Purcell: “First tournament of the year to be in contention is great”

Ronan MacNamara
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Conor Purcell (Photo by Johan Rynners/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Conor Purcell was disappointed with how he finished round three of the Bain’s Whiskey Cape Town Open but pleased to still be in the mix to land his maiden Challenge Tour title on his first start of the new season.

Purcell battled hard in the strong winds for a level-par 72 to remain on eight-under but having been two-under for the round through seven holes he was annoyed to drop shots at the par-5 11th and the 18th to fall three off the lead.

“Tough day, the wind blew quite hard, played the front nine very well then just lost momentum,” explained the 26-year-old.

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“I bogeyed the par-5 11th and compounded a few errors back to back on a few holes and bogeyed the last to shoot level but look, still in with a great chance tomorrow.”

It’s a very bunched leaderboard. Ten players shared the overnight lead and three shots separates leader Mikael Lindberg on -11 and Purcell in 16th heading into the final round.

“It’s crazy, it’s just that type of course. When you’re in the fairway it can feel easy but if you’re in the rough it can feel hard, there’s no in between so yeah, plenty of chances out there tomorrow and we’ll give it our best go.”

Purcell missed out on a DP World Tour card at the Challenge Tour Grand Final in November and at the subsequent Q-School but he has been pleased with his performance this week on what is his first start of the season at a golf course he shared seventh place last year.

“Some holes are easier and I played them in level par I played the tough holes well. It was a tough day a lot of strong holes into the wind which was hard to judge.

“If it’s calm you’ll have to go mid 60s even lower, we’ll just see what happens and try and make as many birdies as we can. First tournament of the year to be in contention is great and I’m really looking forward to it.”

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