Big Break Ireland Competitor
Hometown: Waterville, Kerry, Ireland
Current Residence: New Orleans, La.
Home Course: Waterville Golf Links
Profession: Golf Professional
On paper, Mark Murphy is the hometown favorite on Big Break Ireland, having grown up four hours south of The K Club. He started caddying for his father on the weekends, earning five (U.K.) pounds per round. When Mark was 13, his father won a weekend tournament, receiving a new driver. He gave it to his son.
“I will never forget that moment,” said Murphy. “I still have that driver today.”
The following summer, Murphy caddied for a group of his father’s friends from the United States. On the 15th hole, one of the playing partners turned to Mark and told him, “If you hit your shot inside mine onto the green, I’ll give you everything I have.” Mark hit his 9-iron shot to 15 feet. True to his word, the man gave Mark his set of clubs. That was Mark’s first set.
Mark picked up the game immediately. By 19, he was a scratch golfer. He was chosen to represent Ireland on the junior national team. He turned pro and traveled back and forth between the U.S. and Europe. He played on the Challenge Tour in Europe, and the Gateway Tour and the mini-tours in the U.S.
Eight years later, Murphy’s dream of playing on the PGA TOUR is still alive, although the results have not come to fruition like he hoped. He has, however, gained an exorbitant amount of experience of what life is like on the PGA TOUR. He also has caddied for PGA TOUR professional Rocco Mediate, his close friend for more than a dozen years.
“Rocco is like a father to me,” explained Murphy. “Caddying for him and seeing all of the guys on TOUR, I know I can compete with them. I was caddying for Rocco and, I mean, this is why you keep that dream alive. Rocco told me ‘You are too good of a player to be looping for me. I want to see you playing alongside me.’ Those words right there are what keeps me motivated to achieve my goal of playing on the PGA TOUR.”
Coming home to Ireland for Big Break could be that extra motivation he needs.
Watch Mark's Video Bio.