Experience with course helps Murphy, Asbury at Dogwood

Sean Murphy and Sam Asbury grew up at Druid Hills Golf Club.

When they were young, they spent their summers at Druid Hills. Their parents dropped them off on their way to work and then picked the kids up on the way home. In between, Murphy and Asbury played golf, lots of it.

“I had the pros as my babysitters,” Murphy said.

The two, who will be teammates on Georgia State’s golf team, first met at the club and became close friends. In about three weeks, they’ll be moving in together; Asbury is an incoming freshman at Georgia State where Murphy is a redshirt freshman.

Wednesday, the pair put their local knowledge with the golf course to good use. Both players shot 1-under 71s in the first round of the Dogwood Invitational, Druid Hill’s annual amateur tournament. Their scores mean both have a chance to make the cut on Thursday.

“I hit the ball pretty well,” Asbury said. “I’m not upset with the round at all.”

They have some ground to make up on the leaders. Armstrong State golfer Shad Tuten and Belmont College’s Ashton Van Horne were tied for first after shooting 8-under 64s.

Asbury and Murphy said their familiarity with the course is an advantage. They know what shots to hit and when Murphy gets on the greens, he knows where the putts will break.

“I know this course like the back of my hand,” said Murphy, who grew up in Decatur and attended Marist. “It’s helped out a lot today.”

While Asbury and Murphy don’t need babysitters anymore, they still spend most of their free time at Druid Hills. This summer, Murphy has been playing 27 holes a day while Asbury varies his thrice-weekly practice routine.

“It all depends on what part of my game needs work,” Asbury said. “I’ll play nine holes, putt some, chip some, spend some time on the range.”

Both have experience with the tournament as well. Murphy is playing in his fourth straight Dogwood while Asbury made his amateur tournament debut here last year.

Asbury, who graduated from Holy Innocents’, didn’t make the cut last summer, but he said the experience helped him this time around.

For his part, Murphy credits the Dogwood with helping him develop as a player.

“I got into this playing with better players out here and [they] kind of showed me what to do,” Murphy said. “Now, I’m where they were.”