Murphy playing game of his life

Big Break winning hero, Mark Murphy is living the dream after putting himself into contention in the weather affected Hassan II Trophy in Morocco.

The Waterville pro earned an invitation into the Agadir event in capturing the Irish version of the Golf Channel reality show.

But what many would expect to be golfing holiday for the 34-year old, his parents, girlfriend and two uncles could now prove to be blockbuster hit.

Poor light halted play at 6.5pm with Murphy’s group allowed to finish the hole and the unsung Irishman did so by rolling in a birdie at the 15th to move into a surprise share of ninth place on five under par on the Golf du Palasis Royal course.

Murphy had just managed to birdie four of six inward half holes and move to surprise share of ninth place on five under par when poor light halted play on the Golf du Palasis Royal course.

Strong winds and intermittent thunder meant play did not commence to 1pm local and Irish time.

And with winds also whipping up sand from the bordering Atlantic Ocean beaches visibility was also poor.

Officials then got players to the tee at both 11am and 12 noon but only to send them back to the temporary clubhouse with winds continuing to gust near 35 mph.

Murphy, whose name appears as G Murphy on leader boards, was due to tee-up at 9.10am but didn’t get to the first tee to 2.40pm.

After sandwiching a sixth hole birdie among eight pars, Murphy, and with his father as caddy, headed to the inward half where he kicked into gear on the King’s private golf course with four birdies over the six inward half holes and move to a share of ninth place at five under par when poor light halted play at 6.50pm local time.

“This is the chance to live out my dream,” said Murphy.

“Before I teed off I would have taken level par again just to make the cut which would have been great considering I had back spasms at the beginning of the week.”

Prior to tee off Murphy paid a £ 2,000 Affiliate membership fee that means any money he earns this week counts towards his 2013 Tour card. And while Murphy will also tee-up in June’s Irish Open at Royal Portrush his share of ninth at present and with three second round holes to play early Saturday morning would see him qualify for next week’s Sicilian Open.

Welshman Phil Price enjoys the second day clubhouse lead in carding a 66 to move to 10-under par. Price ended his round just 20 minutes before Damien McGrane was making his way to the tee for his 5.30pm commencement to play. McGrane had pared five holes to remain at seven under par.

lIreland lead the European Nations Cup by the slenderest of margins with one round left to play at Sotogrande in Spain. A superb 66 by Robin Kind yesterday saw the Dutch team close the gap on the Irish quartet to just a single shot with the host nation one stroke further back in third.

Reeve Whitson carded a third-round 72 to remain out in front in the individual competition, but he now shares the lead with Spain’s Jon Rahm Rodriguez.

Dermot McElroy is fifth following a round of 74 with Niall Gorey tied for 29th after a disappointing 78 on day three. Alan Dunbar’s 80 was again the score dropped from the Irish total of 658.

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