Monday, May 20, 2024

Purcell boosts DP World Tour card bid with tie for fourth in Abu Dhabi – News – Irish Golf Desk

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Conor Purcell shot four rounds in the sixties for the first time in his Challenge Tour career to tie for fourth behind England’s Garrick Porteous in the Abu Dhabi Challenge and boost his chances of winning promotion to the DP World Tour.

The former Walker Cup star (26) went into the final round just one shot behind Porteous, South Africa’s Wilco Nienaber and France’s Alexander Levy at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club.

But he never quite caught up after a bogey-birdie-bogey start, and while he sandwiched an eagle at the seventh between birdies at the fifth and eight to turn in 32, he could pick up just one more shot at the par-three 15th and added to a four-under 66 to rounds of 68, 62 and 64 to tie for fourth place on 20-under.

“Great week overall,” said Purcell, who was pleased to make an eagle and 23 birdies against just five bogeys to move from 39th to 24th in the race for 20 DP World Tour cards awarded via the Road to Mallorca standings.

“Nice to make plenty of birdies and limit the mistakes. The game is feeling in a nice spot. Looking forward to giving it another go next week.”

The Dubliner finished just four strokes behind Porteous, who ended a seven-year wait for his second Challenge Tour title with a one-stroke triumph.

The Englishman carded a bogey-free seven under par 63 to win by a shot on 24-under from five-time DP World Tour winner Alexander Levy, who shot 64.

“It feels amazing”, Porteous said. “It was a good battle out there with some great players – Alex played amazing from start to finish.

“You always doubt whether another win will come, but I feel like my game is trending in the right direction. I’ve made plenty of cuts recently; I just needed to get it over the line, like I did today.”

Porteous, who resides in Dubai, felt the familiar conditions worked to his advantage.

“To win on home soil is great, I’ve loved every minute of this week,” he said. “I’m used to the weather conditions, the heat, the grass type, and the speed of the greens. It definitely helped in the situations this week.

“I know I can play on both the Challenge Tour and the DP World Tour now, and I’m really looking forward to playing in Saadiyat next week.”

Dane Nicolai Kristensen finished third on 22 under, while Scotland’s Euan Walker fired a course record-equaling 10-under 60 to share fourth with Purcell and South African Oliver Bekker on 20 under.

Mark Power shot 66 and Daniel Mulligan a 72 to share 64th on five-under with Gary Hurley joint 72nd on three-under after a 75.

Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy shot 77 to finish 74th on level par.

The Road to Mallorca now heads to Saadiyat Beach Golf Club for the UAE Challenge from April 25-28. 

Purcell will be joined there by Hurley, Power, McElroy, John Murphy, Jonathan Caldwell and Ronan Mullarney.

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