Portmarnock's Purcell primed for Australian Amateur Final
Portmarnock’s Conor Purcell has fought his way into the final of the Australian Amateur Championship in Melbourne. Conor Purcell / Image from Cashman Photography The Dubliner has been in stunning form all week at Woodland’s Golf Club but had to grind hard to overcome two sturdy opponents in the quarters and semi-final’s today. Purcell got the better of Australia’s Kyle Michel 1UP in their last eight encounter before taking on fellow European contender, Germany’s Michael Hirmer. It was an enthralling contest and Purcell led for much of it but the Dubliner looked in trouble when his second to the par-5 18th finished right of the green with Hirmer on the dancefloor putting for eagle. Yet Purcell pitched unperturbed, playing a delicate bump and run to four-feet before knocking in the birdie to heap the pressure on Hirmer. The German’s eagle try to win had finished less than 50cm from the cup and most in the generous gallery assumed they would head to the 19th to continue the battle. But there was soon an audible gasp from the crowd when Hirmer missed his short birdie try to hand Purcell the first final berth. “It’s a nice feeling right now,” admitted a beaming Purcell. “It’s going to sink in a little bit later but there’s one more job to do tomorrow.” He now faces home favourite Nathan Barbieri in the 36-hole final tomorrow but with plenty of support himself Down Under, the game plan is simple for Purcell. “Just put the foot down from the get go and try and make as many birdies as we can and hang in there.” The final is scheduled to start at 8.40am on Sunday (2140 on Saturday in Ireland) at Woodlands.