We have a special guest writer for the Golf TV Insider blog today, Big Break Ireland winner, Mark Murphy. Mark is competing in this week’s Irish Open and shares his perspective as he prepares to play in his Nation’s Open.
As part of winning Big Break Ireland I received an exemption to play in this week’s Irish Open. I've been excited about playing at Portrush since last May when I lifted the Big Break trophy. I have been spending a lot of time working on my game and getting finely tuned up by my coach and friend Brian Higgins at Waterville Golf Links. I have played in the Irish Open a few times before, but I always got my invite last minute. So it is nice to find the time to prepare for this tournament properly.
It is so exciting to be back home in Ireland especially since my Dad is in the clear after a scare with cancer and my sister Yvonne is expecting her first baby and well there is my National Open I will be playing in as well. This is definitely a very exciting time for me and my family.
A fun treat leading up to the Irish Open was playing golf at Tralee Golf Club with Ben Roethlisberger, the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback. He was in Ireland to play some golf in the off-season, so it was nice to hook up with the guys and play some relaxing games before the Irish Open.
But this past Saturday morning I woke up to a severely swollen knee. So many negative things ran through my head. First, there were the back spasms two days before my start in Morocco (Trophee Hassan II on the European Tour) and now a week before the Irish Open there is something wrong with my knee. But, that isn't anything that cannot be made right!
I visited my close friend and doctor, Derry Gibson, who diagnosed my problem and told me I need to give it a few days rest and take some anti-inflammatories. The good news is the swelling is improving and I am ready to compete!
The signs are good. Today I won the Irish qualifier for the British Open with a solid round of 71. Now it's back on the road for a two-hour drive to the beautiful town of Portrush. I have good memories of Portrush from my amateur days, so hopefully they will come back to me this week.
I will report back later in the week.