McGinley urges Murphy to focus energy on Challenge Tour

Paul McGinley (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Former Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley says it’s great that John Murphy has been getting exposure on golf’s main tours but the Dubliner insists the Kinsale pro must focus on the Challenge Tour in his bid to climb to the top of the sport.

McGinley was speaking on the Sky Sports Golf Podcast where he revealed that he got to spend a lot of time with Murphy during last year’s Walker Cup where the young Irishman teamed with Mark Power to great effect at Seminole.

Since then, Murphy has obviously turned pro but his amateur game transitioned seamlessly to the paid ranks with Murphy not only securing his Challenge Tour card off limited starts, but also enjoying a top-10 finish on the European Tour at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last season before making his PGA Tour debut earlier this month at Pebble Beach.


Back to the grind on the Challenge Tour where he tied 47th last week in Fancourt and now facing into this week’s Cape Town Open, McGinley was glad Murphy got a taste of the big time, but he wants the 23-year old to focus his energy on building his career from a Challenge Tour foundation.

“I spent a week down at the Walker Cup last year in Seminole and got to know John,” McGinley said. “I spent some time with him and watched a lot of his games.

“Since he’s turned pro we’ve talked a bit and what I’m trying to get him to focus on – yes, it’s great to get an invitation to Pebble Beach, to play with Seamus and in an Irish group and get that exposure, and he acquitted himself quite well despite missing the cut – but the real focus for him is trying to get his mind right for Challenge Tour.

“The chances of doing a Shane Lowry and winning a big event and getting straight onto the Tour are so slim so let’s stay focussed on getting your card through the Challenge Tour to get onto the DP World Tour and used that as a stepping stone.

“That’s what his real focus should be.”

Murphy tees up Thursday at Royal Cape amongst a field that includes a half dozen Irish with Paul Dunne, Niall Kearney, Cormac Sharvin, Tom McKibbin and Gavin Moynihan all competing.

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