital in a lot of pain.

Murray needed 50 stitches and suffered severe road rash. A photo he posted on Instagram was pretty gruesome.

"That was a good wake-up call," he said Friday. "Life can end abruptly, but luckily my helmet saved me there.

"It was really tough. When I got home, I couldn't get out of bed. Had to pee in a bucket. I couldn't lift my left leg. I couldn't sleep at night, couldn't get comfortable. There were times when I didn't know if I could play professional golf again, but I had good doctors here in Raleigh, the rehab was good and I was able to play golf again in about three months."

With conditional status on the PGA Tour, Murray has played in seven events in 2023 but made just two cuts. Turning to the Korn Ferry Tour, he won by a shot in Kansas City, his first pro victory since winning the 2016 Barbasol Championship on the big tour.

Murray is competing in the Korn Ferry's Raleigh tournament — formerly the Rex Hospital Open — for the seventh time. He tied for second in 2019 after a final-round 61 at the Country Club at Wakefield Plantation, his lowest round in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event.

The tournament's move this year to Raleigh Country Club — also owned by Raleigh's John McConnell and McConnell Golf — has brought more good vibes. Murray once had a McConnell Junior Golf Scholarship, allowing him to practice and play, and he often teed it up on the Donald Ross course near downtown Raleigh while in high school at Leesville Road.

His golf this week has been good. His body language has been good. He feels good.

This time, he hopes to keep it that way.