Hometown Hero Ella Murray Eyes Victory in Dubbo

David Tease
March 11, 2024

She’s sleeping in her own bed, knows the greens like the back of her hand and is now a legitimate threat to win the Dubbo Regional Qualifier.

Dubbo amateur Ella Murray will play in the second last group out tomorrow as she chases down a berth in the Women’s NSW Open.

And after a great grind to reach even par in the first round, she’s confident that her local knowledge will be a huge asset.

“Hopefully I’ll get a good night’s sleep. It’s a bit nerve-wracking, but I’ll have a positive attitude and be confident tomorrow.

“It’s a big advantage to know the course, especially around the greens,” Murray enthused after her opening-round even-par 72 left her in a share of seventh and just five strokes from leader Lydia Hall.

“They’re quite tricky obviously and especially for the girls who’ve been playing at Orange and Bathurst (in the past week), the greens are about as quick, but they’re harder, so knowing where they’re bounce is a massive advantage.”

Asked if it would be worth her professional peers trying to peach some “sneaky reads” off her putts tomorrow, Murray’s cheeky confidence shone through: “If I was them, I would be.”

Murray, who began her round on the fourth hole today, bogeyed the tough fifth, but from that point made a series of clever saves to keep her score ticking along after a birdie on the short seventh.

“It was really good, I scrambled a lot and made some good up-and-downs, stayed hydrated and didn’t lose concentration, so that was good,” said the 18-year-old, who also made a great save on the tough 17th late in her round.

“I hit it left into the trees there, punched out to 120m, but then hit it to two feet and made my par to keep momentum going into the end of the round.”

Murray will play alongside Darcy Habgood, Kathryn Norris and Sarah Yamaki Branch in the penultimate group at 9.55 am tomorrow.

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