Sport Golf

Friday 15 November 2019

Moynihan keeps up quest for card after career-best finish

Gavin Moynihan is chasing another top-five finish this week. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Gavin Moynihan is chasing another top-five finish this week. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Brian Keogh

Gavin Moynihan vowed to "give it a rip" in his last-gasp bid to retain his card after clinching a career-best tie for fifth in the Amundi Open de France.

The Dubliner (25) was 162nd in the Race to Dubai heading to Paris, knowing only the top 117 next Sunday night will avoid a return to the Qualifying School.

After leaping to 140th, the Mount Juliet professional now needs another top-five to get the job done in this week's Portugal Masters, where 118th-ranked Paul Dunne must make the cut to keep his card.

But Moynihan can only feel good about his future after an impressive performance under pressure.

"Probably the most pleasing thing about the week is how calm I stayed," said Moynihan, who carded a level-par 71 to tie for fifth (€57,280) on eight-under par, just four shots behind winner Nicolas Colsaerts.

Treacherous

He dropped early shots at the fourth and seventh but kept his cool and birdied the eighth, ninth and 14th before finishing with a bogey at Le Golf National's treacherous 18th.

"I've been struggling on Sundays lately, but I hit a lot of solid shots and holed a lot of putts inside six feet, so it was nice to have a good round today," he said.

"It was actually a stress-free week and I'm just going to give it a rip in Portugal now and see what happens."

Belgian Colsaerts (36) does not have to worry about his card now after he clinched a dramatic, one-stroke win following a nail-biting battle with Dane Joachim B. Hansen and South Africa's George Coetzee.

He was five strokes clear after a birdie at the first but found himself one behind Coetzee with six holes to play. He regained the lead when he followed a birdie at the 13th with a chip-in eagle three at the 14th.

But while he found water and made double-bogey at the 15th, where Coetzee made a triple-bogey seven, new leader Hansen immediately double-bogeyed the 17th.

Leading again, Colsaerts took advantage by closing with three solid pars to win for the first time in seven years. His one over 72 left him one clear of Hansen on 12-under par, catapulting him from 114th to 53rd in the Race to Dubai.

"It's very special," remarked an emotional Colsaerts, who is now exempt until the end of 2021. "I went through up and downs for so many years now. It's very, very special as you can see."

Justin Thomas won The CJ Cup at Nine Bridges for the second time in three years to clinch his 11th PGA Tour win. He closed with a five-under 67 to win by two strokes from New Zealand's Danny Lee on 20-under with Graeme McDowell tied 16th on 10-under after a 71.

Thomas has now won 10 times since the start of the 2016-'17 season, making him a more prolific PGA Tour winner in that period than Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka or Dustin Johnson.

On the Challenge Tour, Ardglass' Cormac Sharvin remains fifth in the Road to Mallorca rankings after he closed with a 73 to finished tied 30th behind Italy's Francesco Laporta at the Hainan Open in China.

Irish Independent

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