Oscar Murphy's Brilliant Shot at Abu Dhabi

Published: 23-Jan-2018      Updated: 13-Jun-2018
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Oscar Murphy is from Omagh, Northern Ireland.  He is presently living in Abu Dhabi where he moved with his family in 2014.  Oscar won a skills challenge as a qualifier for the HSBC Future Flacons golf program, with the prize being a chance to "beat the pro".   He was to hit a tee shot on the par-three 15th tee on the opening day of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, following shots by McIlroy, Johnson and Fleetwood.   This meant that at the grand old age of 13 he would tee off with his golfing hero, Rory McIlroy, as well as with world number one Dustin Johnson and European Champion,  Tommy Fleetwood. 

Oscar is a huge fan of McIlroy and has been following him since the 2011 PGA Championship in Atlanta.  McIlroy grew to recognise him, saying,   "I feel like he's my little mascot". 

For his part, Oscar says McIlroy "Inspired me to play golf from a young age."  Oscar already has a six handicap and hopes to become a golf professional. He practices several times a week. 

On Wednesday, the day before the Championship opened, he learned that he had won the chance at the shot. After being briefly overwhelmed with emotion he became very relaxed, and focused on the event.  He knew the course and had played the hole "quite a lot of times".  He was told he'd be hitting from 150 yards and practiced those shots. They were going well.

However, at the tee he learned he would be playing off the same tees as the professionals, at 177 yards. He had to swap clubs.  "I just took a deep breath and did my best with my 3-wood."

Asked by the Golf Channel reporter how he felt stepping up,  Oscar said:  "When I was standing next to the tee box, my legs were a bit shaky. I did some stretches to try to get it all off.  But I was excited... yeah."  

If he felt shaky, it did not show.  His shot landed ten feet from the hole, beating both Johnson and Fleetwood.

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