Sara Byrne wrapped up her third year in the US with a solid performance at the NCAA National Championship. Sara was one of nine individual golfers who qualified for the finals in Greyhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale Arizona. She booked a place in the finals thanks to a second place finish in the Palm Beach Regional which should have been her final event of the college schedule. Byrne was just the second Cork golfer to make it to the NCAA finals, John Murphy played with Louisville in 2019 and again in 2021 in his senior year. It’s been another very positive season for the Douglas golfer, she recorded three top tens in the very competitive ACC conference and the third year led the Miami Hurricanes on a number of occasions. She played in 37 competitive rounds this year and had an impressive stroke average of 72.9, an improvement of over a stroke compared with her 2022 record. with a low round of 67. She is now ranked in the top 300 amateurs in the world rankings after her impressive finish to the season.
After completing her third round on Sunday, Byrne travelled back to Cork on earlier this week and she has a busy summer planned. Next month she’ll play in the Irish Close and in the Women’s Amateur at Prince’s Golf Club in Kent. July is equally busy with European events in Finland and Sweden, along with a LET Access event also in Sweden. Byrne is also targeting a place in the field at the KMPG Women’s Irish Open in Dromoland in September. Sara will return to Miami as a senior in August with a number of new team mates including Rebekah Gardner from Northern Ireland.
Kanturk’s Mairead Martin also closed out her college time with Lousiville recently. Mairead spent five years in Kentucky and finished off here time as a Cardinal at the ACC Championship. She recorded one top ten and two top twenty finishes in her final year. Clodagh Coughlan had an impressive top ten finish in the Flogas Irish Women’s Open at Woodbrook. Coughlan had rounds of 73, 72, 75 to finish on -2 and take 9th place. The event was won by Scot Lorna McClymont who retained the title she also won in 2022.
Jack Murphy will be back in overseas action again next week, the Rochestown College student has been named on an Irish team to travel to the German Boys. Murphy will travel as part of the squad of seven, they’ll head for St Leon Rot outside Stuttgart for three rounds of golfs starting on 1st June.
Murphy is just back from a week in the Philippines, where he competed as part of a European Golf Association team at the APGC Golf Championship. Murphy was selected as one of the highest ranked under 17’s in Europe. The highlight for the Douglas member was a four under par 68 in his second round. The fifth year student will have a busy summer ahead between the domestic and European schedule. Murphy has his plans in place for after secondary school, earlier this year he committed to go the University of Washington in 2024.
With a division one college place now confirmed, he’ll be hoping for another good summer season of golf. He got the season off to a great start with a win in the Connacht Boys and a third place finish in a tournament in Portugal, he also led the Lytham Trophy in Liverpool after the first round.
On the pro tour scene, John Murphy is back in action in The Netherlands. Murphy broke his DP World Tour hoodoo in Belgium two weeks ago when he made his first cut of the season. Murphy had endured a tough start to his season at the top level and had 10 missed cuts in row since November. His top thirty finish in Belgium netted over €16,000 and Murphy will be hoping to keep the good form going when he tees it up today in the KLM Dutch Open.
It will be a busy few weeks for the Kinsale man, he should get into six of the next seven tournaments and it provides him with a great opportunity to kick on and look at retaining his card for next year. The top 117 golfers at the end of the season will retain full cards and although Murphy is currently in 223rd place, a few more strong finishes will see him leapfrog up the rankings. Mallow’s James Sugrue is also in action this week, he is in Italy for Alps Tour Memorial Giorgio Bordoni in Como.