John Murphy opened his 2019/20 college season with a flourish last weekend, scooping a top ten finish in the opening tournament of the year. Murphy shot rounds of 71, 66, 76 in the Roy Myers Invitational which took place at Duke University. Four birdies and three bogies made up Murphy’s opening round on Saturday morning, and later that day he returned a blistering 66 which tied the lowest score of the tournament. The 66 got off to a steady start, the Louisville golfer was level par after four with two birdies and two bogies. A birdie four on the ninth saw him turn on one under. He had a hot hand on the back nine though, he was five under for the five holes from the 11th to the 15th. That included three birdies and an eagle as he finished the back nine with three pars to sign for a six under score.
That 66 in the second round saw Murphy lead the event going into the final round. It was a top class field with Walker Cup star Alex Fitzpatrick, Eric Bae, Ryan Burnett and other stars from Wake Forest, Duke and North Carolina. Murphy had four top ten finishes last year, this fast start to the season is a great boost to him and Louisville as he enters his final year. The Cardinals finished in third place in the team competition with Connacht’s Devin Morley finishing 21st for Louisville.
There were two Irishmen in the top ten. Kilkenny’s Mark Power also finished tied for ninth after three solid rounds of 71. This was Power’s debut start in college golf, and it was a great result for the freshman. It was an achievement for Power to make the team in itself, his Wake Forest side are one of the strongest rosters in the country this year, led by Alex Fitzpatrick. There was another happy Corkman in North Carolina last weekend, Aaron O’Callaghan is a coach on the Wake Forest staff and is entering his second year at the college made famous by Arnold Palmer. O’Callaghan was central to Mark Power joining the roster for this season. Wake Forest are ranked inside the top ten of US College Golf system and this was the ideal start to their season.