Early start to the season for Cork golfers

Fota Island’s John Doyle receiving the Munster U14 Order of Merit medal from Jim Long, also included is John’s Dad Barry.

It might still be the off-season for golf in Ireland but there are a few Cork golfers have already started their 2022 campaigns.  John Murphy competed in his fourth tournament of the new season in South Africa last week.  Murphy has had a busy start to the year, after a few weeks of preseason work in Spain he travelled to California for the AT&T ProAm in Pebble Beach.  Unfortunately for John he missed the cut but it was a big learning experience for him as he teed it up alongside the stars of the PGA Tour.  From there it was a sprint across the Atlantic to South Africa for the start of the Challenge Tour.  He finished just inside the top fifty in his opening event three weeks ago, and after missing the cut in the second event he went on to secure a top twenty finish in Durban last week.  Murphy has picked up close to €5,000 in prize money this season and he’ll be hoping for another good finish this week.

Murphy clocked up over €120,000 in his thirteen tour events last year after turning professional in June.  It was a sprint for the Kinsale man over the course of five months.  He played in nine different countries on three separate tours, but most importantly he finished inside the top 70 and Continue reading

PGA Tour Debut for John Murphy

John Murphy.  Picture: Niall O’Shea

It’s a big week for Kinsale’s John Murphy as he makes his debut on the PGA Tour at Pebble Beach.  It’s an exciting start to Murphy’s 2022 schedule, and it came thanks to a chance meeting when he was practicing in Florida in December.  He was advised to contact the AT&T Tournament Director with a letter of request and Murphy was delighted to hear back from Steve John.  “Thankfully the Tournament Director was generous enough to accept the request, he sent me a text shortly after to confirm I was i.  It’s very exciting, especially as it’s something I didn’t really expect.  It’s a great opportunity to have and I’m looking forward to trying to make the most of it.”

Murphy along with caddy Shane O’Connell travelled to California last week and the pair settled into their tournament routine.  “Since we’ve got here the prep has been very good, the weather has been great” said Shane.  Continue reading

Shane enjoy’s front row seat for Walker Cup

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.

Murphy & Power win GB&I’s first Walker Cup Point

John Murphy and Mark Power came from behind to win the first point for GB&I this afternoon in the opening session of the Walker Cup.  Playing at a windy Seminole Golf Club on the Atlantic coast in Florida, the pair only took the lead on the 17th, and a measured two putt on the final green saw the pair claim the point in the morning foursomes.  The two Irish players were paired together, while it was expected both teams were hit by illness earlier in the week and it was unclear who would be fit to play today.

Needless to day Murphy was still on a high when it came to his post round interview with the Golf Channel, and he explained how they dealt with the pressure of being three down on two occasions.  “I said to Mark both times we’re playing great, we’ve got to stick to what we’re doing.  We got a couple of bad breaks early on but lets not try and force anything, this is a golf course for mistakes and we’ll let them make the mistakes.  We stuck to our gameplan very well and stayed patient.”

Power too was delighted with the result and credited Murphy with some solid advice early in the round, “The old head here calmed me down today, he said just hit fairways and hit greens and we’ll wear these guys down.”  Playing a Walker Cup match with a fellow Irishman was a real treat for both Murphy & Power and the Kilkenny man did a great job of describing it.

John Murphy watches his putt during a practice round at the 2021 Walker Cup at Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Fla. on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Scott Halleran/USGA)

“It’s amazing.  We were talking about it this week, we played Home Internationals together, played together when we were 15 and 16.  On the first tee we said we were just going to just going to enjoy today and embrace it.”

It was a day of comebacks for GB&I.  At one stage they were 4-0 down on the course but when the last match finished it was 2-2 on the scoreboard.

Both Irish golfers are back in action this evening in the opening singles.  Power is out second against Davis Thompson while Murphy has the anchor spot on the team and will face world No 18 Cole Hammer.  They tee off at 8.47pm (Irish time) with coverage continuing on Sky Sports and the Golf Channel.

Afternoon Singles

2:30 p.m. – Alex Fitzpatrick, GB&I vs. Pierceson Coody, USA

2:41 p.m. – Mark Power, GB&I vs. Davis Thompson, USA

2:52 p.m. – Ben Schmidt, GB&I vs. Ricky Castillo, USA

3:03 p.m. – Ben Jones, GB&I vs. Tyler Strafaci, USA

3:14 p.m. – Joe Long, GB&I vs. Quade Cummins, USA

3:25 p.m. – Angus Flanagan, GB&I vs. Austin Eckroat, USA

3:36 p.m. – Barclay Brown, GB&I vs. John Pak, USA

3:47 p.m. – John Murphy, GB&I vs. Cole Hammer, USA

Kinsale Celebrate ahead of Walker Cup Weekend

Kinsale Golf Club celebrates John Murphy’s participation in the Walker Cup
Picture: Niall O’Shea

Excitement is building in Kinsale as the golf club and the community look forward to watching John Murphy compete in the Walker Cup this weekend.  Murphy will become just the fifth Cork golfer to take part in the Walker Cup after the Kentucky based golfer was selected on the team last month.  Although many would have liked to travel to Seminole in Florida, not even his family or his coach were able to travel.  That didn’t stop the Officers of Kinsale Golf Club from celebrating closer to home.  The club unveiled a Walker Cup flag last Sunday, a nice gesture to connect the members with their star player in Florida.  Watch by John’s parents Owen and Carmel, his sister Faye raised the flag in front of the clubhouse, and next week the Walker Cup pin flags will feature on Continue reading

Kinsale Celebrates Murphy’s Selection

John Murphy

There were lots of celebrations in Kinsale last week when news emerged that John Murphy had been selected for the Walker Cup next month.  Murphy becomes just the fifth Cork golfer to make it to the Walker Cup.  Friends and family bombarded the 22 year old with messages of congratulations, he was one of just two Irish golfers to make the GB&I team which plays the US team in Florida next month.

Among those who were delighted with the news was Ian Stafford who has coached John since he started the game.  “I’m absolutely delighted for John, the run of form John has been on lately in a pressurised situation has shown how he has matured as a golfer and there is a great feeling of redemption in getting selected for the team in Seminole” said Stafford who has coached John for close to a decade.  “Although this is not the first time John will have represented GB&I it is the final and biggest box ticked in terms of amateur achievements and a testament to the hard and smart work John has put in.  The emotions we are feeling now are a million miles from what we felt two years ago driving away from Portmarnock after Continue reading

Busy 2021 for Murphy

John Murphy was back in college golf action last week for the first time in ten months, but the Kinsale golfer has kept himself busy.  After working hard in Cork for the summer he travelled back to America last August, and he was determined to make to most of his extension as a student in University Louisville.  Murphy was a Senior last year but the cancellation of the second half of the season gave him another opportunity to compete in the 2021 NCAA college golf schedule.  It was a big decision to return in August, when many European based golfers chose to stay at home, but it paid off for Murphy, providing him with the weather and the facilities to improve his game.  “I felt as though the semester was really productive.  As always, I am just trying to learn and grow as much as possible as a player, and being in this environment certainly allowed me to do that.  I was able to compete with the world’s best Continue reading