Thursday, May 30, 2024

Purcell cards lowest Saturday round since August to remain in contention – Irish Golfer Magazine

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Jack Senior made a hole-in-one late on day three to move into a share of the Delhi Challenge lead alongside Joshua Grenville-Wood and Martin Couvra on a low-scoring day at Classic Golf & Country Club.

Englishman Senior carded six birdies, a hole-in-one eagle and one bogey on his way to a seven under par round of 65 to move to 16 under par for the week.

The 35-year-old, a two-time winner on the Challenge Tour having last tasted victory in 2019, is pleased to be back in contention after a testing few years.

“I’ve been in this situation quite a few times in my career so I’ll be trying to draw on that as much as I can,” he said. “I can only control what I can, so I’ve just got to stay patient.

“I’ve had a tough couple of years to be honest. I made the decision to dedicate myself fully this year and work hard, and the winter work I’ve done has obviously paid off.

“It would be great to win tomorrow but I’m just really glad that I’m fit, healthy and back playing golf.”

Grenville-Wood also made a late charge to join the leaders, making three birdies on the front nine before registering an eagle and three birdies over his closing five holes to sign for an eight under par round of 64.

The English-born Emirati has had success on the parkland layout before, finishing tied fourth in 2022 on the Professional Golf Tour of India, and he was delighted with how he closed out his round in Gurugram.

“That finish was awesome,” he said. “I didn’t miss a golf shot those last five holes which was nice.

“My iron play was really solid and the birdie on 18 felt good. After making a triple bogey there yesterday, to come and birdie it today was great and a big boost to the confidence.

“It’s a golf course I know well. It’s one I’ve played before, so to come out here, play well and put myself towards the top of the leaderboard is great. I can’t wait for tomorrow.”

Frenchman Couvra has held the lead in Delhi since the opening round and birdied the final hole to sign for a four under par 68 and join Senior and Grenville-Wood at the top with 18 holes to play.

The 20-year-old will go in search of a second Challenge Tour victory when he tees it up tomorrow.

“My attitude was good today despite my game not being quite as good as it has been this week,” he said. “It’s going to be a great fight tomorrow.

“I made two bogeys on 10 and 11, but I know at the end of this course there’s a lot of opportunities. Two birdies in my last four holes puts me in an amazing position to fight for the win.

“In South Africa I played well but didn’t get a victory, so tomorrow I’ll play my best and we’ll see where that puts me at the end of the day.”

Finland’s Tapio Pulkkanen fired the low round-of-the-week so far with a faultless ten under par 62 to climb into a share of fourth place alongside Frenchman Alexander Levy on 15 under par.

Jiří Zuska from Czech Republic, Welshman Oliver Farr and Frenchman Oihan Guillamoundeguy are one shot further back in sixth, with Englishmen John Parry and Chris Paisley, and Ireland’s Conor Purcell in ninth on 13 under par.

Purcell carded a third round 68 to share ninth place and it’s his lowest third round of the season so far and lowest Saturday effort since the Dormy Open last August.

It was a smooth bogey-free effort for the Portmarnock man which will give him confidence heading into Sunday’s final round.

Gary Hurley also made another significant move of his own with a 68 to climb to ten-under after birdieing three of his last five holes in a strong finish.

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