After a long summer of good golf, Kinsale’s John Murphy finally bagged a big win when he won the Kerry Boy’s Championship at Ballybunion. It was a great week to be in Ballybunion, the sun was out all week and the Cashen course was in great condition. Murphy made it through to the final day but faced an in-form Sean Desmond in the semi-final. Although Desmond must have had a Munster semi-final in the AIG Senior Cup in the back of his mind, he proved to be a tough opponent and he took Murphy to the the 17th before losing out. In the other side of the draw, Muskerry’s James O’Connor also booked a place in the final setting up an all-Cork final.
Murphy is developing a reputation as tough matchplay opponent and he took an early lead in the final. At the turn he had a four hole lead over O’Connor, although the Muskerry man pulled a hole back at the 11th. O’Connor had a chance to further narrow the gap at the 14th but Murphy forced a crucial half to halt O’Connor’s momentum. The pair halved the 15th and Murphy finally claimed the prestigious win on the 16th where the final score of 3&2 was recorded.
Murphy was delighted with the win, especially considering he suffered several near misses so far this season, along with his club Kinsale losing out in the Fred Daly trophy final last week; he said: “When I arrived down here I questioned whether I wanted to be here or not but once the week went on I started to get over the loss, and the lads in the house certainly helped that with all the craic. I’ve come close a few times this season, and this was my last real chance to get a win, so it felt great to finally get the job done. I felt comfortable but James put up a great game and is a very sticky player. My caddy Alan Riordan certainly helped me to feel comfortable by keeping me company on the course.”
Murphy’s coach, Ian Stafford was also delighted with the result: “The timing of the win is very significant, every time John has suffered disappointment this year he has learned from it and come back stronger. He was very clinical in all his matches this week and finished them off in a very professional manner. This win will give John the confidence going into next year.
There was good news for Cork in the Plate competition also when Kanturk’s Con O’Callaghan won the final. O’Callaghan was one down at the turn but powered on and won on the 15th green.