Zach Murray, 2019 Australian PGA Championship, Round 4
Q. Do you know what kind of has to happen for you to, I guess, get an invite to Europe? Have you worked it out in your head yesterday?
ZACH MURRAY: Yeah, I’m a pretty big thinker so I sort of know what the go is, but there’s a couple of guys ‑‑ I think obviously Brad Kennedy’s still out there playing, I think I’m 16, in front of him.
But I think I should be okay if Scotty ‑‑ if Scotty wins and sort of Wade finishes high ‑‑ high up there. Yeah, I mean, things look pretty good. Yeah, I just want to ‑‑ all I could do ‑‑ I haven’t really been playing that great lately and I battled around the first couple days and made it through the weekend and then got off to a bad start yesterday, I was 4 over through six, and obviously to shoot 3 under today, 2 under on the back nine yesterday and 3 under today was pretty good. I was feeling a bit of pressure as you do, but yeah, I played great the last six holes. I literally could have birdied the last six holes, so it was pretty good.
Q. Good crowd behind you, too. Where did they come from?
ZACH MURRAY: Allmy family. Basically a lot of my family lives on the Gold Coast so I’m staying up here for Christmas. I’m going to Movie World tomorrow. Yeah, it was pretty good. I mean, my family, they’re pretty passionate people. Yeah, that birdie putt on the last might mean a little something at the end of the day and it was nice to finish high.
Q. You went to Q‑School, didn’t you?
ZACH MURRAY: Europe.
Q. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So obviously Europe’s a very appealing proposition for you. What would it mean to sort of get an invite to play there next year?
ZACH MURRAY: Oh, basically all year I’ve been thinking about this moment. I mean, I grew up watching the European Tour on TV at home. I’m a big golf fan, I watch a lot of golf. I still ‑‑ at events, I still whip out the laptop and watch it at nighttime and stuff. Yeah, I mean, it’s been a huge goal of mine for a long time, so fortunate to be in the position I’m in with the Order of Merit. Apart from going out and shooting lights out this week, there was not really much I can do just because there’s not that many events to play in. But yeah, it would be unbelievable.
Q. Did you take affiliate ‑‑ have you taken sort of affiliate membership already? Did you do that at Q‑School? Where do you sort of sign that?
ZACH MURRAY: Yeah, so, I’m pretty ‑‑ my manager deals with that stuff, but I’m pretty sure I’m an affiliate member just through getting through final stage of Q‑School. Money will count this week. Yeah, it should ‑‑ if I happen to snag it, it should be pretty awesome next year.
Q. You had a couple of ‑‑ like 2017 you had a good run at the British Amateur. Is that, sort of those couple years, the only experience you had playing up there?
ZACH MURRAY: Just the stuff in St. Andrews, Scottish stroke play is all that I’ve played up there. I had a couple top‑10s and I made the quarterfinal of the (inaudible) a few years ago. My girlfriend and mum’s from just south of London and we spent a lot of time over there this year. It’s sort of like, you know, she just finished her studies and it’s sort of the place where everything would just run smoothly if it did happen. Yeah, I don’t know. It’s just, my brain’s ‑‑
Q. Planets aligning?
ZACH MURRAY: Yeah, I don’t know. I’m a big believer in if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. I think things have happened in my life. I mean, New Zealand, you know. I’ve struggled ‑‑ I’ve always struggled sort of going away from home. I just don’t travel ‑‑ I haven’t traveled that well, you know.
And winning the New Zealand Open this year obviously gave me the financial leg up just to be able to take a mate or take my girlfriend with me and it made this year basically possible. Two years ago I didn’t really want to travel overseas and play golf just because I just got super anxious about it.
I don’t know, it just runs in the blood a little bit. I’ve done a huge amount of work on that and it’s still ‑‑ I don’t think it’s any better than it ever was, it’s just that now I’ve got people around me to keep me comfortable. That’s just how life will be. And I love my golf, but I don’t love it enough to drive myself into the ground, because life’s too short to be stressing about that all the time.
Q. Tell me, who did you sort of follow watching the European Tour events as a kid? Were there players you kind of were attracted to you that you kind of enjoyed watching, even still today?
