Friday 27 April 2018

Moynihan hits Q-School form to storm up leaderboard

Moynihan:
Moynihan: "I have three rounds on the Lakes Course to try and make the top 10. It was a good day and I played nicely." Picture by Pat Cashman

Brian Keogh

Gavin Moynihan roared into contention for his European Tour card on a positive day for the Irish at the final stage of the Qualifying School in Spain.

The Dubliner (24) fired six birdies in a five-under par 67 in yesterday's third round and moved up 19 places to tied-13th at halfway, just a shot outside the top 10 in the 108-hole marathon.

After finishing 19th on the Challenge Tour this year, the Mount Juliet touring professional will get up to a dozen European Tour starts in 2018.

But a top-10 finish after six rounds at Lumine Golf Club would make him eligible for twice as many events.

"It could have been a bit better but it was a good day," said Moynihan (right), who is just six shots behind England's Laurie Canter who also shot 67 on the Hills course to lead by a shot from compatriots Sam Horsfield and Ben Evans on 13-under par.

"I'm happy enough and now I have three rounds on the Lakes Course to try and make the top 10. It was a good day and I played nicely."

Winds gusting to 100kmh buffeted Salou overnight but while they had abated by morning, Moynihan still hit a five-iron 270 yards down the first fairway on a day when Scotland's Connor Syme hit a best-of-the-week, eight-under 63 on the Lakes Course to move into the crucial top 25.

With the breeze dropping to a steady 25kmh, scoring was red-hot with the cut for the top 70 and ties projected to fall at one-under par or better.

While Moynihan struggled early in his rounds and was one-over after five holes, he holed a bunker shot for a birdie at the sixth and never looked back.

"That really kick-started the round and I played lovely on the back nine and could have been a bit better," said Moynihan, who birdied the seventh to turn in 35 before racing home in 32."

It was a good day for all four Irish, with Ardglass' Cormac Sharvin firing a four-under par 67 on the Lakes Course to move up to tied 86th on one-over alongside Derry's Ruaidhri McGee, who shot a 70 at the same track.

"It's nice to post a score," said Sharvin, who is two strokes outside the projected cut mark.

"I feel like I have been playing all right the last two days and just haven't got anything going and any bad shot I hit was getting punished. Today, I just didn't miss a shot to be honest."

Ballymena's Dermot McElroy shot a two-under 69 on the Lakes Course and at four-over-par, he knows he needs "a low one" at the Hills Course today to move into the top 70.

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