Kinsale’s John Murphy will hope to add some autumnal gold to a glorious golfing summer when he lines up for Ireland alongside Robin Dawson and Conor Purcell in this week’s World Amateur Team Championships at Carton House.
There are 70 teams taking part in this week’s 72-hole strokeplay Eisenhower Trophy, making it Ireland’s biggest ever golfing event, following the 60-team ladies Espirito Santo Trophy last week.
Murphy had a slow start to the year after undergoing minor surgery on his knee in late 2017, but once he returned to the University of Louisville in Kentucky in January, he kicked things up a gear.
I was sitting in my bed with my leg up after surgery in November while my teammates were out practising every day. It really grew my hunger and appetite to get back into it. I worked really hard when I got back after winter and there was obvious improvement in my game, my results just weren’t showing it.
Murphy was selected by Louisville for all seven post-Christmas events, helping them to six top-ten finishes. But after returning home in mid-May, he missed the cut in the French Amateur, his first summer event.
He remained patient, however, and returned to the range. That work would pay off within a few weeks when he won his first international title at the home of golf in St Andrew’s.
A solid performance over four rounds and a clutch putt in a sudden-death playoff meant Murphy became just the second Irish golfer to win the Links Trophy.
“I played in the East of Ireland the week after French Amateur and didn’t score as I was hoping there either. But I got to St Andrew’s and everything felt very different. I grew in confidence at some point between those two weeks that I knew was in there somewhere, and my frame of mind was excellent. My practice rounds went well and everything was flowing, and I guess I haven’t looked back since.”
His own form is excellent and is confident the Irish trio will have the right blend this week.
“Rob is a player who I’m always trying to learn from; I think he’s going to be very successful when he turns professional. I’m really looking forward to getting to play with him on a team again for the last time in amateur golf.
“Rob, Conor and I all bring different strengths to the table and I believe we’re a great mix for an Eisenhower trophy team, I’m really excited to see what the week holds.”