Purcell heads Irish hopefuls looking to climb Alps Tour mountain

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Purcell heads Irish hopefuls looking to climb Alps Tour mountain

Conor Purcell (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

Portmarnock’s Conor Purcell leads an eight-strong Irish entry into this week’s Alps Tour assignment at the Molinetto Alps Open as he looks to build on a bright start to his campaign.

The Dubliner has taken advantage of limited starts this term, enjoying five top-20 finishes from six tournaments, including a runner-up result at the season-opening Ein Bay Open. That run of results puts Purcell in a handy sixth spot on the Order of Merit with the top-5 at season’s end winning Challenge Tour promotion.

Purcell earns a wild card entry into this week’s event, the seventh on the calendar as the Alps contingent return to action after a two week break with play underway from Wednesday at Molinetto Golf and Country Club in Milan for the 54-hole event.

Also looking to build on early season promise is West Waterford’s Gary Hurley who returned a brilliant final round 62 last time out at the Abruzzo Alps Open as he continues to work his way back towards the peak of his powers.

The former Walker Cup player lies 12th on the points’ list and finished just a shot outside the playoff a fortnight ago having matched David Carey’s 62 in a brilliant final day showing from the Irish.

Carey ultimately lost out in extra holes to Spain’s Manuel Morugan but the result really kickstarted the Darwin Escapes golfer’s season, moving Carey inside the top-20 on the Order of Merit having played all six events.

Naas man Jonathan Yates, Mallow’s James Sugrue, Druid Heath’s Simon Bryan, PGA Catalunya’s Luke Donnelly and The Island’s Paul McBride complete the Irish line-up.

All of this season previous winners except Oihan Guillamoundeguy will be competing for the inaugural 2022 Molinetto Alps Open. There will also be three current Challenge Tour players who are taking advantage of an off week to compete at the inaugural event. The three players are: Italy’s Enrico Di Nitto and Federico Maccario and Germany’s Dominic Foos.

The players will be competing for a prize fund of € 40.000 and 45,000 Order of Merit points.The tournament winner will earn €5,800 and 6,525 Order of Merit points.

Even though Molinetto Golf & Country Club has never previously hosted an Alps Tour event, the course gained recognition for hosting the Italian Open in 1985. The event, held during the exact same dates, May 2nd through May 5th, 1985 saw Spain’s Manuel Piñero Sánchez triumphant with a total score of 276, only one shot away from Sam Torrance, close second. This tournament also saw Seve Ballesteros in close contention, closing in 5th place.

Being a new event on the schedule, it is sure to be an intriguing week where players will be subject to a new course, and its subsequent conditions.

  • Round One draw HERE

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