Conor Purcell secured a maiden DP World Tour top-10 with a 7th place finish at the ISPS HANDA Australian Open.
Purcell shot a one over 71 to end the week on five-under, a distant nine shots shy of eventual winner Adrian Meronk who powered to his second DP World Tour victory this year.
The Portmarnock man was left to rue successive bogeys on 15 and 16 but he did finish on a high note with a birdie on 18 which took him back inside the top-7 for a career-best finish. Although it wasn’t quite good enough for a trip to South Africa next week with the top-5 earning spots in the South African swing.
“A great day and week overall I have to say. This time last week I wasn’t even in the event so to Monday qualify and finish top 10 is a huge bonus,” said the 2019 Walker Cup player.
“The crowds were really big today and I had support from everyone far and wide including the Irish in Melbourne who came out to support. Plenty of loud cheers for good shots and if I holed a putt so that was cool.”
Purcell had never made the cut in his previous for DP World Tour events.
The 25-year-old had started his final round well turning in 34 after opening his round with a birdie before adding another on 6. He dropped shots on 4 and 10 to halt his progress slightly but overall it’s a career best finish for Purcell who appears to have kick-started since the summer.
Purcell only got into the event having been invited to a Monday qualifier and he had not intended to play originally coming out on holiday for some winter training.
The Dubliner earned status on the Challenge Tour for next season via the top 70 on the Road to Mallorca Rankings.
“To birdie the last is always a lovely way to finish no matter where you are in a tournament so to get into the top 10 was great. Only the top 5 get into South Africa next week but I had planned to rest up.
“I’ll be out here getting ready for the challenge tour season and I’m delighted with how the year went and I want to kick on in 2023.”
Irish Open fans will be familiar with the name Meronk, and the towering Pole cruised to a five shot win over home favourite Adam Scott as he spoiled the party down under.
While 2013 Masters champion Scott stumbled to a two over 73, Irish Open winner Meronk roared to a 66 and a fourteen under total.
The Polish golfer was six under through eight holes which completely turned the tournament on its head before birdieing three of his last four holes to rubber-stamp the victory.
“I’m super excited and to finish like that on the 18th hole is just unreal,” he said. “I’m so grateful, thank you for all the support and I enjoyed this week so much.
“I felt really good again today. I kept doing what I’ve done the last two days and it worked pretty well. I’m super proud of myself, proud of my team and super happy right now.”
Lee, Barron and Canizares also secured a place in The 151st Open at Royal Liverpool through the ISPS Handa Australian Open as part of the second event in The Open Qualifying Series.
Meanwhile In the women’s event, South Africa’s Ashleigh Buhai finished a shot ahead of South Korean Jiyai Shin, while Kipp Popert cruised to victory in the G4D Tour season opener, winning the Australian All Abilities Championship @ the ISPS HANDA Australian Open by seven shots with Brendan Lawlor tied fourth, some fifteen shots back.