Murphy insists on Q-School dream: "As long as I am still upright, I will keep chasing"
 Mark Murphy. Picture via  Golf Channel

Mark Murphy. Picture via Golf Channel

Mark Murphy might have been going to Q-School since 2003 but the 36-year old from Waterville makes no apologies for chasing his dream at the Second Stage in Spain this week.

He's one of eight Irishmen in action at four venues on Spain's east coast with fellow Waterville man David Higgins (42 next month), Irish PGA champion Niall Kearney and Derry's Brendan McCarroll joining him at Lumine Golf and Beach Club in Tarragona.

Muskerry's Niall Turner, Derry's Mick McGeady and Ruaidhiri McGee and Lurgan's Gareth Shaw are also in Spain looking for their tickets to next week's six-round Final Stage and the chance to win one of at least 25 golden tickets for the 2015 Race to Dubai.

With around 25 percent of the field at each venue progressing to the Final Stage, a top 20 finish is what's required to keep dreams alive. 

It won't require red-hot golf but it will require cool under severe pressure and Murphy, who has appeared on Golf Channel's Big Break reality show, insists he's feeling more relaxed about the challenge than ever.

"There are two par fours on the course that are a joke - 12 and 15 — I can't even reach and they are two par fours and have to lay up on them, which is something I've never had to do before. 

"But if you are aggressive off the tee with the driver, which I am, there are a lot of wedges in the first 11 holes. So make birdies early and steady the ship coming home in the game plan this week. 

"My expectations are high because I've been playing really well all year even though I didn't get too much out of it on the Europro Tour.

"I had dinner with David Higgins and his caddie last night and the reality is that you are just two good weeks away from having a full European Tour card if you can play just decent golf.

"It doesn't need to be spectacular, just decent solid golf. That's why we keep chasing it at 36 years old."

It says it all about Q-School that Murphy is joined for the first two rounds by 47-year old Swede Jarmo Sandelin, the 19 Ryder Cup player, and England's Stiggy Hodgson.

"This is what it's about," Murphy said. "As long as I am still upright, I will keep chasing.  Funnily enough,I don't feel any pressure this time. I've been playing pretty decently, so hopefully we can make it happen."

EUROPEAN TOUR SECOND QUALIFYING STAGE, NOVEMBER 7-10

LAS COLINAS GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB, ALICANTE

  1. Niall Turner

CAMPO DE GOLF EL SALER, VALENCIA

  1. Michael McGeady

LUMINE GOLF & BEACH CLUB, TARRAGONA

  1. David Higgins
  2. Niall Kearney
  3. Brendan McCarroll
  4. Mark Murphy

PANORAMICA GOLF & SPORT RESORT, CASTELLÓN

  1. Ruaidhri McGee
  2. Gareth Shaw