Kinsale’s John Murphy hopes Sunday’s stunning victory to claim the St Andrews Links Trophy will be a stepping stone to a first Irish senior start.
The win is a massive boost heading into a busy summer schedule and increases his chances of national selection.
“Winning on Sunday has put everything up in the air. I had hoped to put a marker down in the West of Ireland but things didn’t go my way, but after winning here (St Andrews), I’m in with a shout to make the team. I try not to focus on team selections, though, all I can do is play golf and hope for the best,” said the University of Louisville student.
Murphy certainly did his chances no harm last weekend, and a sensational 66 (six under) for his second round, with five birdies and an eagle, had plenty of highlights for the 19-year-old.
The highlight of an incredible final round came at the 17th when Murphy found himself in the treacherous ‘Road Hole’ greenside bunker.
Murphy produced a breathtaking up and down to stay tied for the lead and in contention.
“It was unusual, I had felt nerves before but this was an excited nervous... The 17th was a huge moment. If you gave me that same bunker shot 10 times again, I’d say I’d only get it on the green twice, but I got it to 8ft and held the par-putt,” said Murphy.
The teenager was calmness personified again soon after and rolled in a 25ft birdie putt on his first play-off hole to win, an achievement made even more special as he had got into the tournament as a wildcard.
“I’ve watched legends of golf walk over Swilcan Bridge as a kid and then to be there was amazing. During the final round, I said to my caddy, ‘It’s not often you go into the back none of St Andrews with a two-shot lead’, so we just embraced it.”
Now, Murphy is seventh reserve for the British Amateur Open championship which starts on June 18, and is hopeful of making the field and carrying his good form into one of the biggest amateur events in world golf.
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