Gavin Moynihan holds firm to claim top five finish in France

Dubliner has given himself outside chance of keeping full European Tour card next week

Gavin Moynihan of Ireland plays his third shot on the third hole during day four of the Open de France at Le Golf National. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Gavin Moynihan of Ireland plays his third shot on the third hole during day four of the Open de France at Le Golf National. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

 

Ireland’s Gavin Moynihan cemented the best finish of his professional career with a final round of 71 to finish tied fifth at eight under while Nicolas Colsaerts ended a seven-year winless run on the European Tour with a dramatic one-shot victory.

Moynihan started the week well down the Race to Dubai rankings and set to miss out on retaining his card for next season.

However, he now has an outside chance of doing so at next week’s Portugal Masters – the final counting competition – if he can register another high finish and move inside the top-118 group projected to keep their cards.

The Dubliner’s level par final round pushed him 22 places up those rankings to 140th and earned him a cheque for €57,280.

After three under par rounds before Sunday, the final round looked to be going the opposite way when the 25-year-old bogeyed the fourth and the seventh. However, birdies at the eighth, ninth and 14th got things back and track before a somewhat disappointing finish which saw birdie putts slide past on the 16th and 17th, capped with a bogey at the 18th.

Colsaerts had last triumphed at the 2012 Volvo World Match Play Championship, four months before he was part of the European team that famously came back from 10-4 down to lift the Ryder Cup in the Miracle at Medinah.

His stock had fallen so far in the intervening years that he arrived at Le Golf National — the scene of another European Ryder Cup victory in 2018 — battling to keep his place on tour for 2020 after just one top-10 finish on the 2019 Race to Dubai.

He carded a closing one-over-par 72 on day four in Paris but that was enough to move him to 12 under and hold off the challenge of Dane Joachim B Hansen.

He started the day with a three-shot lead over South African George Coetzee and looked to be cruising to victory when he extended that to five after a birdie on the first.

But the demons that have led to him fighting for his playing privileges resurfaced and missed putts from inside 10 feet on the fifth, sixth and 12th meant he trailed Coetzee by two with six to play.

A spectacular chip-in eagle on the 14th had him back in the lead, but he would find the water on the next to surrender a double-bogey and slip a shot behind Hansen.

There was to be more drama, however, as Hansen took four putts from just short of the green on the 17th for a double of his own and Colsaerts held his nerve over the last three holes for a third European Tour victory.

“It’s super special,” he told europeantour.com. “I’ve been coming here for so long and missed out a bunch of times and to do it here, to do this like this where at the end it was a pretty dramatic, makes it even better.

“I was kind of looking for a week like this where everything sort of clicked together. I don’t really have a week like that for a long, long time.

“It changes everything for me for the next couple of years, a lighter schedule. I have a wife at home and a little kid now that I am going to be able to spend a bit more time with now, which is nice.”

Hansen carded a closing 68 to finish a shot ahead of Coetzee and two clear of American Kurt Kitayama.

Collated final round scores & totals in the European Tour Open de France, Le Golf National, Paris, France (British unless stated, par 71):

272 Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 67 66 67 72

273 Joachim B. Hansen (Den) 68 68 69 68

274 George Coetzee (Rsa) 65 68 70 71

275 Kurt Kitayama (USA) 66 68 70 71

276 Gavin Moynihan (Irl) 68 69 68 71, Richie Ramsay 66 69 70 71, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 68 69 69 70

277 Hugo Leon (Chi) 68 72 70 67, Thomas Detry (Bel) 71 68 70 68, Chris Paisley 68 74 68 67

278 Steven Brown 71 68 69 70, Marcus Kinhult (Swe) 69 71 69 69, Joost Luiten (Ned) 69 76 65 68

279 Lucas Herbert (Aus) 71 73 65 70, Sam Horsfield 70 72 65 72

280 Victor Perez (Fra) 67 71 69 73, Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 66 71 69 74

281 Alex Noren (Swe) 72 72 71 66, Kalle Samooja (Fin) 67 72 71 71, Kristoffer Reitan (Nor) 68 74 69 70, Ryan Fox (Nzl) 65 74 71 71, Romain Langasque (Fra) 68 73 70 70

282 Andy Sullivan 70 71 68 73, Trevor Immelman (Rsa) 73 70 68 71, Jamie Donaldson 71 67 66 78

283 Jason Scrivener (Aus) 69 73 71 70, Brandon Stone (Rsa) 68 69 69 77, Thomas Pieters (Bel) 74 69 69 71

284 Hudson Swafford (USA) 74 65 69 76, David Lipsky (USA) 71 72 69 72, Gregory Bourdy (Fra) 70 72 70 72

285 Adrien Saddier (Fra) 73 72 68 72, Stephen Gallacher 70 72 70 73, Niklas Lemke (Swe) 73 67 74 71, David Horsey 70 72 69 74, Jerome Lando Casanova (Fra) 69 72 69 75, Jaco Van Zyl (Rsa) 67 70 73 75, Lorenzo Gagli (Ita) 71 74 70 70, Lee Slattery 71 68 75 71

286 Ben Evans 71 73 69 73, Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 72 71 70 73, Deyen Lawson (Aus) 68 72 72 74, Romain Wattel (Fra) 72 70 71 73, Alejandro Canizares (Spa) 75 70 70 71, Charlie Saxon (USA) 70 71 72 73, Renato Paratore (Ita) 69 72 73 72, Frederic Lacroix (Fra) 72 72 66 76

287 S.S.P Chawrasia (Ind) 70 69 72 76, Jeunghun Wang (Kor) 74 69 72 72, Callum Shinkwin 70 74 70 73, Stewart Cink (USA) 70 70 74 73, Gavin Green (Mal) 73 68 71 75, Bradley Dredge 69 73 72 73

288 Ashley Chesters 70 73 71 74, Jordan Smith 68 74 70 76, Yusaku Miyazato (Jpn) 72 73 72 71

289 Haydn Porteous (Rsa) 72 73 72 72, Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 73 72 70 74, James Morrison 71 73 72 73, Jeong weon Ko (Fra) 73 69 70 77

290 Victor Dubuisson (Fra) 69 76 73 72, Liam Johnston 68 76 69 77, Justin Walters (Rsa) 67 77 75 71, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spa) 69 73 73 75

291 Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin) 76 69 77 69

292 Richard McEvoy 69 75 74 74, Nicolai Hojgaard (Den) 67 76 73 76, Darren Fichardt (Rsa) 67 77 75 73

293 Ricardo Gouveia (Por) 71 74 71 77, Max Schmitt (Ger) 72 72 76 73

294 Jake McLeod (Aus) 73 69 73 79

296 Oliver Fisher 70 72 75 79

298 Ashun Wu (Chn) 70 74 76 78, Charles Larcelet (a) (Fra) 71 71 76 80

299 Marc Warren 71 72 80 76

300 Julien Quesne (Fra) 70 72 78 80

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