Blistering 66 sees a grieving Conor O’Rourke finish T4 on Clutch Pro Tour

Mark McGowan

Conor O'Rourke (Photo by Patrick Bolger/Getty Images)

Mark McGowan

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Just 48 hours after burying his grandfather, the K Club’s Conor O’Rourke shot a scintillating final round of 66 at the Farnham event on the Clutch Pro Tour to finish the tournament tied for fourth on -8, while back-to-back 70s saw Liam Grehan to a T24 finish.

Starting the day six strokes behind leader Nick Marsh, O’Rourke came roaring out of the traps with birdies at one and two, before adding three more on seven, eight and nine to make the turn at -5 for the day.

Not letting up, he’d start the back nine as he left off on the front, with birdies at 10 and 11 making it five red numbers in succession, and when he added another at the par-3 13th he was tied for lead.

Unfortunately, bogeys on 15 and 17 put the brakes on, and he’d par the last to close out a highly-impressive final round that saw him climb 31 places on the leaderboard.

“I didn’t actually get to play a practice round because my grandfather passed away and the funeral was the morning of the practice round,” O’Rourke would say afterwards, “so I just played blind on Thursday morning and it took a little time to find my feet. I didn’t really capitalise on the way I hit the ball the first day, I was a little sloppy on the greens but I did a bit of work afterwards and this morning, so kind of rectified that.

“I got into a flow and converted the good chances I was creating whereas yesterday I was missing a lot of the opportunites. Today I capitalised and got some momentum, so I was really proud of the result under the circumstances, and excited for what’s up ahead. There’s a lot of good events coming so I’m looking forward to kicking on, progressing, climbing.

“I wasn’t looking at any leaderboards. I like keeping my foot down when I get momentum and just trying to keep pressing forward. I dropped a couple late on but I’m kind of proud in the way I dropped them. I didn’t drop them from backing off or being tentative. I stayed aggressive and going forward and if anything, maybe I was a touch too aggressive but I’m trying to get good at playing golf on the front foot and if that leads to a few errors then that’s ok.”

For Grehan, the birdies came easy and he made seven of them, five coming on the front nine, but back-to-back double bogeys on 15 and 16 proved costly and he’d be left ruing a missed opportunity in only his second Clutch Pro Tour start of the season.

John Ross Galbraith began the day at the head of the Irish pack on three-under and that’s how he’d finish courtesy of a level-par 72, one stroke clear of Daniel Mulligan with Rowan Lester and Cameron Raymond one further back on -1.

John Hickey and Eoin O’Brien rounded out the Irish finishers at +5 and +6 respectively.

England’s Nick Marsh ran out a comfortable victor at -14, five strokes clear of Jordan’s Shergo Al Kurdi and Piers Berrington of England.


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