Sunday 16 June 2019

Moynihan ready for walk on wild side at Leopard Creek

 

Gavin Moynihan is targeting the year-ending Alfred Dunhill Championship at spectacular Leopard Creek. Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images
Gavin Moynihan is targeting the year-ending Alfred Dunhill Championship at spectacular Leopard Creek. Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images

Brian Keogh

Gavin Moynihan is looking to end a wild 2018 on a high when goes gunning for birdies and eagles in the year-ending Alfred Dunhill Championship at spectacular Leopard Creek.

The Portrane native honed his skills amongst the flora and fauna on the links at The Island.

But he admits that Leopard Creek CC on the edge of the Kruger National Park is truly exotic and a massive challenge as he joins Neil O'Briain in attempting to bounce back from missing the cut in the South African Open last week.

"I'm feeling a lot better," said Q-School graduate Moynihan (24), who was suffering from stomach trouble in Johannesburg and failed to build on his season-opening tie for 11th in the Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open. "And it's an incredible golf course this week. It's tough with very firm greens and extremely hot weather too. But it's the last one of the year, so I'll just go out and try to enjoy it and see what happens. It's a mad place - I've seen loads of monkeys and even hippos and crocs."

Moynihan has his work cut out to become the first non-South African to win the title since Spain's Pablo Martin defended his title in 2011.

Finishes With four wins and four runner-up finishes at Leopard Creek since 2005 and a tied-third finish behind Louis Oosthuizen in last week's South African Open, Charl Schwartzel is the clear favourite.

On the Asian Tour, Justin Rose will have a chance to regain the world No 1 ranking from Brooks Koepka when he defends the $750,000 BNI Indonesian Masters at Royale Jakarta Golf Club.

But he's taking nothing for granted against a field that includes Sweden's Henrik Stenson, newly-crowned Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Shubhankar Sharma of India and Muskerry's Niall Turner.

"I have always had the mentality that the golf course doesn't recognise who is the best player in the world," Rose said. "There is no complacency from that point of view. It is always good to be here and try and play my best."

Elsewhere, Zimbabwe-born Mark McNulty is the only Irish player in action in the Staysure Tour's season-ending MCB Tour Championship - Seychelles tomorrow, while on the PGA Tour Champions, Darren Clarke makes his debut with son Tyrone in the $1.085 million PNC Father/Son Challenge at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Orlando. Eighteen-time Major winner Jack Nicklaus teams up with his grandson GT Nicklaus. Alfred Dunhill Championship

  • Live, Sky Sports, 10.30am, Indonesian Masters, Live, Sky Sports, 7.0am

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