John Murphy will realise a childhood dream when he tees it up on Thursday morning as a member of the DP World Tour as he begins his rookie year.
The 2023 DP World Tour season opens with the South African swing and the Kinsale native is in the field for the Joburg Open in Johannesburg having only earned his full playing privileges last week thanks to a heroic final round at Q-School.
“It’ll feel like a dream come true,” he smiled. “All I ever wanted to do was play on the main tour. Playing in the back garden as a kid I used to imagine I was there playing in events like this.
“I’m very excited to tee it up and officially be a part of the DP World Tour.
“When I was turning professional as an amateur I always believed I was good enough. I didn’t try to change anything just tried to stick to my routines and my process and I’m going to continue to do that as I move onto the DP World Tour.
“I fully believe that I am good enough and it’s cheap to say and easy to say but I have that inner belief so yeah, I’m going to try and keep working on my game and keep improving and see where that leaves me at the end of the year,” added Murphy.
Murphy is joined in South Africa by fellow DP World Tour rookie Tom McKibbin who secured his card via the top-20 in the Challenge Tour Rankings.
The South African swing is a nice place to start for the pair who have a wealth of experience in the country on the Challenge Tour where McKibbin set the tone for a great year with two top-7 finishes.
2022-23 will be a season of new experiences and destinations for Murphy but rather than take some time off after the marathon six rounds of Q-School he wants to keep his momentum going.
“I was going to take some time off but I figured I’d go home for a few days look outside after three or four days and think what am I doing here. So I decided to come down and roll with the momentum and put some performances on the board.
“I’m focusing on my preparation and get ready for this week and put aside everything that’s happened in weeks gone by.
“I played six events in South Africa at the start of the year and got used to the style of golf down here and the courses.
“I played the course the last few days and I like the grass type so I am looking forward to getting out there and getting going.”
This time last year the Joburg Open became a circus after an outbreak of Covid-19 forced a mass withdrawal with the event reduced to 36 holes.
A host of Europeans withdrew and fled for the airport to get home for Christmas including Jonathan Caldwell, Cormac Sharvin, Paul Dunne and Niall Kearney which ultimately paved the way for a very disappointing season for the quartet.
Murphy has not laid out any targets for his rookie year but knows a good start could open some doors later in the season.
“I have no real expectations or goals for the season. As cliché as it sounds, the last couple of years I have worked really hard on being as present as possible and absorbing the moment. That’s what I want to continue and iron out things in my game that I need to work on and become an all round better player.
“I’m really looking forward to the Irish Open and the Dunhill Links at the end of the year if I’m given the chance. If I play well at the start of the year then hopefully those opportunities come knocking.”