Kinsale’s John Murphy more than played his part in an impressive losing effort for Great Britain & Ireland at last weekend’s Walker Cup.
The Walker Cup is the pinnacle of amateur golf as the best amateurs in the world go head to head over two days.
Despite GB & I losing the overall match to the US, Murphy came away from Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Florida with plenty of credit in the bank.
Paired with Kilkenny-man Mark Power in the opening foursomes, Murphy made his presence felt on the big stage securing his side’s opening point of the two-day team event with an inch-perfect putt on 18.
Power, whose mother Eileen Rose McDaid is from Skibbereen, and Murphy were three down with six to play against US duo Quade Cummins and Austin Eckroat during the opening session only to power back and take the point on the final green.
In Saturday’s second session, the afternoon singles, Murphy was up against former world number one Cole Hammer and despite a spirited rally from holes 10 through 13, it was Hammer who took the point for his team.
Adopted West Cork-man Power came out on top in his opening singles match beating Davis Thompson comfortably three and two.
Murphy and Power were once again paired together for the Sunday foursomes and once again they put a crucial point on the board for GB & I.
The Irish pair looked comfortable early on and found themselves three up thru eight only for the US combo of Pierceson Coody and John Pak to claw it back to all-square heading down 18.
But Power and Murphy held their nerve to seal the point for GB & I and bring their own personal foursomes tally to 2-0 for the weekend.
In the end though it was the Sunday singles that proved decisive with the US claiming the five points needed from the afternoon session to ensure the 48th Walker Cup remained stateside.
Ricky Castillo was the star of the show, winning four points out of four to lead his team to a 14-12 win.
Speaking to Sky Sports in the aftermath Great Britain & Ireland captain Stuart Wilson said: ‘The guys have come out fighting and tried to acquit themselves as best they can. But hats off to the USA Team and Nathaniel for pulling the victory off.’
In the weeks and months ahead John Murphy has plenty to look forward to, including his graduation, the final stage of the US Open qualifiers on June 7th and turning pro – and he’ll now get to do all that with a massively enhanced reputation.