AS well as two wins on the course, John Murphy also claimed another big honour last season.
He was the first University of Louisville to win the Byron Nelson Award.
The award recognises golfing, academic and social successes and it was a nice finish to the shortened college season for Murphy. Part of the prize for John is a place at the Byron Nelson Classic on the PGA Tour.
He’s now looking forward to a trip to Dallas in May for the high profile big-money event, although he will be competing as an amateur. Murphy also broke a Cardinals record, setting a new single-season scoring record with a scoring average 69.59 stroke per round.
He is also currently ranked in third place in the career scoring ranking with an average of 71.98. He was just one of four golfers in the Cardinals golf programme history to win two events in one season.
While John’s plans for 2020 were disrupted, it was the same for his parents Carmel and Owen. They had planned to travel to the US in May to take in John’s graduation as well as the first stages of the NCAA championships.
While the pair hope to get to Kentucky this year travel restrictions and public health advice will determine if they’ll get to see John Stateside. Murphy is very aware of their support and hopes that they’ll be able to travel in April or May.
“My parents have done so much for me and it’s nice to have them with me every step of the way,” said John.
“Again, at the moment there is so much uncertainty so who knows when they get to see me play again, but hopefully it won’t be too long.
"Sure they have so much time on their hands now they could give golf a go themselves and try join the seniors tour or something.”
Murphy is now firmly focused on the spring season. This will definitely be his last stint in college golf so he’s determined to make the most of it.
The Cardinals had a busy spring schedule and this week they got a late call up to another tournament in Los Angeles. Covid is still having an impact on sports across the world and college golf is no different.
But Murphy is focusing on the present, a solid start should guarantee him a place in the NCAA national finals, and he’ll also he hoping that his Louisville team will also make the finals.
"However, a mistake I have made in the past is looking at the big picture too early and not focusing on what I have to do in the moment to give myself the best possible results.
"Staying present is something I have worked a lot on and something that I will continue to work on.”
The big question that always seems to come up is if and when John is turning pro.
In normal times it’s likely that he would have turned pro at some stage last year after completing his senior college season. While the golf tours are still not back to normal, there is an expectation that the summer should see a return of elite amateur and professional events, giving John a few options.
“As we all know, it’s a mad world we live in and anything can change at any given second.
"I think I have decided with my family and coaches that I’m very proud of what I have achieved throughout my amateur career, and I feel as though my game is at a stage where I am confident that it will translate to professional golf pretty well.
"As I said, a lot can change and I’m still young, but I certainly feel ready to take the next step and turn professional, and I think that time will come at some point this year.
"As I mentioned before, all I can focus on is the next shot I am going to hit, and in the end of the day, if the golf is good enough then that will take care of everything.”