Golfer Harry Higgs delivers powerful speech about Grayson Murray: 'Everybody here could be the difference'

This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Harry Higgs came out victorious after a playoff at the Visit Knoxville Open on the Korn Ferry Tour Sunday afternoon, but he didn’t deliver the typical closing remarks one would do after winning a golf tournament.

Instead, he took the time to address the loss of Grayson Murray, whose parents confirmed Sunday in a statement that he “took his own life” on Saturday. Murray was 30 years old and had finished his second round at the Charles Schwab Challenge on the PGA Tour on Friday, though he withdrew citing an illness. 

The sports world was in total shock to learn of Murray’s passing, especially the PGA Tour, as it suggested shutting down play until Murray’s parents agreed to keep things going after speaking with commissioner Jay Monahan. 

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Though the Korn Ferry Tour is the step just below the PGA Tour in terms of competition level, Murray was once on the circuit, battling for his Tour card like every professional golfer dreams. 

Higgs took the time to not just remember Murray, but also deliver a powerful message for everyone present for the speech and those watching at home. 

“I just have a message, so forgive me if things get a little deep,” Higgs began his speech. “We lost yesterday morning one of our own. I don’t know if you guys heard the news, but somebody who went through a lot of difficult things. Somebody who was open and honest about it, and I thought last night – I didn’t sleep worth a darn and I’m really good at sleeping.

“I thought about this moment and how to maybe remember Grayson, and it just kind of dawned on me that everybody here – one, thank you so much for receiving me and congratulating me and cheering me on throughout. But this golf stuff and the result, it’s lovely, sure. But it’s just not that meaningful. 

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“One thing that I thought of last night, especially laying in bed, is I would challenge everybody here – and I’m going to do this myself as well – each day say something nice to someone you love. And also, make it a point to say something nice to somebody you do not even know.”

As Higgs mentioned, Murray was open about his mental health struggles and battle with alcohol addiction. He said in January that he was several months sober, though it would always be something he had to battle. 

“The world is a very difficult place, and only getting more difficult,” Higgs continued. “I’ve been blessed with great parents and a great support system, and I haven’t had – other than some frustration at times – any battles mentally. But Lord knows how many people do, and it’s only ever increasing. 

“Everybody here could be a difference – the difference. Brighten up somebody’s day, it could mean the world.”

Setting the example for the challenge he put forth to everyone listening, Higgs went on to thank everyone in Knoxville for their hospitality throughout the week of the tournament. 

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” he said. “Knoxville, you guys were warm and gracious hosts. This will mean the world to me as I think back on it, but I will just remember the great people I met here in Knoxville.”

So many have offered their condolences and shared stories about their times interacting with Murray. 

What Higgs did here was not only in remembrance of Murray, but a call to action. You never know what someone could be going through on any day, so a random act of kindness could make a huge difference in the world. 

Murray’s parents, Eric and Terry, said in their statement Sunday that their son was surrounded with love. 

“We have so many questions that have no answers. But one,” the statement read. “Was Grayson loved? Yes. By us, his brother Cameron, his sister Erica, all of his extended family, by his friends, by his fellow players and – it seems – by many of you who are reading this. He was loved and he will be missed.

“We would like to thank the PGA Tour and the entire world of golf for the outpouring of support. Life wasn’t always easy for Grayson, and although he took his own life, we know he rests peacefully now.”

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