Eoin Murphy made a big breakthrough on home soil today when he captured the Dundalk Scratch Cup sponsored by One Finance.
The 23-year-old became the fifth Dundalk player to lift the Carroll Cup and joins some of the biggest names in Irish golf, like three-times major winner Padraig Harrington, on the competition’s roll of honour.
Murphy, who was a member of Leinster’s Inter-provincial winning team last week, finished on six under par after two rounds of 69 and won by three shots from Roganstown’s Sean Keeling who is heading for Rome as a member of the European Junior Ryder Cup team.
Murphy was one of three players tied on three under par after the opening round which was played in perfect conditions on a course that was in tip-top shape.
Starting off the 10th, Murphy had three birdies over his opening nine holes as he turned in 33 and he came home in 36 with a bogey at the second, his 11th hole, being balanced by a birdie at the par five sixth.
The 2021 winner Jack McDonnell of Forrest Little and Malahide’s Colin Shiels both had five birdies as they matched Murphy’s opening 69 but neither was able to sustain the challenge in the second round as McDonnell shot 76 and Shiels could only go round in 80, even with an eagle two at the long par four 16th.
Keeling, who was playing alongside Murphy, had shot a level par 72 in the first round to lie three shots off the lead but he was in sparkling form in the afternoon as he carded seven birdies. However, four bogeys meant he was unable to eat into Murphy’s lead and he had to settle for second place after being tied for eighth at the halfway stage.
Murphy, starting again off the 10th, as both rounds began with a shotgun start, eagled his opening hole and birdied the next to take a firm grip of the tournament. Another birdie followed five holes later and he turned for home on seven under. He covered his final nine in one over with two birdies and three bogeys to card another 69 and a final total of 138.
Two more Dundalk players made the top five with Joseph Laverty finishing on one under and Boys Captain Ben Cahill finishing on level par.
“It was nice to get it today and it’s one to tick off the bucket list,” said Murphy afterwards. “ I got off to a tidy enough start this morning. It was a nice 69. It was a wee bit more scrappy in the afternoon. I got off to a nice start with an eagle on ten when I holed a long putt and then birdied the 11th and after that it was just a case of keeping it ticking it over and hitting fairways and greens.”
Murphy was Munster Boys U16 Champions in 2016 and won the Boyd Quaich Memorial Tournament at St Andrew’s last year but this is his first senior trophy and he was delighted to have made that breakthrough.
“It’s nice to get a scratch cup like this. Any scratch cup you’d be delighted with but the home one means a whole lot more, so I am delighted to get this over the line. The pressure’s off now.”
Saturday, September 9 – Dundalk Scratch Cup sponsored by One Finance: 138 - Eoin Murphy (Dundalk 69/69). 141 - Sean Keeling (Roganstown 72, 69). 143 - Joseph Laverty (Dundalk, 72, 71), Niall Carroll (Dunmurry 70, 73). 144 - Ben Cahill (Dundalk 74, 70), Evan Shipp (Headfort 72, 72). Round 1 Gross: Jack McDonnell (Forrest Little) 69. Round 2 Gross: Liam Abom (Edmondstown) 70. Overall Nett: 147 - Colin Roche (Dundalk, 1) 75/72.
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