Moynihan struggles after dash to Qatar

Dubliner at the bottom of the field after first round of Qatar Masters

Gavin Moynihan.

Gavin Moynihan.

 

Gavin Moynihan’s last minute dash to Qatar failed to pay dividends at the Qatar Masters as he carded a five-over par round of 77 on the opening day.

Moynihan only learned he had been added to the field on Tuesday and arrived in Doha a matter of hours before his early morning tee-time.

Fatigue caught up with the Dubliner on the second hole, where he carded an eight on the par four, and while he steadied the ship thereafter it was a difficult day for the tour rookie.

A change of coach and a couple of glasses of red wine, meanwhile, helped Eddie Pepperell claim a share of the lead. Pepperell fired eight birdies and a solitary bogey to card a seven-under 65 which was matched by fellow Englishman Aaron Rai and France’s Gregory Havret.

Former winner Alvaro Quiros, Italy’s Edoardo Molinari, England’s Oliver Fisher and Germany’s Marcel Schneider were a shot off the pace on a day when unusually calm conditions led to plenty of low scores, with 91 players breaking par.

“I played well and surprised myself really out there,” Pepperell said. “I made a change this week with personnel, just working on a couple of new things and I surprised myself with how well I managed to trust it and hit some quality tee shots as well.

“That’s the area I feel like I’ve been struggling with again a bit lately but the whole game felt good.”

Darren Clarke is facing another uphill battle to make the cut after a first round of 76 (four over).

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