Boys Golf: Oak Park-River Forest’s Patrick Murphy has round to remember
Updated: July 9, 2012 2:12PM
Patrick Murphy was looking for an eye-opening score some time this summer. He got his wish July 3 at Cog Hill.
The Oak Park-River Forest junior didn’t win, but placed third after shooting a 1-under 70 at the No. 1 course in Lemont at the Illinois Junior Golf Association’s Playing Member Sizzler.
Murphy, OPRF’s top returning golfer for this fall, is actually the only returnee from the varsity squad. All five of Murphy’s teammates recently graduated after guiding the Huskies to 11th place in the Class 3A state meet last season. The River Forest resident finished 21st in the state meet to become OPRF’s top scorer.
Murphy has put together an ambitious schedule to continue sharpening his edge for another run at the state meet this fall. He could compete in three different tournaments this week starting with a Chicago District Golf Association qualifier Tuesday at the Sanctuary in New Lenox for the 82nd Illinois State Amateur Aug. 7-9 in Downstate Marion.
The rest of the week includes the Mid-American Junior Golf Tour’s Quad Cities Classic Thursday and Friday at Glynns Creek Golf Club in Long Grove, Iowa. Somehow Murphy hopes to sandwich in an appearance at an American Junior Golf Association tournament in Hartland, Wis.
Murphy keeps track of all his tournaments this summer using a low-tech device: his wall calendar.
“Both summers were busy,” Murphy said, including last year. “It has definitely been a busy summer with a lot of tournaments. So far this summer, [my highlight] has been Cog Hill.”
The field of 148 at Cog Hill for the Senior boys division (ages 16-18) was larger than most one-day IJGA tournaments. Murphy nearly had a chance to win, but bogeyed two of his final three holes. His set backs at Nos. 16 and 18 came after he rolled off three consecutive birdies from No. 12 to No. 14. His round started with birdies at No. 1 and No. 3.
Bryan Bolden of Mokena won the Sizzler with a 3-under 68 while Justin Schwab of Beach Park finished one shot back.
One of Murphy’s West Suburban Silver rivals, Hinsdale Central’s David Whinery, shot a 72 to tie for sixth place with five others.
Murphy’s former teammate, recent OPRF graduate Joe McKune, tied for 41st along with Oak Park resident Bryan Mooney.
Both McKune and Murphy tied for 13th earlier this summer in the MAJGT’s Champions of Purdue at Kampen Course in West Lafayette, Ind.
Murphy has competed in three MAJGT tournaments and two with the IJGA. His best MAJGT finish was 10th at the Sanctuary Open, the same site as his CDGA qualifier Tuesday.
“I’m trying to develop more consistency with everything I do,” Murphy said.
He played second base for the OPRF freshman baseball team, but stopped playing to devote his time to golf.
One of his next major goals is to qualify for the 32nd Chick Evans Junior Amateur Championship starting July 23 at Itasca Country Club.
The IJGA has three more qualifiers left in its schedule from July 16-18 in West Chicago, Algonquin and Winnetka.
“I choose the tournaments based on the course I like,” Murphy said. “It depends on my schedule. I would like to go to the Chick Evans, but we’ll see whatever works.”