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The North American was very close to the recently deceased Grayson Murray.

Why does Bhatia have a G and the dollar symbol written on his wrist?

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Akshay Bhatia went out to play this Thursday at the RBC Canadian Open with a message on his wrist, so he could always see it before hitting. Specifically, he has written a capital G and the dollar symbol. What does it mean? Well, it’s related to Grayson Murray, a golfer from North Carolina who passed away less than a week ago during the Charles Schwab Challenge.

It’s best explained by Bhatia himself. “Ugh, this is hard… He’s one of my best friends, we grew up together. I admired him for a long time. I wish he was still here, but I know he’s still with us watching us all from somewhere. Yes, it’s crazy. It was this week, I was coming back from dinner to the hotel and for some reason I looked to the right and there was a trash can with G-money written on it. These are strange things that happen when I know he’s with us,” he says.

Bhatia explains that Murray always supported him and that he will always be in his memory. “I’m playing for him this week and for as long as it takes. He’s with me all the time and meant a lot to me. I’m happy and proud to wear Grayson’s name on my wrist. He allowed me to be in his group, his little group. He’s always been a good guy. He’s never lived a boring life. He’s had many ups and downs and everything, but whatever happened, he always supported me,” he points out.

The relationship between the two was very special. Bhatia reveals a side of Grayson that not many knew. “I knew he was one of the few who really wanted me to play well. He lifted many people’s spirits. Even if his wasn’t up, he wanted everyone to live a great life. Everything he did for the kids, for me or for whoever, he did it from the heart and with kindness. He was always someone confident, a bit arrogant. I remember when I was 13 or 14, I saw him on the putting green of our golf course and asked him what it feels like to be on the PGA TOUR… And he always told me: buddy, you’re going to be there. Trust me. I don’t know, he always believed in me. This life is a bit lonely, this week I’m alone in the hotel and having the support of a player, someone you admire and everything else… He taught me to be kind to others. His parents have always been amazing to me and treated me like one of their own and he did the same.”

Finally, Bhatia recalled that Murray, who committed suicide at his home after withdrawing on Friday from the second round at Colonial with two holes to play, left with an outstanding debt that he plans to collect. “We took a private plane back from Hilton Head (RBC Heritage) to Raleigh and he paid me with a cheque. The cheque didn’t clear. So, at the Charles Schwab he paid me 1,600 dollars, but he still owes me 400 dollars. I’m sure I’ll collect it when I see him. His story has opened everyone’s eyes. It doesn’t happen that often. The appreciation and energy from everyone on the PGA TOUR has been great for his family. We are grateful because sometimes you feel like you don’t matter to anyone, but the fact that he touched the hearts of so many people, my heart, has opened my eyes a bit. I hope this opens the doors for many people and that, whatever happens, our society always supports each other,” he concludes.