ZACH MURRAY: I mean, I’m a big Stenson fan. I reckon I’ve watched him in that Open about 50 times. I’ve got it on my laptop and I watch it basically every time I get on the plane. The Jewel of the Suns CDD. Yeah, it’s really cool.
Obviously like with Marcus Fraser being from half an hour away from where I grew up, I’ve always sort of looked up to him. We’re good mates, we play golf together now, so he’s someone who I can draw on advice. He’s made an unbelievable living out of Europe for the last 15, 20 years at two or three wins I think as well.
Yeah, Stenson’s probably the one that I sort of look up to the most.
Q. Just lastly, this time last year you had only just turned professional. How do you sum up year one? What have you learned? What do you wish you knew 12 months ago that you know now?
ZACH MURRAY: I don’t know. I feel as though I’m just a big reflector. I reflect a lot on how I play, how I prepare. I don’t think there’s any secret, to be fair. At the New Zealand Open this year, my preparation was nothing special. I didn’t warm up on the first two days because ‑‑ I didn’t warm up the first day because it was too cold and I just couldn’t swing, so I went and sat in the clubhouse.
Q. Is that the best time to warm up, though, when it’s cold?
ZACH MURRAY: Yeah, I don’t know. I just went to the tee and went out and shot 8 under, you know? And then there’s times when I’ve warmed up really well, felt great and played great and vice versa, I’ve warmed up well ‑‑ I don’t know, it’s just golf. That’s sort of why I’ve become a big believer in if it’s just meant to be, it just happens.
We’re all out there trying to shoot the best score we can, and there’s obviously that part where you’ve got to be so mentally strong. What does mentally strong mean? It’s a huge answer to that question. That’s sort what have I’ve been trying to work on is what triggers me to get into the right mental space, and I’m slowly getting there. I’m working with a guy, Ken Little and his partner, Rachel. We talk every day. It’s never about the golf, it’s just about being the best human you can be, because at the end of the day we are all human. So it’s just about ‑‑ there’s going to be times where I’m going to be crappy, I’m going to swear and whatever, but the majority of the time I’m trying to remain calm, focused and just try and enjoy it the best as I can.
Q. And one of the things that a lot of guys say now is crap golf doesn’t make you a crappy human, either. Sort of understanding, not attaching it to is a big part of (inaudible) always had my self worth tied up into what I shot ‑‑
ZACH MURRAY: Yeah.
Q. ‑‑ reflect now and realize that’s not what makes you a good person.
ZACH MURRAY: Yeah.
Q. Shooting 66 doesn’t make you a better person.
ZACH MURRAY: No, exactly. It doesn’t change ‑‑ and it doesn’t change ‑‑ like if you shoot 66, your ability doesn’t change at all from if you shoot 76. You’ve still got the same amount of talent, the same amount of ability, the same game as you had the morning before, it’s just that you didn’t play as good and your technique might have just fallen away a little bit.
I think that’s what I’m slowly starting to realize is yesterday I come home and I didn’t play that great and I didn’t warm up great on the range, but it’s because I knew that it just doesn’t really mean anything. I’m out there to try and get my body loose, and then I flushed it today. I think that’s how I work.
Other players might work with that reverse psychology. Like if I warm up bad, I know I’m going to play well. It’s literally just the mind is so (inaudible.)
And that’s, you know, guys ‑‑ you look at, you have to look at Tiger, his mind, he’s got the best head in the game. Obviously unbelievable player, but he definitely wouldn’t won as many tournaments if he wasn’t so strong up top.
Scotty, he’s just a good player. He knows that if he just plays probably 70 or 80 percent towards his best, he knows he’s going to be at the top of the leaderboard and that’s just where that confidence comes from.
I think that’s what I’m trying to work on, you know, is just believe in myself. I know I’m a good player and I’ve won before, but sometimes you just have to believe ‑‑
Q. Get out of your own way.
ZACH MURRAY: ‑‑ in yourself. As I said, it’s only human to do that. I’m not afraid of those thoughts, it’s just what happens.
Q. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
ZACH MURRAY: It’s just you’ve got to minimise that and just get on with the job.
Q. What’s your girlfriend’s name?
ZACH MURRAY: Amy.