Irish facing quick turnaround in India

Ronan MacNamara

Dermot McElroy (Photo by Luke Walker/Getty Images)

Niall Kearney, John Murphy, Dermot McElroy, Conor Purcell, Ruaidhri McGee and Robert Moran will be in action slightly earlier than usual this week as The Challenge presented by KGA gets underway on Tuesday in Bangalore, India.

Kearney and McElroy made their first starts of the season last week with Kearney finishing in a share of 34th place.

The Royal Dubliner teed off in the penultimate group on Sunday but a disappointing four-over 76 dropped him from sixth to 34th overall.


It was Ballymena’s McElroy who finished as best of the Irish last week. Having made the cut on the number, he shot a final round of 69.

Portmarnock’s Purcell will look to continue his fine form and improve on last week’s 48th place finish while Murphy and McGee have the opportunity to bounce back from missed cuts in double quick time.

Having exceeded many expectations in making it safely through to the weekend, Robert Moran signed off with a level-par 72 to post a 61st place finish in his first Challenge Tour start outside of Ireland, and though he’ll obviously be disappointed with Saturday’s 75, the experience will stand to him and he’ll get a chance to improve on his efforts this week.

England’s Arron Edwards-Hill will continue his West of Ireland preparations again as he gets another start.

Meanwhile, Lorenzo Scalise is looking to build on solid foundations when he tees it up again in India.

The Italian continued his excellent recent form with a fourth place finish at last week’s Duncan Taylor Black Bull Challenge, and he has now moved to sixth position on the Road to Mallorca Rankings courtesy of three top five finishes in his last three starts.

The 27-year-old is targeting another strong finish at Karnataka Golf Association this week and now, with several years of European Challenge Tour experience under his belt, believes this is the year he can earn promotion to the DP World Tour.

“Last week was my third top five finish in a row and it proves to me that I’m on the right track,” he said. “The goal is to be in contention as many times as I can throughout the year and hopefully I can do that again this week.

“I’m not going to change my strategy much. I will keep working on the details with my team and focus on having a strong mindset. It’s also important to balance my life away from the golf course and knowing when I need to push and when I need to rest my body. I’m getting more mature every year and hopefully this year will be my year.”

Scalise is yet to win on the Challenge Tour but he is confident his time will come if he keeps putting himself into contention on the final day.

“Having put myself into contention over the last few tournaments I am gaining experience of how I am going to feel in that moment,” he said. “I am learning from those situations, and I know that if I keep putting myself in contention then the win will come.

“I have loved being in India. The people are awesome, the golf course is amazing, and I like the place. It’s been good so far and I’m happy we are playing another week at Karnataka Golf Association.”

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