Painful end to Murphy Tour dream
Mark Murphy’s Q School dreams were shattered yesterday after he sustained a nasty injury competing at the Las Colinas course.
By Chris Smart
The Waterville native, who won the Golf Channel’s reality series Big Break Ireland, tore ligaments in his right wrist.
Though he completed his round, with his 72 leaving him tied 30th at he halfway stage, the Kerryman confirmed last night that he would not compete today.
Murphy tweeted: “Torn ligaments in my right wrist hitting a shot today. European tour school over for me absolutely Gutted.”
Meanwhile, Royal Dublin’s former amateur international star Niall Kearney gave one of his most impressive performances of the year yesterday to move into a strong position to secure a spot in the final stage.
Kearney fired a stunning five-under-par 66 over the Lumine course in Tarragona to add to his 70 of the previous day for a 36-hole aggregate of 136 and a share of seventh spot, just four strokes adrift of pacemaker Liam Bond, the experienced ex-Welsh champion.
It was a bogey-free round by the Irishman, whose display was in total contrast to that of Rathmore’s reigning Amateur Champion Alan Dunbar. His hopes of progress all but disappeared as he slumped to a miserable 78, for a 153 total that left him rock-bottom at Lumine.
Mark Staunton (68) and Jonathan Caldwell (72), playing the same course, are still in the hunt with 140 aggregates.
Muskerry’s Peter O’Keefe returned an excellent 68 at the El Vale resort in Murcia for a 139 total — regrettably he finished with a bogey — and he is four behind the leader Ake Nilsson of Sweden, while Limerick’s Tim Rice was in form as he fired a 67, including five birdies, to remain very much in contention.
Cian Curley is on 148 at that course but appears to have too much to do.
David Higgins from Waterville and Simon Thornton are the leading Irish players at El Saler in Valencia, lying in 10th equal place, while Ruaidhri McGee, Gareth Shaw and Noel Fox are all down the field.
Brendan McCarroll leads the Irish charge at Las Colinas on 141, four strokes behind England’s Warren Bennett.
Chris Devlin (142) is still in with a chance of making progress there, while Barrie Trainor (148) has a mountain to climb to progress.
A total of 304 players — 193 qualifiers and 111 exemptions — began the second qualifying stage of Q School at four venues across Spain this week.
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