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Tough finish for Purcell after promising pro debut

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Strong winds stripped Portmarnock’s Conor Purcell of an under-par opening to his professional career as he signed for a two-over par 74 on debut at the AVJennings New South Wales Open at Twins Creeks Golf and Country Club.

This year’s Australian Amateur Champion returned to the land Down Under to tee off his professional career just west of Sydney and the 22-year old traded two birdies and two bogeys to be out in even par.

Playing on invite this week and without a management company or any sort of status, Purcell showed what he could do around the turn, collecting consecutive birdies on 10 and 11 to move to two-under.

But as the wind picked up, so did the difficulty of Purcell’s path home with the Dubliner dropping fours shots in his last five holes to fall a share of 101st at plus-two after an eventful opening day as a professional.

Whatever happens on day two, Purcell joins some of the world’s best players at next week’s $1.5 million Australian Open with Adam Scott, Jason Day, Sergio Garcia and Louie Oosthuizen all confirmed in a stunning line-up for the Emirates sponsored event.

Meanwhile, John Younger set the standard after the opening day’s play with a superb nine-under par round of 63.

Younger edged out fellow Aussies Min Woo Lee and Justin Warren by one to lead going into day two.

“I started off on the back-nine and made six straight and then just tried to keep out of my own way from there on in. People won’t believe me but the back-nine was tough,” Younger said.

“We came through the turn and the wind got up and that front-nine played quite difficult. I had a good start and was able to stay patient and let things happen. I picked up a couple more coming in and saved a couple of pars.”

Full scoring HERE

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