Thursday 14 November 2019

Moynihan holds his nerve to grab winning point for Europe

Gavin Moynihan
Gavin Moynihan

DUBLINER Gavin Moynihan was the toast of the European amateur side after he grabbed the decisive point to retain the Michael Bonallack Trophy after a dramatic late rally by Asia-Pacific.

Europe went into the final day's singles in searing heat in Bangalore, India, requiring just 3.5 points to clinch their fourth straight win and sixth in eight editions since the biennial match was first played in 1998.

However, they made heavy weather of it before getting home by 17.5 to 14.5. Asia-Pacific won seven of the 12 singles, setting-up a nail-biting finish.

With only Island Golf Club ace Moynihan (20) and Dane Mads Soegaard out on the course, Europe needed one of them to win to take the honours.

Former Irish Amateur Open champion Moynihan, who shone at last September's Walker Cup before joining the crack golf squad at the University of Alabama, made the all-important point, seeing off India's Karan Taunk by 2&1.

Soegaard triumphed by the same margin later on to make the final outcome appear more comfortable than it actually was.

Taunk drew first blood with a birdie three at the opening hole, but the Malahide native immediately got back on terms with a winning birdie of his own at two and was never behind after that.

Moynihan went in front at five with a stunning eagle three and was still one up at the turn. It was ding-dong after that, but the dogged Irishman held on for a deserved success.

Ballymena's Dermot McElroy, who wasn't at his best in Bangalore, crashed 6&4 against Kenta Konishi of Japan. England's Ryan Evans was top-scorer with four points out of five, one more than Moynihan.

A delighted non-playing captain Andrew Morgan said: "Every team member made a contribution. It was difficult in the heat, but one must credit Asia-Pacific for the way they fought in the singles."

* Europe's pros needed to win four of 10 singles matches for victory at the inaugural EurAsia Trophy in Kuala Lumpur. Asia recovered from Thursday's whitewash to win yesterday's foursomes session 3-2 to trail 7-3 overnight.

Graeme McDowell and Jamie Donaldson were Europe's only foursomes winners, beating Gaganjeet Bhullar and Nicholas Fung 2&1 in the day's last game.

McDowell faced home skipper Thongchai Jaidee, whom he beat in last May's Volvo World Match Play final, in the second singles game early today.

* Aussie Steven Bowditch was the early clubhouse leader on eight-under after a second-round 67 at the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio – despite a double-bogey six at his final hole, the ninth. He led American Chad Collins (66) and Andrew Loupe (70) by one.




Irish Independent

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