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Patrick Murphy Receives UGA Senior Men’s Player of the Year Award
By Megan Terry, Programs Administrator
Patrick Murphy finished the 2016 season at the top of the UGA Senior Player Performance Ratings by 57 points over Dana Nelson. Patrick competed in 12 SPPR events throughout the year and was crowned champion at the Sand Hollow Amateur, UGA Winterchamps in Southern Utah, and the Weber County Senior Classic at The Barn Golf Course. Of the 12 events, he had 11 top-10 finishes, eight of which were top-three finishes. In other words, Murphy is consistent.
In 2015, Murphy qualified for the U.S. Senior Amateur at Hidden Creek Golf Club in Egg Harbor Township, NJ, by carding a 71 at Oakridge Country Club. During the match play qualifying portion of the championship, Pat fired rounds of 72-78–150 to advance as the 63rd seed.
He won the last two holes in his Round of 64 match versus No. 2 seed Doug LaCrosse to come from behind and go all square through 18 holes. Murphy birdied the 19th hole to advance to the Round of 32 where he then defeated 34th seed Randy Reifers 2 and 1. Despite making four bogeys on the first seven holes, Patrick righted the ship and coasted to a 2-and-1 victory over No. 50 seed Peter Wegman to advance to the Quarterfinals.
In spite of losing his fourth match against No. 10 seed Tom Brandes, winning three matches as the 63rd of 64 seeds amongst some of America’s best senior golfers is a significant achievement in and of itself.
“2015 and 2016 were great years of golf for me, no doubt,” stated Murphy. “The momentum I gained playing well in 2015 clearly carried me into 2016.”
Pat started the 2016 season strong at UGA Winterchamps at Sky Mountain Golf Course and The Ledges Golf Course. For the second year in a row, he clinched the Senior Division title at the UGA’s first championship event in Southern Utah. In 2015, he and Brett Sampson shared the title with 88 Stableford points each. One year later, Murphy managed to reel in a two-day total of 76 points to become the back-to-back Senior champion.
After 25 years of local qualifying, Murphy finally made it to the match play portion of the Utah State Amateur in 2015. He lost in the Round of 64 versus former SUU golfer Nic Booth but qualified again in 2016 and came back in his Round of 64 match against the U’s Gentry Hicks to advance to the Round of 32 versus semifinalist Kyler Dearden. Dearden defeated Murphy 1-up, which only increased Patrick’s confidence and determination to succeed going forward.
One of Pat’s most momentous accomplishments of the 2016 season took place at the Karl Tucker Memorial Amateur at East Bay Golf Course where he had the round of his life. Murphy had 13 birdies and zero bogeys to shoot 59 and win the tournament by seven strokes. In fact, one more birdie and he would have shot his age of 58 years old.
“I dreamt about that round for years,” explained Murphy. “I didn’t have a single tap-in for birdie the whole day and didn’t miss a putt within 15 feet. I hit all 18 greens in regulation, hit three of the Par 5’s in two, and had 26 putts. It was a dream come true!”
The annual presentation of the 2016 UGA Player of the Year Awards will take place on Wednesday, January 18th at Alpine Country Club beginning at 6 p.m. Please RSVP by calling the UGA office at 801-563-0400 by Friday, January 13th at 4 p.m.