PGA Tour star taking “indefinite leave” from golf to deal with “issues”

Chris Kirk

Chris Kirk, a four-time winner on the PGA Tour, has announced that he is taking an “indefinite leave” from the PGA Tour to deal with issues arising from alcohol abuse and depression.

The American, who turns 34 tomorrow, made the announcement via social media.

“I have dealt with alcohol abuse and depression for some time now,” he wrote. “I thought I could control it but after multiple relapses I have come to realize that I can’t fix this on my own.

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“I will be taking an indefinite leave from the PA Tour to deal with these issues. I don’t know when I will be back, but for now I need my full focus on being the man my family deserves. Thank you for your support.”

Kirk turned professional in 2007 after a stellar amateur career capped by a Walker Cup appearance at Royal County Down that year, where he was a teammate of, amongst others, Dustin Johnson, Billy Horschel, Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson.

Chris Kirk Signing

He spent three seasons on the Nationwide Tour (now Web.com Tour) and earned his PGA Tour card for the 2011 season.

That year, he won the first of his four titles, pipping George McNeill and Tom Pernice Jr to the Viking Classic.

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He went on to win the McGladrey Classic in 2013, the Deutsche Bank Championship in 2014 and the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in 2015. Also in 2015, he was part of the US side that won the Presidents Cup at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in South Korea.

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His best career finish in a major championship is a tie for 19th at the 2014 Open and, in May 2015, he reached a career high of 16th on the Official World Golf Ranking.

He has played 17 times in 2018/19, with a best finish of a tie for 15th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

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