Murphy poised to secure Tour place as cards fall in his favour

GARY MURPHY seems almost certain to retain his Race to Dubai Tour card thanks to the help of six international players including four Major champions.

Murphy moved from 145th to 120th on the money list after both he and Ballyclare’s Gareth Maybin shot 18-under par totals in Madrid on Sunday. Maybin carded a best final day 64 while Murphy posted a 68 for his best finish since being third in last year’s Irish Open.

Rookie Maybin has moved to 48th on the money list and is headed next month to Dubai while Murphy is closer to avoiding a trip to Tour Q-School for a first occasion since 2002.

But while his Madrid finish has moved him within five places of getting himself inside the top 115, Murphy is likely to secure his card as a number of players on the Race to Dubai money list may not be eligible for European Tour membership next season because they won’t get to play the mandatory 12 events required to retain their places.

Five players – Taipei’s Wen-tan Lin (67th position with six events), Fiji’s Vijay Singh (86th and seven events), Canadians Stephen Ames (90th and six events) along with Mike Weir (92nd and seven event) plus American Zach Johnson (98th with seven events) – will come out of the eventual final 2009 money list table.

There’s also no certainty either that Australian Geoff Ogilvy, who is riding high in fifth position, will play three more events to make up his dozen.

So in theory, Murphy is lying one place inside the cut off mark in 114th position, While Murphy ponders his season-ending fate, Maybin was singing the praise of new caddy, Davy Jones. Jones, 29, is on leave of absence from his role as assistant pro at Royal Portrush to caddy for Maybin.

Jones played in the Home International matches in 1998 when he was just 18 and it was no great surprise given he’d captured the Irish Boys, Leinster Boys, Munster Boys and Connacht Boys titles as well as the Galway Scratch Cup that same year.

Jones also played Ulster Youths from 1997 to 1998 along with Ulster Boys.

“I’ve known Davy since I was about 13 or 14 and he’s not only a good friend but a pretty good golfer,” said Maybin. “My 64 in Madrid on Sunday was very much due to him as his kept me calm and on an even keel and that’s very much also his nature.

“I could have been three or four over and Davy would not have been any different. That’s very encouraging for our partnership and I am very much looking forward to what’s left for the remainder of the season. I feel he’s going to make a big plus to my game having Davy on the bag.”

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