Final round push secures Purcell top-10 finish in Milan

Adam McKendry

Conor Purcell (Photo by Luke Walker/Getty Images)

A brave final round push from Conor Purcell saw him mount a late challenge for the Molinetto Alps Open in Italy but ultimately come up just short in Milan.

A three-under 68 on day three at Molinetto Country Club saw him reach nine-under-par, although at one point he was positioned just one shot off the lead, but it wouldn’t be enough for the victory as Koen Kouwenaar closed out the one-shot win over second round leader Alessandro Tadini at 14-under.

Purcell, who started the day five shots off the lead, had worked his way into contention with three birdies on his front nine alongside one bogey, and then started his back nine with back-to-back birdies to move within touching distance of Tadini.


However, the Portmarnock man would ultimately falter as bogeys at the two par-threes, the 13th and 15th, dropped him out of contention, but a late birdie did secure him a highly respectable seventh-placed finish.

Instead, Kouwenaar claimed the win as he fought back in a thrilling head-to-head duel with local favourite Tadini on the back nine at Molinetto, eventually triumphing by just a solitary stroke after a five-under 66 in his third round.

At one stage it was a flip of the coin who would triumph, with both players reaching the par-four 12th tied at 13-under, but it looked like Kouwenaar had blown his chance with a costly double-bogey, which was further compounded when Tadini added a birdie at the par-five 14th.

But the Dutchman matched him on that hole and then rejoined him at the top of the standings with birdies at the par-three 15th and par-five 17th, effectively sending the tournament to a sudden death play-off one hole early as they stood on the 18th tied at 14-under.

And it would be Kouwenaar who would hold his nerve, carding a par down the last for the win as Tadini agonisingly had to settle for a bogey and solo second.

David Carey, who started the final round three shots off the lead, had a horror third day as a five-over 76 dropped him back to three-under for the tournament and into a share of 40th, one shot behind Gary Hurley, who finished with a 71.

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