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Teenage dream for Ireland’s Murphy at the Home of Golf

June 11 2018

Irishman John Murphy holed a winning birdie putt in a playoff to clinch the St Andrews Links Trophy, presented in association with Allianz.

The Maynooth University student kept his cool to beat German left-hander Jannik de Bruyn on the first hole of a playoff. The 25-foot putt ensured Murphy, who turns 20 on Tuesday, was able to start his birthday celebrations early after Jannik’s own effort missed.

“I hadn’t holed a putt all day, so I just thought this would be a good time,” said a delighted Murphy, who became the third Irish player to claim the prestigious prize after Alan Dunbar (2009) and Conor O’Rourke (2016). “I hit one of the best putts of my life and it dropped in the front just like I wanted it.” 

Murphy, from Kinsale Golf Club, had started the final round tied with Canadian Joey Savoie. He made back-to-birdies at the third and fourth before dropping a shot at the 13th. However, a great sand save on the Road Hole provided the crucial par that helped him reach the playoff.

“When I was in the Road Hole bunker, I was just thinking, make bogey and birdie the last to get a play-off,” he admitted. “But I hit a perfect bunker shot. It landed on a dime and went down to eight feet and made a great putt there.” 

Asked what winning at the Home of Golf meant to him, Murphy replied, “I’m overwhelmed. I still remember playing this course on the Playstation as a kid and I remember some of the holes from that. It’s just overwhelming, it’s incredible. 

“I’ve won some youths and boys tournaments around Ireland, but this is by far my biggest win.” 

Bidding to become the first German to win the event, de Bruyn had closed with a bogey-free 68, starting birdie-birdie then making back-to-back gains at the 13th and 14th holes. Christo Lamprecht was also on course to be involved in the play-off until a triple-bogey 7 at the Road Hole dropped him back to six-under as he attempted to add to triumphs in both the South African Amateur and East of Ireland Championships earlier this year.

Watch final day highlights here.
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