Purcell takes sixth as Neergaard-Petersen comes out on top in UAE

Mark McGowan

Rasmus Neergaard-Petersen (Photo: Getty Images)

Mark McGowan

Feature Interviews

Latest Stories

Conor Purcell fired a final-round 69 to climb to sixth place overall as Rasmus Neergaard-Petersen held his nerve to secure a second Challenge Tour title in three events in the UAE Challenge at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club.

The Portmarnock man began the day in 13th place, and traded an opening bogey with a second-hole birdie before reeling off seven consecutive pars to close out the opening nine.

Back-to-back birdies on 10 and 11 were followed by a bogey on 12, but he responded in ideal fashion with another birdie on 13 before the highlight of the day, an eagle-three on 15 saw him move to 11-under overall. Unfortunately, he’d give a shot back at the next and parred the final two for a closing 69, his second in successive rounds and third of the week overall.

Dermot McElroy rebounded from a disappointing third round to shoot a two-under 70 and finish tied for 25th at -6, one clear of Gary Hurley who signed off with a round of level-par which saw the Waterford man 36th overall.

Neergaard-Petersen began the final round three strokes behind overnight leader Wilco Nienaber but the Dane fired seven birdies on his way to a five under par final round of 67 to finish 14 under par for the week, one stroke ahead of Nienaber in second place.

The 24-year-old, who arrived in the UAE after clinching a maiden professional win at last month’s Kolkata Challenge, was delighted with how he played throughout the week to make sure of victory.

“I feel incredible,” he said. “I knew I had a chance going into today, but being able to put together a great round and get it done in the end feels amazing.

“I got off to a really good start in the first round, played pretty good in the second round, but I’m most proud of my third round. It was probably the best round of two under par I’ve ever played.

“This is all still new to me. Right now I just want to enjoy this win.”

Neergaard-Petersen started the week in pole position on the Road to Mallorca Rankings and after recording a second win in three events, now sits in a commanding position after eight events of the 29-event season.

The Dane highlighted his hard work off the course during the off-season and an improvement in his driving as the key to his stellar form this year.

“I feel like I’ve made great strides over the winter break,” he added. “I’ve gone to more of a fade shape with the driver, and that’s really paid dividends..

We’re definitely going to go out somewhere nice and have a nice dinner, that’s for sure.”

Englishman David Horsey finished in third place on 12 under par, while Dane Hamish Brown and Spaniard Joel Moscatel were one shot further back in a share of fourth.

Finn Tapio Pulkkanen, Purcell, and Frenchman Benjamin Hebert finished in a tie for sixth on ten under par, one shot clear of Frenchmen Alexander Levy and Martin Couvra, Spaniards Javier Sainz and Ayora Angel, Iceland’s Haraldur Magnus and Swiss Benjamin Rusch in ninth.

Neergaard-Petersen extends his lead at the top of the Road to Mallorca Rankings and now stands on 774.53, 303 points clear of Levy in second. Sweden’s Mikael Lindberg remains in third position on 431.77, with Englishman John Parry and Welshman Rhys Enoch rounding out the top five.

The Road to Mallorca  takes a short break before heading to Spain for the Challenge De España at Real Club Sevilla Golf from May 9-12.


Stay ahead of the game. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest Irish Golfer news straight to your inbox!

More News

Leave a comment

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy & Terms of Service apply.