A closing four-under 68 was enough to see Naas man Conor O’Rourke book his passage to the Second Qualifying Stage of DP World Tour Q-School after a T17 finish at Denmark’s Royal Oak Golf Club.
Starting the day at -6 and, with a two-tee start, O’Rourke was the first man to tee off on hole number one and knew that he’d need to shoot something in the 60s if he was likely to see any fruits from the week’s labour, but despite back-to-back birdies on the fourth and fifth holes, a dropped shot at six and then another on 12 saw him enter his final six holes at level-par for the day.
But with two par-5s to come, all was not lost and when he birdied the first of these – the 13th – he retained a glimmer of hope. He followed that up with another at the par-3 14th and then made it three-on-the-bounce with a three at 15 to move to -3 for the day.
He failed to take advantage of the par-5 17th, but headed to the last knowing that, in all likelihood, he’d need another birdie to keep his chances alive. He duly delivered, making his first three of the week on the par-4 closer, and his -10 total for the week was just enough to see him through with -9 missing out.
Sadly, Royal Dublin’s Hugh Foley, won’t be joining him, however. A third-round 67 saw Foley enter the final round a shot ahead of O’Rourke, but two early bogeys left him considerable work to do and though he’d claw his way back to level-par through 12, he couldn’t replicate O’Rourke’s finish and eventually signed for a closing 73 to finish four-strokes outside the qualification mark.