Giraffe perks up Purcell who takes the positives despite late triple

Ronan MacNamara

Conor Purcell (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

Conor Purcell was feeling very positive about the state of his game despite seeing a good round come unstuck by a late triple bogey six at the SDC Open.

Purcell was in a share of second place on five-under before he dropped four shots in his last three holes to settle for a one-under 71 which leaves him nine shots off the early lead.

The Portmarnock talent bogeyed the 7th hole (his 16th) before a disastrous triple bogey on the 8th undone all his hard work but the presence of wildlife around Zebula Golf Estate meant he wasn’t sulking for too long.

“It’s good out here, it’s interesting. When I made triple I was able to look over across the field and I saw a giraffe which brightened up my day a little bit,” Purcell laughed.

“It’s a different type of golf out here, I love playing in good weather and playing in heat this time of year is really nice for us, I’m enjoying it.”

Before that chastening finish, the 25-year-old displayed more of the form that has seen him notch four top tens in his last five worldwide starts including successive top-7 finishes to open his Challenge Tour season.

Four successive birdies from the 12th kickstarted the round before his first dropped shot of the day arrived on 16. A bogey on the fourth was sandwiched between birdies on 2, 3 and 6 before his good round unravelled over the closing stretch.

Purcell though was pleased overall with how he played and ironically feels he played some of his best golf despite not coming away with the score he would have wanted.

“I walked off the course kind of annoyed with my finish but today I probably had my best stuff over the last three weeks. Played a lot of good golf, made a lot of birdies and gave myself a good few chances so just a few lapses in concentration was the result of the dropped shots but overall I can’t be too annoyed.

“I sorted out my driving quite well. Last few weeks it hasn’t been great and I have been saving it with the putter so long game got a bit better and I made the most of it.”

Ruaidhri McGee endured a difficult opening round as he signed for a two-over 74.

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