Murphy embracing the pressure ahead of Challenge Tour run in

Ronan MacNamara
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John Murphy with his caddie Shane O'Connell (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

John Murphy is going to embrace the challenge in front of him this week as he bids to secure his place in the Road to Mallorca Grand Final and keep his DP World Tour promotion hopes alive in the final regular event of the Challenge Tour season.

Murphy would have had his sights set on being alongside Tom McKibbin in the top-20 in the hunt for DP World Tour promotion but after a lean few weeks of four missed cuts in six events, the Kinsale native has fallen from 28th to 42nd in the Road to Mallorca rankings with the top-45 advancing to next month’s Grand Final.

After an untimely dip in form, Murphy needs a good week to ensure his spot in the Grand Final before he plots a late charge for a DP World Tour card. 

It’s been an inconsistent season for the 24-year-old who has missed eleven cuts in 24 events but after some hard work with coach Ian Stafford earlier in the week, he is ready to attack the English Trophy presented by Rocket Yard Sports Marketing.

“It’s been a year full of ups and downs, a lot of fun and nice to have another crack at it this week. I’m looking forward to the week, you obviously have a few extra challenges and expectations at this time of the year and I’m looking forward to embracing it,” Murphy says.

“You have a lot of people looking out and supporting you back home but it’s important that I stay in my bubble and try to make sure I keep my focus and separate what’s not important. We are doing the same thing we do every week and go through the keys to performing well. I’ve had a good few days of preparation. My coach Ian has been over so I have enjoyed that. 

“It’s always good to see him, he’s very reassuring and knows what to say at the right times. It’s great to have him at tournaments, he’s been to five or six now and we get on great. Myself, him and Shane have a good dynamic.”

Murphy secured a full Challenge Tour card for this season with a series of impressive finishes last autumn and in his first full season as a touring professional, some of his dreams have become a reality, making two PGA Tour appearances in the spring and making his Horizon Irish Open debut.

“It’s been a year full of experiences,” he agrees. “I’ve done lots this year that I had dreamed about, playing PGA Tour, Irish Open and then in Adare Manor so it’s been incredible. It’s been important for me to return that focus towards what I need to do moving forward. 

“As far as the Challenge Tour goes, there have been plenty of bad weeks but plenty of good weeks. The highs outweigh the lows by a distance and I’m very lucky to do what I do.”

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