Kinsale’s John Murphy won the Munster Junior Golfer of the Year award last week, rounding off 2015 for the talented 17 year old. He follows in the footsteps of his friend and club mate Cathal Butler in becoming the second winner in a row from Kinsale Golf Club. The club has been to the forefront of both individual and team junior golf over the past few years. John had a very busy year, with the key highlights including a Munster final appearance in the Fred Daly Trophy Munster final, a win in the Kerry Boys, and a cap for Munster at the Boys Interprovincials. John was travelling almost every week during the summer, competing in all four Provincial Boys championships as well as several of the Youth championships. In the Boys events, he was runner-up in Ulster, 5th in Connacht and 7th in Leinster. He also took 4th place in Irish Boys Championship. He took on the unique challenge that is the Kerry Boys in Ballybunion and came through the strokeplay and matchplay tests to add his name to the now famous trophy.
In spite of the overall success the ambitious golfer was quick to remember the good days and the not so good days from the season. “Overall I had an incredible year with many memorable moments but obviously I had some days I would like to forget” explained Murphy, “The biggest disappointment by far was losing so narrowly in the Fred Daly Munster finals with my club in Gold Coast. I’ve never been so disappointed walking off a golf course, and it was a big struggle to convince myself to play Kerry Boys in Ballybunion the next day. I told myself that I had to learn from the disappointment of the Fred Daly finals, and bouncing back by winning Kerry boys was very special for me and was probably my highlight of the year. The lads that I stayed with in Ballybunion certainly helped me in getting over the loss, and helped me on my way to victory, especially Alan Riordan who caddied for me that week.” Murphy was part of the Kinsale Fred Daly team, and earned a reputation as a top class matchplay golfer, winning many of his matches with a large margin. He also played a big role for Kinsale Community School when they won the Munster Senior Schools Championship in Muskerry. His strong individual and team performances earned him a place in the Munster team at the Boys Inter-Provincials in Athlone in July where he recorded a number of notable performances. The inter-pros was another milestone for John: “Another highlight for me was getting selected to play for Munster in the interprovincials in July, and it was a week to remember with a talented bunch of boys and an excellent management team. I had many other enjoyable weeks, such as finishing 4th in Irish boys, 2nd in Ulster boys, but there’s nothing quite like the overwhelming feeling of victory.”
Kinsale Golf Club have excelled in the development of junior golf in the recent past and John Murphy is one of a generation of emerging top level golfers as he explained: “The club has been crucial in the development of my game. The committee and head professional Ger Broderick provide us with immaculate facilities and are continuously supporting me on my ventures. This support combined with the incredible work of juvenile officer Ger Cullinane and coach Ian Stafford are the reasons behind juvenile success in Kinsale. Their excellent work has been proven by the performances in recent years, and we can’t thank them enough for all they do for us.”
Murphy was recently names in the Irish Boys Panel for the season ahead so he’ll have more access to top quality coaching over the coming months. He has benefitted from the extensive coaching programmes that have been funded by the Munster Branch, both at club level and at regional and provincial level and he speaks highly of the coaches. “They have had extreme faith and confidence me, and have increased my knowledge of the game in so many aspects. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Ian along with Paul Kiely and Fred Twomey, and hope to continue doing so in the future. The work of Margaret Sugrue and everyone in the Munster Branch has been admirable in promoting junior golf.” Murphy saved his last words for those closest to him: “I must also acknowledge my parents for all they have done for me. They will do whatever they can to support my golf. They are often forced to give up their own commitments for my sake, and I can’t thank them enough for that.”