Gavin Moynihan secures European Tour card

Dubliner put through the wringer before securing pass at Qualifying School in Spain

Ireland’s Gavin Moynihan claimed his card on the European Tour after a dramatic final round in Spain. Photograph:   Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Ireland’s Gavin Moynihan claimed his card on the European Tour after a dramatic final round in Spain. Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

 

Gavin Moynihan needed a clutch birdie-four at the 18th and a little luck from the golfing gods before securing his European Tour card with nothing to spare at the Final Stage of the Qualifying School in Spain on Thursday.

The 23-year-old Dubliner birdied three of the first four holes but then bogeyed the 12th and 15th to find himself outside the crucial top 25 and ties with just three holes to go at Lumine Golf Club’s Lakes Course near Tarragona.

In the end, he hit a glorious, 219-yard four-iron to the front edge of the par-five 18th and two-putted from 20 feet for a two-under 69 to finish on 13 under par.

He was inside the top 25 but faced an anxious 50-minute wait to see if he would remain there and it was not until Sweden’s Christofer Blomstrand missed a 25-foot birdie putt on the 18th that he knew he was safe.

“The last 15 minutes were brutal,” said Moynihan, who was one of 33 players to claim tour cards after the gruelling, six-round marathon, finishing tied for 25th with six others to take the 31st card.

“He had a 25-footer down the hill there and I honestly couldn’t watch him. It was a long wait. It felt like an eternity. But now I am very happy.

“To birdie the last there when I needed it to have a chance, was the most pleasing thing.

“It wasn’t that I was nervous today, I was just stressed. People say you don’t really understand what it’s like at Q-School until you’re there, but on that back nine, I knew exactly what they meant.”

Moynihan can now celebrate what’s been a remarkable year, having had no status on any tour 11 months ago.

“From where I was 11 months ago, when I had lost my swing and then had to go to the Europro Tour Q-School in March to where I am now, I couldn’t really have asked for much more,” Moynihan said.

Derry’s Ruaidhrí McGee finished seven shots outside the qualifying places on six under par after a closing 70 but by making the cut here, he now has a strong Challenge Tour card for next year.

England’s Sam Horsfield closed with an eight-under 63 to win the Qualifying School by eight strokes on 27 under par while former European Tour winners Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño and Anders Hansen also got through.

EUROPEAN TOUR QUALIFYING SCHOOL FINAL STAGE at Lumine Golf Club, Tarragona (Lakes Course, Par 71; Hills Course, Par 72)

QUALIFIERS

401 S Horsfield (Eng) 69 68 66 68 67 63

409 J Kruyswijk (RSA) 71 71 70 66 67 64; P Widegren (Swe) 69 72 68 69 66 65; A Pavan (Ita) 65 68 71 73 67 65; A Hansen (Den) 71 71 69 67 65 66; C Ford (Eng) 73 69 66 64 70 67; J Winther (Den) 67 67 72 71 64 68

410 K Broberg (Swe) 70 71 67 68 66 68

411 J Geary (Nzl) 72 71 72 67 64 65; M Foster (Eng) 67 72 68 71 66 67; C Syme (Sco) 72 73 63 67 67 69

412 P Angles (Esp) 73 70 69 68 65 67; G Fernandez - Castaño (Esp) 72 70 69 68 65 68; L Canter (Eng) 71 64 67 75 66 69

413 S Gros (Fra) 70 69 74 67 67 66; R McGowan (Eng) 72 71 68 70 65 67; N Geyger (Chi) 67 74 69 68 68 67

414 L Gagli (Ita) 71 73 66 72 67 65; S Heisele (Ger) 72 67 70 70 70 65; J Heath (Eng) 72 68 68 69 71 66; M Schwab (Aut) 71 69 67 71 69 67; H Sturehed (Swe) 67 71 71 70 67 68; J Thomson (Eng) 67 72 68 67 71 69; M Baldwin (Eng) 71 69 68 68 66 72

415 B Evans (Eng) 69 66 68 71 75 66; J Walters (RSA) 75 71 66 69 67 67; M Schneider (Ger) 68 74 71 68 67 67; C Bezuidenhout (RSA) 69 69 72 70 68 67; F Aguilar (Chi) 73 70 68 69 67 68; M Nixon (Eng) 70 71 70 69 66 69; G Moynihan (Irl) 69 72 67 68 70 69; J Janewattananond (Tha) 74 71 65 65 71 69; C Blomstrand (Swe) 72 69 67 66 69 72.

NON QUALIFIERS

416 M Armitage (Eng) 71 71 74 68 66 66; Ó Serna (Mex) 68 72 67 73 69 67; C Braeunig (Ger) 70 70 67 71 70 68

417 M Iten (Sui) 74 70 67 71 69 66; C Lloyd (Eng) 68 71 71 72 68 67; A Knappe (Ger) 69 72 69 69 69 69; T Murray (Eng) 70 63 75 70 69 70; R Macintyre (Sco) 67 71 71 71 66 71

418 E Johansen (Nor) 68 73 72 70 70 65; H Leon (Chi) 73 72 69 68 69 67; P Howard (Eng) 73 66 74 69 68 68; J Edfors (Swe) 70 72 70 67 69 70; T Lewis (Eng) 75 69 68 67 69 70; D Law (Sco) 68 73 70 68 69 70; J Quesne (Fra) 69 72 69 69 69 70; K Johannessen (Nor) 71 69 67 72 67 72

419 J Hansen (Den) 72 73 70 69 68 67; J Munro (Aus) 69 71 69 71 69 70; G Stal (Fra) 64 71 73 70 71 70; N Kimsey (Eng) 68 73 70 68 69 71

420 S Webster (Eng) 69 74 73 68 70 66; S Henry (Sco) 78 69 68 69 68 68; O Lindell (Fin) 73 71 66 70 68 72; A Michael (RSA) 73 71 66 74 63 73

421 S Tiley (Eng) 72 70 68 73 72 66; E Park (Kor) 72 72 66 73 70 68; S Manley (Wal) 69 68 70 73 70 71; M Millar (Aus) 74 67 69 68 72 71

422 K Samooja (Fin) 73 69 69 70 72 69; R McGee (Irl) 72 73 70 67 70 70; P Mejow (Ger) 69 70 74 70 68 71

423 A Arnaus (Esp) 70 70 71 70 73 69; S Vincent (Zim) 72 72 69 70 67 73;

424 M Lafeber (Ned) 68 73 73 68 72 70;

426 K Koivu (am) (Fin) 70 70 72 72 72 70; S Sharma (Ind) 75 73 68 67 71 72; P Maddy (Eng) 77 68 70 67 72 72; S Khan (Eng) 72 71 73 68 69 73;

427 J Huldahl (Den) 67 75 69 72 72 72;

428 A Hall (Aus) 73 69 70 71 72 73;

430 A Cañizares (Esp) 73 73 70 68 77 69;

Missed the cut:

287 C Sharvin (NI) 74 74 67 72

291 D McElroy (NI) 74 75 69 73

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