Kinsale’s John Murphy says his body could’ve comfortably kept going after his most recent five-tournament stretch on tour but he enjoyed his mental refresh back home ahead of returning to South Africa for this week’s SDC Open.
Murphy followed up three rounds on the PGA Tour at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February with a four-event stretch in South Africa where he broke par 12 of 14 rounds, including a moving day 64 at the Manguang Open.
Successive tied-18th finishes, there, and at the previous week’s Jonsson Workwear Open have propelled the 23-year old to 32nd on the early-season Road to Mallorca standings and although the rookie was raring to keep the show on the road with momentum flowing, he’s feeling rejuvenated after enjoying home comforts these past couple of weeks in Cork.
“I actually wasn’t feeling tired at all,” Murphy says. “I could tell it was my fifth week in a row but that was more so mentally.
“I physically felt like I could’ve gone another few weeks but I don’t think many professional golfers would advise playing much more than five weeks in a row anyway, so the break came at the right time.”
Murphy intends to play two events in Limpopo before a hopeful start next month in Tanzania. First up in the sequence is Thursday’s starting SDC Open, the fifth of seven co-sanctioned events between the Challenge Tour and the Sunshine Tour, which will be played across Zebula Golf Estate & Spa and Elements Private Golf Reserve in Limpopo.
“It’s certainly a bit different down here,” Murphy says.
“As you can probably tell, South Africans are always up around the top of the leaderboard in these events but I’m used to playing a lot of different grasses having played through college in America so I was able to adapt alright.”
Indeed, Murphy has had his scoring boots on, but even four-round returns of 12-under par and 14-under par respectively have fallen well short of winning numbers, a reminder, not that it was needed, of just how low one must go to compete on any given Sunday on Tour.
“The standard in professional golf is good no matter where you are,” Murphy says.
“You’re not going to show up to a tournament and get it gifted to you. If you want to be competing, you have to be sharp, everything has to be firing and it’s just a case of putting the pieces of the puzzle together on a given week and giving yourself the best opportunity possible to shoot low scores.
“I’m feeling good after a little break. We put some nice work in so looking forward to seeing what the next stretch of events have in store.”
Joining Murphy from an Irish perspective this week is Dubliner Gavin Moynihan and Sunshine Tour regular Richard O’Donovan.
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