Conor Purcell finished in a tie for second at the Challenge Tour’s Dormy Open with a score of seven-under-par through three rounds while South African Jacques Kruyswijk birdied his final two holes of the tournament to snatch victory in Sweden.
The third round of play had been interrupted on Saturday afternoon due to a flooded course and although the plan was to start the completion’s final round at 10 a.m. on Sunday, adverse weather conditions forced the Sunday to be cancelled after the remainder of the unfinished third rounds were completed.
Conor Purcell will be no doubt happy with his second-placed finish after completing the opening three rounds with scores of 67, 65 and 62. Quietly, however, he might feel slightly dissatisfied by not being able to make a run for the title on the final day of play.
Playing a bogey-free third round might have been the springboard to claiming his maiden Challenge Tour win, but nevertheless, finishing joint second will certainly give the 26-year-old some encouragement in his future tournaments on the tour.
A one-under-par round-three for Conor O’Rourke made up the Irish contingent for the weekend at the Askersunds Golfklubb in Åmmeberg, with the 32-year-old finishing joint 29th at the conclusion of the competition.
Jacques Kruyswijk eventually emerged victorious after three rounds of play – and what a way to do it – with birdies on his final two holes of the competition, giving himself a two-shot lead over the Purcell and company in second place.
Rounds of 64, 65 and 63 over the three rounds of play were enough for the South African to claim his maiden win on the Challenge Tour, while overnight leader Aron Zemmer faded back in the field after the resumption of play.
Speaking after his final round of play, Kruyswijk spoke about his victory over 54 holes and how he hopes to use this win as evidence that he can win tournaments in the near future.
“Ecstatic. That’s the only word I can think of,” said Kruyswijk. “It’s been a long week for all of the players. We’ve had so much rain, the course was flooded and last night I knew I had some work to do, I was prepared to play 20 holes. I was thinking to just get into the clubhouse with a score but I played 17 fantastically and played 18 unbelievably. I’m very happy with my finish.”
“The 18th was solid, four iron down the middle of the fairway. I had 182 (yards) to the flag and my caddie said let’s just hit a full shot into the flag. So, I hit a seven iron which finished around a metre from the hole. I was a little nervous around that last one, it’s not a gimme but managed to go in the middle of the cup so I’m very happy.”
A three-time winner on the Sunshine Tour, with his last victory coming just a fortnight ago at the Vodacom Origins of Golf at Zebula, Kruyswijk has now set his sights on a return to the DP World Tour at the end of the season.
“Any win is always big but for me to get over the line in Europe has always been a big thing for me,” he added. “I’ve had a few wins in South Africa and haven’t been able to get over the line in Europe. This means a lot; I’ve had double knee surgery last year which has put me back. Obviously, my confidence was at an all-time low the last couple of months and to be able to see the hard work of my team payoff is unbelievable.”
“I always go on my knees and thank my lord and saviour for everything he is doing for me, without him, nothing is possible. It means the world, to win in Europe and on the Challenge Tour means I can take it to the next step and win on the DP World Tour, I’ve been playing there the last six years and haven’t been able to get the win so hopefully this is some added confidence going forward.”
With his victory, Kruyswijk climbed 256 places on the Road to Mallorca Rankings up to 47th. Frenchman Ugo Coussaud moved up to second on the season-long standings after his runner-up finish.