Purcell takes route 66 to 4th place in Abu Dhabi

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Conor Purcell (Photo by Johan Rynners/Getty Images)

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Conor Purcell carded a final round of 66 but it wasn’t enough as he came fourth at the Abu Dhabi Challenge.

The Portmarnock man recovered from an iffy start with two birdies and an eagle in four holes to thrust himself back into the mix heading into the back nine but he carded one birdie and the rest pars coming home for a twenty-under total.

Garrick Porteous ended a seven-year wait for his second Challenge Tour title after he secured a one-stroke triumph.

The Englishman, who entered the final round in a three-way tie for the lead, carded a bogey-free seven under par final round of 63 to finish on 24 under par at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club and a one-shot victory over five-time DP World Tour winner Alexander Levy.

The 34-year-old, whose last professional win came at the Prague Golf Challenge in 2017, was delighted to return to the winner’s circle in Al Ain.

“It feels amazing”, he said. “It was a good battle out there with some great players – Alex played amazing from start to finish.

“You always doubt whether another win will come, but I feel like my game is trending in the right direction. I’ve made plenty of cuts recently, I just needed to get it over the line, like I did today.”

Porteous, who resides in Dubai, cited his experience of playing regularly in the UAE conditions as a key to his victory this week.

“To win on home soil is great, I’ve loved every minute of this week,” he said. “I’m used to the weather conditions, the heat, the grass type, and the speed of the greens. It definitely helped in the situations this week.

“I know I can play on both the Challenge Tour and the DP World Tour now, and I’m really looking forward to playing in Saadiyat next week.”

Dane Nicolai Kristensen finished in third position on 22 under par, while Scotland’s Euan Walker matched the course record by carding a sensational ten under par final round of 60 to climb into fourth alongside South African Oliver Becker and Purcell.

England’s Bradley Bawden, Frenchman Félix Mory and Denmark’s Rasmus Neergaard-Petersen finished in a tie for seventh on 19 under par, while Frenchman Pierre Pineau, South African Deon Germishuys, and Swede Joakim Lagergren finished a shot further back in a share of tenth.

Neergaard-Petersen climbs to the top of the Road to Mallorca Rankings on 454 points, while Levy moves into second place on 431 points. Sweden’s Mikael Lindberg is eight points behind in third, while Englishman John Parry and Welshman Rhys Enoch round out the top five.

Mark Power and Daniel Mulligan were next best in 64th on five under while Gary Hurley was three under and Dermot McElroy level par.

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