Bob Murphy (Connecticut State Golf Association Photo)
One year ago, Bob Murphy was a late withdrawal from the Connecticut Senior Amateur so that he could assist with the cleanup in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
While in Florida helping with the cleanup, Murphy tore both of his rotator cuffs and was sidelined for 10 months. Fast forward 365 days later, and Murphy is holding the 78th Connecticut Senior Amateur trophy and celebrating his first career CSGA individual major title.
“This win is definitely validation,” Bob Murphy said. “I’ve had a couple of heartbreaking losses. The match play final two years ago was tough but I just didn’t let it get me down. I just said if it is meant to be it is going to happen and that I am just going to keep playing my game.”
Early in the final round at Silver Spring Country Club, it didn’t look as if it would be Murphy’s day. Bob Jones, competing on his home course, began the day 2-under and with a three-shot lead over playing partners Murphy, Ken Parisi, and 2017 champion Patrick McGuiness.
With his work already cut out for him Murphy pulled his opening tee shot left, resulting in a first hole bogey that quickly moved him four back. However, Murphy hung tough playing the front nine in even-par 35, and by the time he made the turn, he was tied for the lead with Jones at 1-over with Parisi just one shot further back, followed by McGuiness at 4-over.
Early on the back nine, the lead seesawed back and forth. On the downhill par-3 10th, Parisi, the winner of the 2022 Siderowf Division Tournament of Champions at Silver Spring CC, moved into a share for the lead after Murphy bogeyed and Jones began to slide out of contention with a double-bogey.
On the ensuing hole, the par-5 11th, Murphy began to take control of the tournament. With Parisi in trouble and scrambling for a bogey, Murphy converted his birdie putt to return to 1-over and take a lead he would never relinquish.
Murphy would bogey No. 12 after a poor tee shot, but that would be the final blemish of his round. McGuiness and Parisi would both try to mount charges as each player rolled in a birdie down the stretch but Murphy was just too steady as he parred the remaining six holes to close with a 1-over 72 and finish the tournament 2-over and as the three-shot winner.
“I am just so fortunate [to be playing golf],” Murphy, a part-time real state agent, said. “The doctors that I met with [after I tore my rotator cuffs] said I was a candidate for surgery, but I would have been out of action for a minimum of a year, but if you do rehab, you might be able to be back sooner, so I opted to go that route. I was literally on the shelf for 10 months, and I am just thankful that my body allowed me to come back.”
By the time play reached the par-4 No. 16, it had become a two-player race between Murphy and Parisi. With his second shot, Parisi just missed the green to the left, while Murphy found the putting surface but had a long way remaining for his two putt.
Playing first Parisi left his third shot from the greenside rough short. However, Murphy powered his birdie putt past the hole setting up a knee-knocker putting challenge to save par.
Moments later when Parisi missed and Murphy dropped in the delicate four-and-a-half footer from above the hole for par the lead had been extended to two shots providing the 64-year-old with the cushion he needed.
“The green speed kind of played into my strength a little bit,” explained Murphy “Growing up at Brownson CC we are used to having fast greens and these greens are absolutely spectacular [and are fast]. After bogeying the first hole I hung in there all day long. I never gave up. I knew there would be some tough holes out there for everyone and if I avoided the big numbers I felt like I had a good chance. The win feels great, it really feels great.”
Parisi and McGuiness would end up in a tie for second place at 5-over, first-round leader Bob Jones finished in fourth place at 7-over while Dave Jones, Randy Rizy, Matthew Damico, Rob Tedoldi, Jr., and 2014 winner Mark Vasington were T5 at 9-over.View results for Connecticut Senior Amateur
ABOUT THE Connecticut Senior Amateur
36-hole stroke play championship open to bona
members of a CSGA club who are fifty-five
years of age
and over by the start of the tournament.
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