The buzzword the PGA Tour uses for its lucrative Player Impact fund is “engagement.” I don’t think Grayson Murray quite understands what the tour means by that.
Murray, a professional golfer, stepped into another mess on Twitter last week. It’s a familiar predicament for Murray, who has gotten in enough of these spats with his peers to have his social media feuds ranked by golf observers. He shares a knack for bullying and trolling with the man he stands beside in his Twitter avatar.
There was the tag-team trolling with Kelly Kraft in 2017 of the European and Asian tours world ranking juice that drew pointed barbs from prominent pros Ben An and Thomas Pieters. Murray kept trolling at An until he offered a petty announcement that he was taking a break (which didn’t take) from the “PC” crowd on Twitter.
In 2020 he took a couple unsolicited cheap political and personal shots at fellow journeyman pro Brandon Hagy, brandishing his lone opposite-event victory in the 2017 Barbasol Championship as a mark of superiority and Hagy’s Cal degree as being “brainwashed.”
Last week, presumably from the comfort of his sofa after missing the cut in the Korn Ferry Tour event in the Bahamas, Murray decided to take some mean-spirited shots at Kevin Na for his famous pace of play. It did not end well for Murray – and it really takes some doing to be on the losing side to the slow-play guy in a debate.
u missing the cut is getting old!
— Kevin Na (@kevinna915) January 15, 2022
Na’s response was a little mean, but he didn’t start it. Ben An couldn’t resist circling back into the fray with a reply to Na’s barb: “Somebody please call an ambulance for grayson here,” followed by two siren emojis.
Murray fired back at Na: “Hahah love it little guy! Would never tell me that to my face,” a post he quickly deleted, perhaps understanding the irony of the threat he lobbed from 5,000 miles away. But he kept at it: “If they penalized you for slow play like they should you’d never make another cut either.”
The next day, while Na was tying up a top-20 finish in Hawaii, Murray kept up the assault. “If I were @TalorGooch today playing with @kevinna915 I’d use the ole @BKoepka trick and go take a 15 minute porter potty break 2 holes in to get on the clock on purpose.” This trolling attempt was ignored by Murray’s tour peers who just left him sparring with Twitter randos the rest of the day.
Na, however, did address the affair with former tour pro Colt Knost and Drew Stotz on the Sirius XM “Subpar” show.
“It’s amazing how many players and caddies came up to me and complimented me – not on my round, but on my tweet,” Na told SiriusXM. “I’ve had some big boys tell me how good it was. … Even Brooks Koepka messaged me saying how good of a tweet that was.”
Na dismissed the suggestion they could try to make hay off their Twitter feud the way Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau did with their televised Match.
“First of all, he’s not even on tour,” Na added. “You have to be somebody to make this worthwhile and make money out of this match. Me, barely, maybe, I can create a buzz, barely. I’m not a major winner. I’m just maybe an above average player. Who is this guy? Nobody cares. That’s the sad part.”
Tour pro Ryan Palmer weighed in on Na’s side in the same show. “If you’re going to come out here and bitch about a player and moan and groan … do it while you’re out here.”
That’s easier said than done for Murray, who says he is taking a few rehab starts on the Korn Ferry Tour before he tries to tee it up again with the PGA Tour pros.
After finishing tied for third in the opposite event in Puerto Rico last February, Murray’s already shaky form (he’d missed 10 of his previous 13 cuts dating back almost a full year) cratered. He missed seven cuts and withdrew twice in his last nine PGA Tour starts in 2021 before shutting it down in July.
He didn’t seem to be looking for sympathy for his troubles, but wanting to vent his anger at the PGA Tour for suspending and fining him while not doing anything to help him cope with his alcoholism or life on tour.
“I’m a —— alcoholic who hates everything to do with pga tour life,” Murray shared in a long post last July after he withdrew from the 3M Open and was trying to deal with his problems. He didn’t seem to be looking for sympathy for his troubles, but wanting to vent his anger at the PGA Tour for suspending and fining him while not doing anything to help him cope with his alcoholism or life on tour.
Murray, who still has some conditional tour status, hasn’t played a PGA Tour event since that withdrawal last July. He teed it up for the first time in the Korn Ferry Tour event in the Bahamas last week, missing the cut by two shots.
Judging from his social media engagement with his peers, he doesn’t seem to be handling his recovery well and hasn’t done himself any favors in being more adjusted and at home with tour life if and when he returns. It’s a hard life competing with the best players in the world when you have no wife or girlfriend or swing coach to keep you grounded on the road. Even harder when you alienate potential friends following the same road.
He said alcohol has been his “scapegoat.” Getting that under control requires following certain steps toward recovery.
One healthy step for Murray would be getting off Twitter.
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