Purcell, McElroy and Yates all make the cut in Portugal as Elvira leads by one

Conor Cantwell

Conor Purcell (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Impressive second-round showings from Conor Purcell and Dermot McElroy give the Irish duo a fighting chance heading into the weekend’s play at the Challenge Tour’s Open de Portugal at Royal Óbidos.

Spaniard Manuel Elvira leads the tournament on -12 heading into the weekend after his second successive round of 66, leaving him one shot clear of Marco Penge in second.

McElroy and Purcell both recorded rounds of 69 leaving them tied for 32nd on four-under-par as they prepare for this weekend’s action.


Purcell began his round in steady fashion with five pars on the bounce before making some headway in his round. A birdie on the par-three 15th was the Irishman’s only birdie across his front nine and set him up nicely as he began his back nine.

Pars on 10, 11 and 12 completed a run of six consecutive pars before he began to make hay. Back-to-back birdies on the fourth and fifth brought Purcell to four under for the competition, and although he dropped a shot on the following hole, another red score on the seventh returned the 26-year-old to -4 for the two days of play.

Dermot McElroy also enjoyed a decent scoring day and was at it from the beginning of his round, birdieing his second hole of the round.

A dropped shot on the fourth was quickly rectified on the fifth, as this bogey-birdie run left the Northern Irishman on one-under heading into the closing stages of the front nine.

McElroy completed his front nine with another birdie, moving the 30-year-old to two-under-par for the day as he began his inward loop.

A steady run of pars in the first half of his back nine was disrupted by a bogey on the par-3 15th, but just as he did after the only other bogey of his second round, followed it up with a birdie.

McElroy finished his round with a smile on his face as he made his sixth birdie of the day on the final hole of his second round, finishing with a solid score of 69.

Jonathan Yates mirrored Purcell and McElroy, becoming the third Irishman to score three-under-par for the day, which looks to be just enough to make the weekend cut.

Manuel Elvira’s second round of 66 of the week leaves him with a slender lead heading into the weekend. Speaking after his round, Elvira spoke about his play on the par-fives this week – holes that he has shot seven-under-par on alone this week.

“I spent a lot of time on the range on Tuesday and Wednesday and it looks like it’s working out very nicely,” he said.

“My ball striking was great. I hit a lot of good shots into the greens, particularly with my wedges, which meant I left myself some short putts for birdie. Obviously, you still have to make them after that, but my ball striking was on point throughout.”

Rounding up the Irish interests; Niall Kearney (+1), Jonathan Caldwell (+6) and Daniel Mulligan (+8) all miss out on the weekend’s action, missing the cut set at -2.


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