Golf is a funny old game, one week you can feel miles off the pace, the next you can’t miss. After a difficult start to the 2022 season John Murphy has timed his return to form just right after a blistering career-low 62 in the third round of the Vierumaki Finnish Challenge.
It is the third week in a row that Murphy has found himself in contention and prospects at the end of the season look a lot brighter after a difficult start to the season.
The Kinsale man took a week off four weeks ago and feels he has returned mentally refreshed with a new enjoyment for the game.
“The first few months of the year have been disappointing after the way last year ended and had been playing great, just really struggled to get some momentum early in the year and that continued into the summer and it was really frustrating for a while,” explained Murphy who made two PGA Tour appearances in the early part of the season.
“I took a week off recently I was just mentally drained and didn’t feel I was enjoying my golf as much as I should be so I refreshed and got ready to go again and have played lovely every week.
“I’m in a much better place in terms of my mental approach to the game, really enjoying it and I love being out there competing, long may it continue.”
Long may it continue indeed, the 24-year-old has certainly reignited his DP World Tour promotion hopes, rising to 47th in the Road to Mallorca Rankings following a third place finish at the K Club last week.
Murphy has an opportunity to better his best result of the season by notching a maiden Challenge Tour win if he can come from a shot behind on Sunday and he is relishing the battle as he looks to leapfrog German duo Velten Meyer and Marc Hammer.
“This is my third tournament in a row being in contention the more I put myself in this position the more comfortable I will feel. It’s exciting, always nice to be in this position it’s what you play golf for to be in situations like this, every golfer enjoys and relishes it.
“I’m looking forward to getting out there and playing under the gun.”
Murphy holed out from 68 yards on the 18th for a dramatic eagle to complete a series of career firsts. A career-best 62 and his first time shooting 29 for nine holes after playing his last seven holes in seven-under.
It was a superb round that was bookended by two eagles and the Walker Cupper will need more of the same in the final round.
“It was nice to take advantage of what is a pretty scoreable golf course in general,” said Murphy. “Played lovely golf and was level-par after five holes and a bit frustrated because I knew I was losing ground at level par but just stuck with it and went ten-under for my last thirteen holes which made lunch taste pretty good.
“I hit a three wood into four feet on the first and then stalled my momentum with two bogeys. On 18 I said to Shane when we were approaching my ball that I had never shot 29 for 9 holes and I said ‘right Shane need to hole this one for 29’ and he gave me a number of 68 yards and I couldn’t see it go in but I heard the roars and it was pretty sweet.”
For the second successive week, Murphy will tee off in the final group on Sunday.