John Murphy is encouraged by recent performances as he prepares to tee it up in the Hopps Open de Provence at Golf International de Pont Royal this week.
The Irishman turned professional after competing for Team GB&I in the Walker Cup earlier this year before winning on his first start in the pro ranks at the Clutch Pro Tour’s Northern Ireland Open in June.
The 23-year-old has been in impressive form this season and finished in a tie for 12th at last week’s Big Green Egg German Challenge powered by VcG, which included a round of 65 on the final day, but believes there is still plenty of room for improvement in his game, leaving him excited for the weeks ahead.
“I still feel like I have a lot to improve on,” he said. “That makes me excited because I am competing with the best out here but still feel like I have a lot left in the tank. The gaps are so small when you get to the top and it’s just a matter of trying to find that extra one percent every day to improve.
“I didn’t start very well in Germany. I shot four over and was about 130th after the first day but thankfully made my way inside the cut line and finished the tournament in 12th place so there is certainly a lot to build on from that. When I can come 12th and still feel as if I have left a bit out there, it is very encouraging for me.”
Murphy’s glittering amateur career included the Bryon Nelson award in 2020 and an impressive performance at Seminole earlier this year, where he contributed two points in a narrow 14-12 defeat, and he believes the high-profile events he participated in as an amateur have provided solid foundations for making the step into the professional game.
“My amateur career definitely prepared me for life on the Challenge Tour,” he said. “The exposure I got in America for playing at the highest level and in some of the best amateur tournaments in the world was amazing.
“It was certainly good preparation for coming out here because the standard is so high on the Challenge Tour. It’s so competitive and a lot of guys are playing for a living.
“I still believe I can make it into the top 20. You saw last week with Angel Hidalgo winning, he moved himself from having no status out here to being in the running for a European Tour card. It shows what one week can do and I just have to try and finish as high up as I can and see where that leaves me at the end of the week.”
Road to Mallorca Number Four Ewen Ferguson joins Murphy in the field this week as he looks to cement his European Tour card for the 2022 season, while Hidalgo, of Spain, and Chilean Hugo Leon will also tee it up in France after their recent victories.
The action gets under way at 8:00am local time on Thursday September 15, with Murphy teeing it up at 9:30am alongside Sweden’s Simon Forsström and Frenchman Sebastien Gandon.
- Full tee times HERE