Murphy makes first Challenge Tour cut but he’s eyeing more in France

John Craven

John Murphy (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

Kinsale’s John Murphy was pleased to come through a difficult second day at the Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge but he’s not lining out in the weekend field to simply make up the numbers.

The Cork man added a two-under par 69 to his opening 67 to coast through to his first Challenge Tour pay cheque at six-under par at the halfway stage in France. Starting his second round mid-afternoon on Friday, Murphy admitted that he found it difficult to maintain concentration on a dull day at Golf PGA France du Vaudreuil but was happy with how he managed his game to ensure weekend progress.

“I think it was pretty smart play to be honest, I don’t think I did a whole lot well,” said Murphy, who went out in three-under before an inward half of one-over 36.

“I made a couple of putts here and there, missed a few short ones but that’s the nature of the game. My caddie and I set out a pretty good game plan for the place and we stuck to it pretty well – didn’t find myself in a whole lot of trouble and it’s got me in a pretty decent position so hopefully if I can play a little better over the weekend I’ll be OK.”

Only five shots back of American Paul Peterson’s lead, Murphy has no shortage of motivation to attack the golf course on moving day, not least because there’s one Open spot up for grabs this week in France.

Lining out in his second of seven guaranteed starts this year, Murphy, who also qualified to compete at the European Tour’s ISPS Handa World Invitational at Galgorm Castle at the end of the month, insists he won’t be shy on getting after it as he looks to challenge over the weekend rounds.

“That’s the plan,” he said. “Who knows, golf’s a strange game and it could go either way but I’m going to wake up in the morning and do everything I can to put myself in the best position possible and we’ll see where we lie at the end of the day.

“It’s actually only my second Challenge Tour event, my first time making the cut so yeah, there’s a long way to go but I’m happy with the position I’m in and looking forward to getting after it tomorrow.”

As for the other Irish in the field, Portmarnock’s Conor Purcell carded four birdies in a three-under par round of 68 to coast into the weekend at three-under par. Holywood’s Tom McKibbin is also safely through just a shot further back after carding four birdies of his own in a two-under 69.

With the cut falling at one-over par, Robin Dawson (+2), Michael Hoey (+3) and Gavin Moynihan (+7) all fell short of the required mark.

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