Conor Purcell is making the most of a late entry into the British Challenge presented by Modest! Golf Management as he heads into the final round in the top-five in Cornwall.
The Portmarnock man only found out he was playing on Monday but, after a hectic rush trying to find flights and accommodation, he has thrived at St. Mellion Estate to give himself an outside chance at a victory on Sunday.
After opening with rounds of 69 and 73, Purcell made the most of moving day with a bogey-free three-under 69 to reach five-under-par, good for a share of fifth place going into Sunday.
The 25-year-old heads into the final day five shots off leader Matthew Baldwin, who signed for a 69 of his own to set the pace at 10-under-par, but full of confidence he can make a final round surge.
“It’s been a good week. Found out I got in on Monday, so there were some quick travel arrangements to get here,” explained Purcell.
“Got here and knew it was a tough test, everyone said the course was difficult, it’s set up quite hard and the wind has played a factor in all three days. Just keeping the ball in play and minimising the mistakes has been key this week.
“I’m putting really well. The greens are really small, so when you hit them it feels like most of the time you have good chance of holing putts and save par when you need to.
“Tomorrow will be same again. It’ll be windier tomorrow, so just need to keep the ball in play.”
Baldwin, who is bidding for his second Challenge Tour win, carded four birdies and a bogey to maintain a one-shot lead over in-form New Zealander Daniel Hillier, whose third round 66 has him one shot back at nine-under-par.
Meanwhile, Tyler Hogarty is on for a strong finish after he bounced back from an early double-bogey with five birdies and a bogey for a two-under 70 that moved him up to a share of 16th at three-under-par.
Unfortunately, Tom McKibbin went the other way as the Holywood teen could only manage four bogeys, a double-bogey and three birdies in a 75 to fall to four-over-par and a tie for 49th.