Sport Golf

Monday 14 October 2019

Moynihan close to 'really good week' after top-12 finish in Oman

Gavin Moynihan. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Gavin Moynihan. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Brian Keogh

Gavin Moynihan feels "a really good week" is just around the corner after he battled his way to a share of 12th in the wind-battered Oman Open.

The Mount Juliet touring professional (24) moved up to 102nd in the Race to Dubai following his second top 12-finish this season after closing with a 73 at Al Mouj Golf in Muscat to pick up €23,293.

The Dubliner finished on two-under par, just five strokes behind American Kurt Kitayama, who came up on the rails to win his second European Tour title of the season by a stroke on seven-under-par.

"I'm happy enough in the end," said Moynihan, who opened with a 69 and the followed rounds of 73 and 71 with a one-over closing effort in admiration even delayed by high winds.

"I grafted well today when I wasn't near my best. But I made a load of good par saves on the back nine today. We played a lot of golf in very tough conditions after the delay on Friday, so I am absolutely knackered.

"But I am playing the Qatar Masters this week and then the Kenya Open, and I think a really good week is close."

Paul Dunne tied for 58th on seven-over after following three 74s with a 73 and now takes two weeks off before the Maybank Championship in Kuala Lumpur.

As for Kitayama, the American (26) looked out of the running when he started Saturday's delayed third round with a quadruple-bogey eight and dropped further shots on the second and third before darkness stopped play.

He was seven shots off the lead with 33 holes to play yesterday but made six birdies and an eagle to sign for a 71 and go into the final round just three strokes behind Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti.

He was still two shots behind with three holes to play on an attritional final day but birdied the 16th and 17th for a 70 and a one-shot win over Zanotti, Spain's Jorge Campillo, German Maximilian Kieffer and Frenchman Clément Sordet.

"The way we started that third round, I was like, 'Can we stop right now?'," said Kitayama, who won in Mauritius in his just his third start after earning his card at last year's Q-School. "It gave me a refresh, and it was incredible coming back. This one feels really good because when I won the first one, I was playing really well, and it just felt like it was coming.

"This week I came in off three missed cuts and not having good weekends in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. It feels great to grind through all of that."

On the Ladies European Tour, Slieve Russell's Leona Maguire made it back-to-back top-20 finishes when she tied for 14th on four-under in the ActewAGL Canberra Classic.

She then faced a gruelling, 39-hour trip from Australia to Florida for the first of three events to start the Symetra Tour season and her bid for an LPGA Tour card.

The Co Cavan native (24) closed with a one-over 72 as The Netherlands' Anne van Dam shot 65 to win by three shots on 17-under par at Royal Canberra.

On the PGA Tour, Graeme McDowell missed the secondary cut after a third round 68 in the Honda Classic where 58-year-old Vijay Singh - bidding to become the oldest winner in PGA Tour history - started the final round just one stroke behind leader Wyndham Clark.

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