On Could 7, 2019, Chris Kirk revealed to the world that he wanted time away from the sport to handle difficulties in his private life.
At this juncture, Kirk had not received on the PGA Tour in 4 years, and his Official World Golf Rating had plummeted to 183rd. 5 years prior, Kirk was a top-20 participant and a main candidate to interrupt by for his first main championship.
However unlucky bouts with alcohol and melancholy led him down a darkish path.
As such, Kirk posted this message to his social media on that fateful Could day in 2019:
“I’ve handled alcohol abuse and melancholy for a while now,” Kirk wrote.
“I assumed I may management it, however after a number of relapses, I’ve come to comprehend that I can’t repair this alone. I will likely be taking an indefinite go away from the PGA Tour to take care of these points. I don’t know after I will likely be again, however for now, I want my full deal with being the person my household deserves. Thanks on your assist.”
Kirk entered a rehabilitation program and returned to aggressive golf on the World Extensive Know-how Championship six months later.
He has been sober since getting into rehab.
Considerably mockingly, 4 years later, on the anniversary of his return to the PGA Tour, Commissioner Jay Monahan awarded Kirk with the 2023 Braveness Award.
“[Kirk’s] affect on the sport of golf just isn’t the singular focus of numbers on a scorecard,” Monahan mentioned Tuesday.
“Go searching; you’ll see a large number of his friends within the room, lots of whom name Chris a pal and a mentor. Skilled athletes have an unbelievable platform to assist others, and Chris’ honesty, candor, and braveness in talking publicly about coping with a really private state of affairs has impressed so many individuals with on a regular basis struggles.”
Kirk has had an incredible season, overcoming adversity to complete thirty second within the FedEx Cup standings, which earns him an invite to all Signature Occasions in 2024.
“I believe one factor that basically has outlined me as an individual for a very long time is perseverance and dedication,” Kirk mentioned Tuesday.
“I’ve in all probability an extra of that, so I’m simply very grateful that I used to be in a position to put that to good use and set that to how I can, from right here ahead, go about being the perfect father and husband I might be. That’s form of been my predominant focus, after which ultimately, after that, engaged on turning into an expert golfer once more.”
Certainly, Kirk turned his life—and his profession—for the higher, giving him and his household much-needed safety. And he definitely grew to become an expert golfer once more—a extremely good one.
It was his first victory in nearly eight years.
“I owe the whole lot that I’ve in my complete life to my sobriety,” Kirk mentioned after his win at PGA Nationwide.
“I wouldn’t be doing this for a dwelling anymore. I in all probability wouldn’t have the household that I’ve at the moment anymore. I got here actually near shedding the whole lot that I cared about. For that to have occurred and labored out for me, clearly, there have been some selections that I made, however principally, the grace of God and numerous different folks that basically helped me alongside the way in which. However yeah, it’s one thing that’s consistently on my thoughts, so it’s fairly straightforward for me to see that successful the Honda Basic is form of a bonus when actually each good factor I’ve in my life I owe to [my sobriety].”
So as to add to his wonderful victory in South Florida, Kirk spends time with folks like himself yearly in Palm Seashore Gardens, the place PGA Nationwide is positioned. He holds that place near his coronary heart.
That really embodies who he’s as an individual.
Kirk, now 38 years outdated, resides in Athens, Georgia, with his spouse and three sons.
The previous Georgia Bulldog has performed in each RSM Basic since its inception in 2010, being solely certainly one of two gamers to take action.
Ryder Cup Captain Zach Johnson is the opposite.
“I at the moment really feel just a little bit undeserving, however I’m very grateful for it,” Kirk mentioned on the ceremony.
“I’m simply grateful for the folks on this room and the way a lot they imply to me. I hope that they see that and really feel that as usually as potential. However to have this group of individuals behind me is, I don’t know, I simply really feel extremely, extremely blessed to have these folks right here who imply a lot to me.”
Jack Milko is a golf workers author for SB Nation’s Taking part in By means of. You’ll be able to observe him on Twitter @jack_milko for extra golf protection. You’ll want to try @_PlayingThrough too.