Zach’s chance to shoot for the stars

ZACH Murray is set to embark on a whirlwind world tour — 55,000 kilometres and three continents — play at the home of golf and all with the long-term aim of teeing it up at Augusta next year.

In a little less than two months, the Wodonga teenager will have travelled almost 2½ times around the globe playing in tournaments previously won by the greats of golf.

The “world tour” starts with the Toyota World Junior Golf Championships in three weeks — Murray, 17, selected by Golf Australia to be part of a team with three others.

The Catholic College student then returns briefly to Australia, but only long enough to pack his bags for the next assignments — the US Junior Boys whose past winners include Tiger Woods and this year’s Masters runner-up at just 20, Jordan Spieth.

From the Jack Nicklaus-designed course on the outskirts of Houston, Murray will then fly to Britain.

There he will tackle a series of events that culminates in the 88th edition of the British Boys which will be partly played at Prestwick, home of the first 12 Open Championships.

Murray will also play at other Open venues Royal Birkdale and the home of golf, St Andrews, in lead-up events.

“It really is a big calendar and the recent addition of the Japanese tournament makes it a pretty busy two months,” he said yesterday.

“We leave for Japan on June 20 just after I finish off my school exams, so the timing is pretty good.

“I’ve had a bit of a break from the end of summer and pennant golf season and will now start to wind back up with the practice.

“For the past three weeks, I have been focusing on fitness work — getting into the gym and running.

“Playing 72-hole tournaments and then matchplay finals is physically and mentally demanding and you have to be at your peak.”

Murray’s inclusion in the Golf Australia elite squad has opened the door to international tournaments and travel and he says it is now up to him to perform.

“These are iconic tournaments at some of the best courses in the world, at the home of golf,” Murray said.

“I still have to pinch myself when I watched the Players at TPC Sawgrass a couple of months ago and think I’ve played there.

“These tournaments all carry big international ranking points and some good results could see me inside the top-10 in Australia and an automatic qualifier for the Asian Amateur later this year that will be played at Royal Melbourne.

“I feel comfortable and confident at Royal Melbourne and the winner of that event goes straight into the US Masters.

“That’s the ambitious and long- term goal.

“I just have to play my best golf.“