Portmarnock's Purcell reigns Down Under
Portmarnock Golf Club's Conor Purcell completed a memorable weekend for Irish golf when he became the first Irish winner of the Australian Amateur Championship in the event's 125-year history.
The Malahide star (21) was four up with 11 holes to go in the 36-hole final at Woodlands Golf Club in Melbourne but after New South Wales' Nathan Barbieri fought back to square the match on the last, the Dubliner took the title with a par at the first extra hole.
"The last few holes were a bit edgy, but to cap it off on the play-off hole was nice," said Purcell, who earns invitations for the European Tour co-sanctioned ISPS Handa Vic Open from February 7-10 and Emirates Australian Open at The Australian next December.
Winner of the South of Ireland in 2016, and beaten by Robin Dawson in last year's British Amateur semi-finals, Purcell is considered one of the leading Irish candidates for a Walker Cup call-up this season.