Kinsale’s John Murphy got his final US College semester off to a good start with a top five finish in his first tournament. Murphy was competing in Alabama in the Mobile Sports Authority Intercollegiate and shot impressive rounds of 69, 70, 69 in his way to an eight under par finish for the event. Murphy’s Cardinals finished in third place in the team competition, again continuing their good form from the fall series. Murphy now has five more events in the next two months before his Cardinals team head for the play-offs. Murphy was ranked inside top 100 in the US college rankings and this was his fourth top ten finish this season. The Kinsale man finished his Irish season in style last year by winning the Mullingar Scratch Cup. That form continued in the fall series events where he secured his first NCAA college win.
Kanturk’s Mairead Martin is also back in action this week, playing on the Louisville womens golf team, she’s in action in Florida in her first event of 2020. Martin is in her second year in Kentuky and has had a solid start to the season. Like Murphy she will be hoping to push on in the second half of the college year. James Sugrue completed his GUI trip to South Africa with another top ten performance. Sugrue was competing in the South African Strokeplay last week and recorded another solid week of work in a top class field. Under the eyes of Irish Captain John Carroll, Sugrue carded rounds of 70, 66, 72 and 68 on his way to finishing 6th. It was another good week for Carroll’s men with Caolan Rafferty and Tom McKibbin also finishing in the top ten. That result along with his top five finish in the African Amateur the previous week will help his world ranking, while also signalling that he’s in good form after the winter break. Next up for Sugrue is an exciting trip to Oman where he has received an invitation to play in the European Tour sanctioned Oman Masters. This will be another ideal opportunity to prepare for his appearance in the Masters in April.
The final annual general meeting of the GUI took place last weekend, as the formation of Golf Ireland took another step forward. The formation of Golf Ireland will see it take over from the GUI and ILGU as the single governing body for amateur golf in Ireland. A new brand is set to be revealed next week, while the transition plans continue at national and provincial level. Monkstown’s Jim Long was re-elected onto the board of the GUI, Long is also the Chairman of Munster Golf as the provincial branch of the GUI is also entering it’s final year.