GOLD CANYON, ARIZONA | He was given nine months to live. That was seven years ago. Tom Murray, the CEO of Perio, the parent company of the Barbasol and Pure Silk brands, passed away on Wednesday after a long and valiant battle with cancer.
Murray was not just a golf fanatic – he was a long-time, enthusiastic supporter of the LPGA Tour and the women’s game overall. He was one of the first non-golf CEOs to sign multiple LPGA Tour players as brand ambassadors for Barbasol. Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lincicome, Angela Stanford, Brittany Lang, Lizette Salas, Katherine Kirk, Madelene Sagstrom, Carlota Ciganda, Gerina Mendoza, Mariah Stackhouse, Ana Belac, Giulia Molinaro, Fatima Fernandez Cano, Lauren Stephenson, Emma Talley and Kris Tamulis among others all wore the logo or carried the Pure Silk golf bag at some point. And all had wonderful things to say about Murray.
“Tom was a genuine and kind man and a tremendous supporter of the LPGA Tour, whether it was sponsoring players or hosting tournaments,” Salas said. “Pure Silk was one of my first sponsors 11 years ago and I know that I, as well as the tour, wouldn’t be where it is today without the support of Tom and the Murray family. His passing is a huge loss to the world of women’s golf.”
“I’m heartbroken to hear the news of Tom’s passing,” said Lincicome as she prepared to play in the LPGA Drive On Championship at Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club. “Over the many years that we’ve worked together, he and his family have come to mean so much to me. He was a great supporter of the women’s game and someone who many of us out here called a friend. His wife, Melanie, and their family will be in our thoughts and prayers. Tom will be dearly missed.”
Lincicome had an added relationship with Murray, having twice won the tournament that he sponsored in the Bahamas. For six years, the LPGA Tour season kicked off in January at the Ocean Club on Paradise Island at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic. Jessica Korda won it. So did Sei Young Kim in her rookie year. Lincicome captured the last two editions of the event in 2017 and 2018.
Salas, Mendoza, and Lincicome also starred in Pure Silk television ads, evidencing Tom’s belief in the LPGA Tour and its stars.
“He wanted to get to know us, not just as players but as people,” Stanford said. “He was always so engaging that it made you want to be a part of his events and his company. I was so jealous of the girls who were on the Pure Silk team, and I was so thrilled when I was asked to join them because of Tom. I didn’t personally know that many sponsors of tour events, but Tom was different. He was special.”
Upon hearing the news of Murray’s passing, Stackhouse said, “The golf community is better for having had a man like Tom invested in growing the game. I can directly testify to the impact his support over the course of my professional career has had in my ability to chase this dream. His wife and the rest of his beautiful family remain lifted in my prayers as we process the loss of a great man and father and celebrate his deeply meaningful life.”
After his partnership with Bahamas Tourism ended, Murray assumed the title sponsorship of the event in Kingsmill, Virginia – the Pure Silk Championship - keeping the LPGA Tour at one of its most popular venues. In 2019 and 2021, that championship saw Bronte Law and Wei-ling Hsu capture their first LPGA Tour victories.
Murray saw it all. Despite the ups and downs of the illness that would eventually lead to his passing, he was always an enthusiastic supporter and fan.
“I lost a great friend, and the tour lost a great fan and supporter in Tom Murray,” Stacy Lewis said. “He is someone who not only loved the game of golf but loved the LPGA Tour and all the players. More than that, he was a shining example of how to battle adversity with the smile and a good heart. We’re all thinking about Melanie and the kids who really became like family to me and to all of us at the LPGA.”