John Murphy was pleased to shoot a stress-free second round of 67 to move into contention on day two of the English Trophy presented by Rocket Yard Sports Marketing.
The Kinsale native is in a share of 13th place on nine-under-par, four shots adrift of Frenchman Ugo Coussaud.
Murphy was one of the late starters in Thursday’s fog delayed opening round so he returned to complete his back nine from four-under. A birdie on the tenth set him on his way and he recovered well from a double bogey on 12 with a birdie on 16 for a 68.
The 24-year-old maintained his momentum and skipped around Frilford Heath in just 67 shots on Friday afternoon thanks to a blemish free round which included five birdies.
“It was a strange day. It didn’t really feel like a 67 because I played 27 holes today so it all blended into one,” said Murphy who played his last 21 holes in six-under. “Had one double on my third hole this morning which wasn’t ideal but other than that I was pretty solid all day, didn’t do much wrong and cleaned up pretty well. In a decent position heading into the weekend.
“It felt like a day where I held everything I was supposed to, one or two bonuses. Didn’t hole anything ridiculous or didn’t do anything extraordinary all day, just good few fairways and greens. Any day I can walk away without a bogey in a round is great. It’s not too often that happens there’s always one little blemish to stress out my parents watching back home. Always nice to have a stress free round.”
Murphy entered the week 42nd in the Road to Mallorca Rankings needing a good week to secure his spot in the top-45 ahead of next month’s Grand Final. Some hard work with his coach Ian Stafford to arrest an untimely run of four missed cuts in six events has paid dividends.
The former Walker Cup player is alongside compatriot Tom McKibbin with both players facing swift turnarounds when they walked off the 18th green in round one. McKibbin had 20 minutes to reset and re-load but Murphy was back out almost immediately and he was pleased with how he composed himself to leave himself in position to strike over the weekend.
“I thought I would get a break between the rounds to clip a few and get a bite to eat while they did the pins but it wasn’t even twenty minutes because we were late finishing. It was a rush to get back to the tee box. Once we got there it was a new round of golf and just try and compose yourself which I did.
“Today was a pretty long day so it’s important to get some rest and recovery and get ready to go again. I’m pleased with how it’s gone so far it was always going to be a bit more pressure this week coming down the final stretch of the season. It’s been nice to perform well so far and I just have to prepare myself for tomorrow.
“Only halfway through the tournament but a long way to go.”