Murphy wraps up NCAA Regionals

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications

NORMAN, Okla – Louisiana Tech’s Sam Murphy finished up the 2022 NCAA Norman Regional on Wednesday, shooting a 76 (+4) to end the tournament tied for 23rd at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club.

Murphy ended up shooting 70-71-76 (217) for the regional, managing just two birdies in his third and final round on a hot and humid afternoon. 

“I was not very good today,” said Murphy. “It is important to start good on that course.  I hit it about the same as I did yesterday, but I made some mistakes early.  I think I may have gotten a little ahead of myself.  I was too worried about what the end result was going to be instead of just hitting the shot. 

“It was good to learn from it.  I hated this round being the last of my college career.  Tying for 23rd in that kind of field is not terrible.  I just did not make a lot of putts, did not have a lot go my way today.  All in all, it was a great experience.”

The front nine was a tough stretch for the fifth-year senior.  Despite having a great par save on the 472-yard Par 4 No. 1 by hitting a pitch to within a couple of inches, he carded the first of four bogeys on the 173-yard Par 3 No. 2 after finding the short-side bunker.

He bogeyed the next par three as well, this one on the 182-yard No. 6 after flying the green and not being able to get up and down.  The toughest break came on the following hole as a tough pin location resulted in a double bogey to put Murphy at +4 for the day.

“Today was tough,” said Tech head coach Matt Terry. “It was tough to watch Sam struggle.  I knew how bad he wanted to play well today.  You are going to make mistakes and fail.  Other than a couple of shots early and one swing on the back nine, he hit it really well today.  The two bogeys on the par threes and the pin position on No. 7 were tough.  Overall, the tournament was fantastic for him.  He presented himself well on a national stage.”

He bounced back on the final hole of the front nine, blasting a driver over 400 yards on the 435-yard Par 4 No. 9 and then hit a wedge to within 12 feet before making his first birdie.

Back-to-back bogeys followed through on the 322-yard Par 4 No. 11 and 445-yard Par 4 No. 11.  Murphy played the last seven holes at -1 with the birdie coming on the 594-yard Par 5 No. 13 when he made it on the green in two after hitting his three-wood 289 yards into the wind. 

“Sam has been solid for three years,” said Terry. “He has grown so much as a player and a person the time he has been with us.  He has done a lot to improve and bought into a lot of things to make himself better and better.  We are going to miss him.  I look for him to have a long and fruitful career as a professional and am glad he is going to be around us to do so.”

Photo: Kane McGuire