Purcell can’t maintain hot start but still secures top-10 finish at British Challenge

Adam McKendry
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Conor Purcell at the British Challenge presented by Modest! Golf Management (Photo by Luke Walker/Getty Images)

Conor Purcell couldn’t capitalise on a hot start to his final round at the British Challenge as he fell out of contention at St Mellion Estate in Cornwall, despite finishing in the top-10.

The Portmarnock man was always an outside bet to claim the title as he started the fourth round five shots off leader Matthew Baldwin, but he gave himself a chance with back-to-back birdies to start his day.

But the momentum would be short-lived, with those two birdies the only two he would have in his round. Instead, he would give those two early shots back at the third and fourth, and two more bogeys led to a two-over 74.

That dropped Purcell back to three-under-par for the tournament and saw him finish in a share of ninth place, however it also crucially moved him inside the top-70 on the Road to Mallorca standings, which would give him full playing rights next season.

The win went to Scotland’s Euan Walker, who profited on a back nine collapse by Baldwin to come from behind and triumph, claiming a one-shot victory over South Africa’s JC Ritchie.

Baldwin had five bogeys in his final ten holes to tumble down into third after a four-over 76 dropped him back to six-under-par, and that allowed Walker to capitalise by setting the clubhouse target at eight-under-par after a 71 – a score that wouldn’t be caught.

Tom McKibbin recovered from a poor third round with a closing 71 to share 43rd at three-over-par, which keeps him 15th in the Road to Mallorca, while Tyler Hogarty had a rough final round as a 10-over 82 dropped him to 55th at seven-over-par.

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