Ireland’s John Murphy continued the Emerald Isle’s recent strong record in the St Andrews Links Trophy with a dramatic play-off win on the Old Course over Germany’s Jannick de Bruyn.
The 19-year-old from Kinsale – his 20th birthday is on Tuesday – holed a 30-foot putt on the first extra hole with de Bruyn just six feet away and the German missed to hand the young Irishman one of amateur golf’s most prestigious titles.
This came after Murphy had got up and down from the feared Road Hole Bunker on the 17th and finished tied with de Bruyn on nine-under totals of 278. Murphy, co-leader after three rounds, shot a final round 71 to the German’s 68.
“I’m overwhelmed, it’s incredible,” said Murphy. “I still remember playing this course on the Playstation as a kid and this is my biggest win by far.
“In the Road Bunker I was just thinking, make bogey, get a birdie up the last and get in a play-off, but I hit a perfect bunker shot and holed a great putt from eight feet.
“I hadn’t holed a long one all day so I said to myself on the play-off hole, `this would be a good time’. And I hit one of the best putts of my life and it dropped in just as I wanted it.”
It also meant John missed his trip home, although the Irish national squad would see him alright.
“My caddie rushed off to catch at ferry at Stranraer at 11, and I don’t think I’m making that now,” he laughed.
Highly rated South frican teenager Christo Lamprecht was in position to join the lay-off but had a disaster putting into the Road bunker, staying in with his first attempt at an escape, and then two-putting for a triple bogey.
Top Scot was Barassie’s Euan Walker, tied 11th on four-under, with Sandy Scott one shot worse off. The Nairn teenager shot a best-of-the-day 66 in the morning third round to get within a shot of the lead, but a 76 in the afternoon slipped him back into a tie for 14th.