Kinsale golfer joins list of elite winners including Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry

Kinsale golfer joins list of elite winners including Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry
John Murphy, winner of the 2019 Sherry Fitzgerald Davitt & Davitt sponsored Mullingar Scratch Cup at Mullingar Golf Club. Picture: Pat Cashman

JOHN MURPHY added his name to an impressive list of winners when he won the Mullingar Scratch Cup.

The young Kinsale man joins major winners McIlroy, Clarke, Harrington and Lowry who have all previously won the showpiece event.

In his last event before returning to college Stateside, Murphy finally got a win after a long frustrating summer.

“It’s been a tough season, and while I kept plugging away, things weren’t happening for me” said an excited Murphy.

“I am heading back to Louisville next Saturday so I said I’d give it one more crack instead of just throwing in the towel on the summer. I am very relieved with this one.”

Originally a Walker Cup panellist, Murphy has had a frustrating few months at home. Trips to England and Scotland were fruitless and outside of Kinsale qualifying for the Barton Shield finals there was little to show for his summer. In recent weeks, Murphy form was improving with good performances in the South of Ireland and Irish Close.

He had a great start in Mullingar, carding rounds of 70 & 71 to lie two shots off the lead at the hallway stage. After the third round just two shots separated the top three, they were in for an exciting finish.

“There were times when Ger was three ahead, and Matt was three ahead. I was never ahead. I just stayed patient and waited for a few putts to drop and made three birdies in a row on the back nine there to get ahead for the first time and just held on to it coming in.

“There are a lot of great names in that trophy, and it’s nice to get my name on there. I am relieved more than anything. I was very close to not coming here and getting a bit sick of golf, so it was nice to come and prove a point this week.”

The rising star took the lead for the first time on the 16th after sinking his third birdie in a row, but he bogeyed the 17th to find himself tied for the lead heading for the par-five 18th. A regulation par after laying up was enough to give the Louisville Senior his first major title at home. There was more good news for Kinsale as Cathal Butler finished in fourth place after another solid performance.

Peter O’Keeffe was the only other Cork golfer in action, the Douglas man finished in 15th, jumping 20 places after shooting two 70s.

Murphy now has the annual Kinsale Pro Shop Challenge to look forward to on Thursday, his final time playing in Cork before heading back to college. The annual charity fundraiser takes place in Kinsale Golf Club on Thursday afternoon and all are welcome to support the event.

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