A blistering run around the turn saw Conor Purcell remain firmly in the hunt at the halfway stage of the Irish Challenge at the K Club.
The Portmarnock star picked up five shots in as many holes from the eighth as he recovered from a rocky period in the middle of his front nine
After a brace of bogeys on the sixth and seventh holes, Purcell came roaring back with a birdie on the par-3 8th before birdies on 11 and 12 followed up a superb eagle three on the 10th – Purcell’s second of the week.
The 25-year-old also birdied the third and finished in style to card a four-under 68 which has taken him to –11 after 36 holes.
“Today was good, I started off pretty well, I had a poor middle stretch on my front nine but made a nice eagle on ten and followed that up with back-to-back birdies, I started the back nine well and just kept going so I was very happy,” explained Purcell who is tied for the lead with good friend John Murphy at the time of writing.
“I knew if I got off to a slow start this morning it could have been a slog out there, but thankfully the birdie on three helped to settle me into it and get under par for the day early and build from there.
“It did go a bit flat for a few holes after that but the eagle at ten lit things a bit and I started holing putts and seeing the ball roll in which was good.
“It can be funny out there sometimes, you miss a few and you feel like you are never going to hole anything then you hole a few and you feel like you can’t miss, thankfully I got on a little streak on my back nine and it felt good.
“I have been in a couple of later groups this year so I know what to expect and hopefully I have learned from that,” added the former Walker Cup player.
It has been a difficult few years for Purcell who earned his first cheque as a professional here in a €10k shootout in 2020 but after registering two top-25s and a top-5 on the second-tier he is looking forward to showcasing his talents in front of a buoyant home crowd this weekend.
“Hopefully we get a big following over the weekend. We all get a big buzz playing at home and to have so many family and friends out following its great. Hopefully we can put on a show over the weekend.
“Whether it’s in Ireland or anywhere I am just trying to put myself in contention every weekend, it’s nice to do it at home in front of people I know but its foot down from here, we are only halfway with a lot of golf to play,” added the Dubliner who has been threatening to win on the Alps Tour this term.