Nass professional Conor O’Rourke fired a patient three-under-par round of 68 to move into 3rd spot with one round to go of the Alps Tour Grand Final at Lake Maggiore in Italy.
Going into this week O’Rourke sits in 13th spot on Order of Merit rankings, just over three grand short of the top-5 on the money list who will take a full category on the Challenge Tour next year.
With the €45,000 prize money tournament offering 70,000 points to the field, O’Rourke is well on track for the top 3 finish required to claim a full Challenge Tour card for 2019.
On a day where patience proved pivotal, O’Rourke battled his way to 17 just in the red at minus-one before holing out at his penultimate hole for an eagle two.
That was the timely boost he needed with the Naas professional now in 3rd place, just three shots off the lead at 11-under-par.
“Today was a very good day mentally,” said O’Rourke. “My patience was tested to the max and I just tried to stay with it – played the waiting game and hoped for things to click which eventually they did.
“But yeah, it was a real patience day,” he laughed. “I was trying to get it going the whole time but every time I tried to get it going forward I made a mistake. But I kept sticking to my guns and got it there in the end which gives me a fighting chance.”
The turning point in the round came on 17 where O’Rourke holed out for an eagle two. Now just three shots off the lead, he’s looking forward to see what today will bring.
“It was lovely to hole out on 17 from 129 yards – that was the highlight of the day and the reward I was hoping for while hanging in for so long.
“I’m excited for the final round- looking forward to playing. I’ll have the same attitude, same approach. I’ll look to give myself as many chances as I can and if it’s meant to be it’s meant to be. Hopefully I can push the leaders hard and get into the mix with nine to go – that’ll be fun!”
Spain’s David Borda leads the way on 14-under-par with Belgium’s Hugues Jr Joannes the only other player ahead of O’Rourke at minus-12.
O Rourke gets underway at 10:50 am Irish time today.
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