THREE-TIME Major winner Padraig Harrington has advised Kinsale golfer John Murphy to not change his game when he turns professional this summer.
Murphy (22) impressed for the Great Britain & Ireland team at the recent Walker Cup in Florida and is coming off the back of a very impressive amateur career.
The next step for the level-headed Kinsale man is to turn pro – and who better to offer him advice than current Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington.
As a kid, Murphy once dressed up as Harrington for a fancy dress in Kinsale. The Dublin golfer with strong West Cork links – his father Paddy was from Beara – was Murphy’s first inspiration as a golfer.
‘I tell most of the young guys turning pro that whatever you are doing now, do the exact same for about two years,’ Harrington told the Star Sport Podcast recently.
‘Don’t change anything. I really mean don’t change anything. Stick to what you have been doing for two years. At the end of two years you’ll know if you do need to change anything or whether you are good enough or whether you need to tweak a few things. But there is no way you know that after your turn pro and there is no way you know after three tournaments.
‘Just do your own thing for a long period so you can get a fair evaluation of where you stand against your peers,’ Harrington advised, before adding that he feels the key to becoming a good professional golfer is feeling comfortable in your environment.
‘It’s about believing in yourself and trusting in yourself,’ Harrington explained.
‘It’s a difficult world, you go out and a couple of missed cuts at the start and you think you are not good enough and you think you have to change things.
‘In golf – and particularly that level of professional golf – there is a tiny, fine line between missing the cut and finishing in the top ten, and even between missing the cut and winning tournaments.
‘It’s about self-confidence, doing your thing and giving yourself a long enough period to do that.’
Murphy is well grounded. He is stepping into the world of professional golf with his eyes wide open and the Kinsale native feels he is ready to make this move.
‘I just have to try to play the best golf that I can. I don’t need to change anything,’ Murphy said.
‘I know that my good golf is good enough to compete and that’s the main thing for me because I know if I can get myself into a position to be playing my good golf as regularly as possible then I’ll be fine.
‘I just have to not get caught up in the egotistical side of turning professional. I still have to play the golf I can. I still have to stay present. I still have to do everything I can to be the best player that I can be.’
Murphy, who has spent the past four years at the University of Louisville, is still in America and he will compete in the US Open qualification event – over 36 holes – in Ohio on June 7th.