Kinsale native Shane Fitzsimons is one of a handful of spectators from Ireland in Seminole this week, and the US based golfer is savouring every bit of the Walker Cup experience. He followed John Murphy for 35 holes yesterday, watching his neighbour play some unbelievable golf as he won his foursomes match and narrowly lost his singles match.
“John and Mark’s comeback in the foursomes was incredible and John almost pulled it off again in the singles. Even after having an insurmountable task he was sensational on the back 9. Hammer was 4 under after 9, I’m not sure there was better golf that that yesterday. There was some great shots, his tee shot on 13, trading birdies on 15, bunker shot on 16 and his putt had a 90 degree break on it.”
The course is being compared to Augusta, hard fairways, fast greens and tricky slopes are making the golf exciting: “The course is magnificent, the greens are hard and fast, and you’re not seeing the elevations on the tee. Pin placement as tough as you would see anywhere, the course was set up for par to be a good score.”
“There’s a small crowd, just 1,500 spectators but the Irish find each other. Eoghan O’Connell is here, Paul Buckley, Gerry McIlroy a few Irish based in Florida. John and Mark’s coaches from Louisville and Wake Forest also made the trip. It’s like being at a match when golf started, no ropes, walking the fairways with the players. The atmosphere is subdued with a little clapping for a good shot. It’s unlike any golf event I have been at, and I can’t imagine there will be another one like is as we come out of Covid.”
Shane was back on the course today supporting the Irish pair as they clocked up another win, and he’s sure to be on the first tee again for the singles as John Murphy takes on Ricky Castillo.