Aussie Masters boost for Murphy

Gary Murphy has been handed a late lifeline that could help him save his card - a date with Tiger Woods in Australia.

The Kilkenny star feared that this week’s wind delayed Castello Masters in Spain could be his last start of the season.

But it has emerged that next month’s Australian (JBWere) Masters in Melbourne - where Woods will  tee it up for an estimated $3m plus (€1.66m) appearance fee - will now be co-sanctioned by the European Tour.

And that means that Murphy will be heading Down Under from November 12-15 as he is unlikely to qualify for the clashing Hong Kong Open.

Murphy said: “With Melbourne now on the schedule I have to go as it gives me an extra opportunity to secure my card because I’m not going to get into Hong Kong.

“We are all aware there has been a huge amount of politics involved with Melbourne coming onto to the schedule so late.

“But I can’t get involved and besides I’m now playing on a great golf course in Kingston Heath, and Tiger Woods is in the same field.

Ranked 119th in the money list, Murphy was one over par for 11 holes when light ran out after a three hour wind stoppage.

Host Sergio Garcia grabbed a one shot clubhouse lead with an eight under 63 with Darren Clarke the best of the Irish after a 69 and Paul McGinley level after nine holes when play was halted.

But Masters champion Angel Cabrera was disqualified for missing his tee time despite a mad dash to Spain from Bermuda, where he finished second in the Grand Slam of Golf.

The wind delay would have given Cabrera plenty of time to play but it came 12 minutes after his start time.