Murphy hits the front at Irish Boys

San Murphy (Portumna) driving at the 15th tee in the second round of the 2020 Irish Boys Under 18 Amateur Close Championship at Thurles Golf Club today (11/08/2020). Picture by Pat Cashman

Sam Murphy from Portumna will take a two stroke lead into the final round of the Irish Boys Championship at Thurles Golf Club on  Wednesday after carding a second round 68 (-4) for a 36 hole total of 139 (-5).

Joseph Byrne of Baltinglass is best of the rest as the Wicklow teenager, and current Irish U16 Champion, posted the round of the  week so far, a 67 (-5) to sit two behind Murphy.

Faithlegg’s Rory Milne is in third place on -2, just three off the lead.


Murphy holed two key putts on the front nine which helped build momentum. A long par save on the third was followed on the next by a longer birdie effort which was the first of six on his card.

“I played really well today, I made a lot of putts. I was unfortunate on the third, I hit the green and it spun back into the water, but got a drop up near the green and holed a 30 or 40 footer for par and made a 50 or 60 footer on the next for birdie. That kept me going and I made a few key putts coming home on the back nine. I’m delighted with my round.”

Having turned 18 last week, Murphy will focus on his own game heading into the final round on Wednesday.

“I only live an hour away so I’m going to head home now, I might go to Portumna, up to the range and hit a few balls. Do what I did yesterday, bed early and have a good night’s sleep. Basically  tomorrow I’m just going to play the course and I’m not going to play my opponents and see how it goes.”

In finishing atop the leaderboard after 36 holes, Murphy will be awarded the Munster Boys Championship as Thurles was set to host the provincial championship before the rearranged season took shape.

Overnight leader Gavin O’Neill from Malahide battled to a 74 after his opening 69 yesterday. The Dubliner eagled the last to give himself a chance heading into the final 18 holes on Wednesday.


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