Murphy Enjoys Portugal Weekend, Darren Clarke Champions Weekend

John Murphy April 2016Kinsale’s John Murphy had a pretty special bank holiday weekend, Murphy was in Portugal for the Darren Clarke Champions Weekend.  As winner of the Munster Youths in August, Murphy was invited to take part in the event which was hosted by the Amendoeira Golf Resort in the Algarve.  The 18 winners from the top youths, boys and girls competitions in 2016 invited for the three day trip.  Rachel Thompson, Mairead Martin and Valerie Clancy also earned invitations after their performances this year.  After a 4am start in Dublin airport on Friday morning, the golfers met Clarke on arrival at the golf club and played golf with the Ryder Cup Captain three times over the two days.  Although vastly experienced at top level national and international boys golf, Murphy admitted that it was a pretty special experience.  “We went over to the golf club and Darren introduced himself to us. It was kind of weird at the start, but I got used to it after a few hours” said Murphy who is now a student in Maynooth.  “We played 18 holes with Darren playing with us and watching us, pointing out to us what we could improve, be it in our swings or our decision making.  We then played the par 3 course with him, where the winner took €100.  Early Saturday morning we played the par 3 course again before heading for another 18 holes with Darren.  He was great craic on the course, and got a lot more involved than I thought he would. He was well able to take abuse off us, but he was just as able to give it!”

darren-clarke-foundationMurphy was in good company for his final event at boys level: “I knew a couple of the lads and girls going over and I knew how much craic they were but I met some more of them who were just as funny and great to be around.  It was my last involvement with boys golf which is sad, but it was an experience that I will never forget.”