Date: February 06, 2016
Author: Mark Hayes

Snakes alive, Murray’s on a mission

Zach Murray is never short of a word.

So after a round packed full of great shots among the 66 he took, the young Victorian quickly plumped for a 12m birdie putt on the 3rd hole, the 12th of his third round as he stormed through the Oates Vic Open field to a share of fifth at nine under.

It could easily have been his outstanding chip from a precarious position behind the 18th green to set up a birdie earlier.

Or his amazing up and down on the 16th when things looked a little wobbly after a breezy birdie-birdie start off the 10th tee.

He prattled away to the assembled media who were busily uncovering facts about the Golf Australia national squad member as he roared into contention in his state Open title at the tender age of 18, just four strokes behind leader Adam Blyth.

And, would you believe, he forgot to tell them his actual magic moment.

“Oh, I forgot the snake,” he told me after others moved away.

“Mate, can you put in about the snake in your story?”

Sure Zach. Tell me more.

“I went into the bunker over the back of the (par-three) 12th and I went towards the ball and the health and safety officer looking for snakes said there’d been one there when the last group came through.”

Murray said the officer assured him there wouldn’t be a problem; that they knew where to look it was going to come back and that he’d be fine to climb down and play his shot.

“Mate, it was a tough shot and all I could think about was this snake darting out at me while I was lining it up.

“I couldn’t believe it.”

“That was so the highlight – I can’t believe I didn’t say that.”

As it unfolded, Murray was stellar in saving par.

That trend remained throughout a stellar day for the Wodonga lad who’s rapidly showing his game is capable of mixing it with the big boys of the Australian PGA Tour, especially after a seriously dislocated finger last year slowed him even more than his Year 12 studies.

“I could be making up for lost ground, but my love of the game right now is super high; I love my practising and I love my playing,” he said.

“I was very happy, I rolled in a few bombs early which resulted in birdies which got the day started. I played pretty solid on the back nine so it was a good game overall.”