Snooker star Shaun Murphy attempting to qualify for The Open
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 12/06/19 4:22pm
Former world snooker champion Shaun Murphy has confirmed that he has entered qualifying for The 148th Open at Royal Portrush.
Murphy, who lifted the world title at the Crucible in 2005 and has been runner-up twice since, is an accomplished golfer with a scratch handicap and is looking forward to swapping the baize for fairways and greens later this month.
The 36-year-old will be in the field for the regional Open qualifying event at County Louth on June 24, although he is keeping his expectations to a minimum and believes his chances of making the final qualifying stages are "extremely unlikely".
In an interview with World Snooker, Murphy explained that he was inspired to attempt Open qualifying after he once caddied for a friend who made it through to the final stages and played in the group ahead of Michael Campbell, who won the US Open just a few weeks after Murphy won the World Snooker Championship.
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"That was a fantastic experience," Murphy said. "I thought it would be nice to have a go myself, just to say I had played in it. It is very hard to maintain a scratch handicap whilst having a full time snooker career, a young family and all the rest of it. I won't be off scratch for much longer so I thought I should take my opportunity while I am still eligible.
"It isn't beyond the realms of possibility that I could go out there and shoot level par and get through to the final stage of qualifying. That would be extremely unlikely, but I have done it before. My best round of golf is four under par.
"If I even managed to progress to the next stage it would be crazy really. There are some amazing players in those final qualifiers and I would feel like a bit of an imposter, but I'm only 18 holes away. It is all a bit tongue in cheek and a bit of a laugh, but this will be a fantastic experience.
"I think the one thing I do have going for me is that I already have a full time job. Golf isn't my livelihood. Relative to the other players I will be playing against, it doesn't really matter to me if I win or lose. I won't be under the pressure they are under. Most of them are trying to win the Open Championship.
"I am just trying to have a good day out. I could knock it round in anything from 68 to 108!"