Murphy wins Faldo Series Ireland U16 Championship

Eoin Murphy - Faldo Series 2016 (A)

Eoin Murphy receives the gold medal after winning the Faldo Series Ireland U16 Championship

Dundalk Golf Club’s Eoin Murphy won the Faldo Series U16 Ireland Championship at Lough Erne Resort last week when he beat the cream of Irish golfers in his age-group to qualify for the European Grand Final.

After an opening round of 74, he fired a second round of 70 for a level par total of 144 which was good enough to take the title by four shots ahead of several Irish internationals.

“This was my biggest win outside the club and it is a great start to the year,” said Murphy. “It was a very strong field, with several Irish internationals in it, so it was good to show what I can do in that sort of company.”

Murphy, who plays off five, found himself two shots behind Conor Glennon (Glasson) and Robert Galligan (Elm Park) after the first round with a six shot gap to the rest of the field. His opening round of 74 included birdies at the 10th, 15th and 17th, but he was undone by five bogies including one at the last.

However, in round two Murphy blew everybody away with the only sub-par round of the tournament, a two under par 70 as nobody else in the field managed to shoot better than 76.

Things didn’t look good for his chances of catching the leaders when he double-bogeyed the 162-yard par three third after finding a bunker off the tee.

He then spurned an eagle opportunity at the par five fourth when he three-putted from 12 feet but, as the conditions deteriorated, he moved up a gear and sank two 30 foot putts for birdies at the fifth and seventh to get his round back to level par.

Murphy bounced back again after bogeying the 12th with birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th to finish the tournament on level par, four shots ahead of Glennon with his Dundalk clubmate, Sean Laverty finishing in 18th place.

“One of my aims for the season is to play well enough to be considered for the Leinster panel so this has given me a good boost,” said Murphy.

The Faldo Series, which was the brainchild of former Major champion Nick Faldo, is recognised as the only global amateur series for boys and girls and is now in its 20th year. Among the top professional players to have come through the Faldo Series is Rory McIlroy.

The date and venue for the European Final will be announced shortly but it is likely to be at one of the continent’s major golf venues.