Quintet of Irish contenders as Challenge Tour descends on Andalucía

Mark McGowan

John Murphy will be hoping to further boost his confidence with a strong performance in Andalucia (Photo by Oliver Hardt/Getty Images)

John Murphy will join fellow countrymen Paul Dunne, Ruaidhri McGee, Dermot McElroy and Conor Purcell as the European Challenge Tour heads for Iberostar Real Golf Novo Sancti Petri in Cadiz, southern Spain.

Murphy, who recently recorded a career-best finish of T28 at the DP World Tour’s Soudal Open in Antwerp, is taking the opportunity to tee it up on Europe’s second tier with the players on the main circuit enjoying a week off, and he’ll be hoping that the recent upturn in form sets him up for a good week in the Spanish sunshine.

Purcell, McGee and Dunne all arrive on the back of missed cuts at last week’s D+D Real Czech Challenge, but McElroy, who opted to sit it out in Prague, has two top-20 finishes in his last two Challenge Tour starts, has made steady progress up the Race to Mallorca standings, though Purcell, ranked 32nd, continues to lead the way for the Irish.


An interesting player to watch this week is Holland’s Kiet Van der Weele who is making his first start since securing Challenge Tour membership courtesy of his exploits on the Alps Tour where he’s a three-time winner already this season.

Italian duo Andrea Pavan and Matteo Manassero are the headline acts having taken back-to-back Challenge Tour wins for their nation, and are up to fourth and sixth respectively in the Race to Mallorca, while South African Casey Jarvis, ranked number two in the order of merit, is the leading points scorer in the field.

Dunne will get the Irish underway at 08:50, with the others all scheduled for afternoon tee times. McElroy goes off the first tee at 14:30, while McGee (13:00), Purcell (13:20) and Murphy (14:30) will all begin their rounds on the 10th.


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