Conor Purcell faded out of contention with a one-over 73 on day three of The Challenge in Bangalore, India as Dutchman Lars Van Meijel leapfrogged Alex Fitzpatrick at the head of affairs.
Purcell bogeyed two of his last three holes to fall back to seven-under-par and ten shots behind Van Meijel. It leaves the Portmarnock man in a share of 34th place.
There were positives moves for Castle amateur Robert Moran and Derry’s Ruaidhri McGee as they both edged into the top-50 on three-under after rounds of 71 with West of Ireland bound amateur Arron Edwards-Hill a shot further back.
Matthew Fitzpatrick’s younger brother Alex surrendered his 36-hole lead with a one-under 71 to lie in a share of second place with Joel Girrbach on fifteen-under-par.
Van Meijel soared through the field with a round of 67 to lead on seventeen-under-par.
A win for van Meijel would be his second on the European Challenge Tour, having won for the first time at the 2019 Hopps Open de Provence, and admits the fast start helped him in tricky conditions.
“It was windier than some of the other days,” he said. “It was in a slightly different direction as well so I had to adjust a little bit, but I started well and just tried to keep on hitting good shots. I played nicely.
“You just need to commit to your shots out here. I was just trying to hit the right shots, play smart, make some putts and go from there.”
The 29-year-old is pleased to be at the top of the leaderboard, but knows he will need to be at his best on the final day to win.
“It would mean a lot to win. I haven’t been in contention a lot lately, so it just means a lot to be out there again, feeling the pressure. I’m just going to go out there, enjoy it and try to shoot a low one again.
“I’ve put a lot of effort in with my putting lately and it’s showing. I’ve been putting nicely the last couple of days so I’m happy with that. It all makes a difference. The level is so high. You need to be on top of your game to win.”
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