Closing eagle gives Moynihan hope in China
 Erik van Rooyen. Picture: Ze Sho

Erik van Rooyen. Picture: Ze Sho

Gavin Moynihan kept his hopes of a big cheque alive when he eagled the last to card a three-under 69 and share eighth spot heading into the final round of the Hainan Open.

Chasing a top finish that would move him from 30th into the top 15 on the Road to Oman rankings who will earn promotion to the European Tour next month, the Mount Wolseley touring professional is seven strokes behind leader Erik van Rooyen at Sanya Luhuitou Golf Club but just three shots off third place.

It looked like being a frustrating day for the former Walker Cup star, who made three front nine birdies to be out in 33 but was just one-under for the day and losing touch with the leaders when he bogeyed the 10th and 12th and followed a two at the par-three 14th with another dropped shot at the short 16th.

His closing eagle will give him hope for Sunday’s final round and with just seven players ahead of him, the 23-year old from The Island has an opportunity to make an important move up the money list.

Leader van Rooyen leads by two shots from Tapio Pulkkanen on 17-under-par and will be seeking revenge for losing out to the Finn in a playoff for last month's Kazakhstan Open.

The 27-year-old South African bagged five birdies and holed out for an eagle from 90 yards at the par-four 12th.

Despite temporarily losing his composure on the par four 15th – where an errant drive led to a double-bogey – he signed for his third sub-70 score.

Van Rooyen held a one-shot lead over Pulkkanen going into the final round in Kazakhstan last month but lost out to him in a playoff.

The pair will lock horns once again on Sunday and van Rooyen is excited about their rematch.

"I am looking forward to tomorrow, and it should be a great battle,” he said. 

"Tapio is a very fun guy to play with. Congratulations to him for winning Kazakhstan – he is a very high calibre player, and it was a great victory for him.

"I made some really nice putts today – I made a really good birdie at 11 then went on a great run. I eagled 12 and then made another birdie at 13 too, and I guess when you are playing well things fall into place for you.

"The wind started picking up when I got to the 15th and I was hitting into it, so I thought that I should take a driver. In hindsight, I should have taken a three wood off of the tee, but that was the only bad swing I made today.

“The game plan that I have had has worked pretty well so far. I am going to have to look at the weather forecast for tomorrow, and that might change a few things depending on whether it is wet and windy.

“I am hitting a tonne of fairways and am also putting really well so if I continue to do that I should be good tomorrow.”

Also impressing during the third round in China was 17-year-old amateur Lin Yuxin. 

The home favourite made six birdies during a bogey-free 66 to move into the top five in Sanya and become the highest-ranked Chinese player in the field.

Hainan Open, Luhuitou Golf Club (Par 72)

Detailed scores

199 E Van Rooyen (RSA) 67 65 67, 

201 T Pulkkanen (Fin) 68 66 67, 

203 G Forrest (Sco) 67 68 68, 

204 R Ree (USA) 69 67 68, 

205 B Virto (Esp) 69 68 68, R Sciot-Siegrist (Fra) 73 65 67, L Yuxin (Chn) 71 68 66, 

206 Gavin Moynihan (Irl) 67 70 69, G Charoenkul (Tha) 72 69 65, R Hie (Ina) 67 66 73, B Macpherson (Aus) 68 70 68, 

207 M Kinhult (Swe) 69 73 65, B Hafthorsson (Isl) 71 65 71, M Skelton (Eng) 70 66 71, 

208 J Hansen (Den) 71 68 69, S Brown (Eng) 66 69 73, E Goya (Arg) 73 67 68, 

209 R Saxton (Ned) 70 69 70, M Schwab (Aut) 69 69 71, J Guerrier (Fra) 74 70 65, C Yi (Chn) 72 68 69, C Sordet (Fra) 69 74 66, O Farr (Wal) 73 67 69, 

210 R Kellett (Sco) 72 66 72, G Porteous (Eng) 71 70 69, M Madsen (Den) 69 69 72, S Fernandez (Esp) 71 67 72, S Jung (Can) 73 71 66, J Da-Xing (Chn) 69 69 72, O Lindell (Fin) 70 71 69, C Braeunig (Ger) 68 72 70, C Tarren (Eng) 72 71 67, B Neil (Sco) 75 68 67, 

211 M Orrin (Eng) 67 72 72, O Lengden (Swe) 73 66 72, M Fenasse (Fra) 70 70 71, D Huizing (Ned) 72 68 71, 

212 R Evans (Eng) 70 72 70, M Antcliff (Aus) 69 73 70, M Perry (Nzl) 72 70 70, 

213 A Saddier (Fra) 72 69 72, L Gagli (Ita) 72 69 72, S Heisele (Ger) 72 70 71, R Cho (Kor) 74 69 70, M Baldwin (Eng) 67 75 71, Z Hui-Lin (Chn) 69 70 74, J Senior (Eng) 72 71 70, C Zi-Hao (Chn) 71 71 71, 

214 J Heath (Eng) 72 72 70, B Evans (Eng) 72 72 70, V Perez (Fra) 72 69 73, F Laporta (Ita) 68 75 71, O Zheng (Chn) 69 73 72, N Cullen (Aus) 69 73 72, 

215 T Rongjian (Chn) 73 71 71, J Arnoy (Nor) 72 70 73, H Wen-Yi (Chn) 69 72 74, M Webb (Eng) 74 70 71, N Von Dellingshausen (Ger) 74 70 71, D Foos (Ger) 70 66 79, L Chun (Chn) 73 69 73, J Doherty (Sco) 73 71 71, A Belt (Eng) 74 70 71, 

216 C Mivis (Bel) 71 72 73, T Linard (Fra) 72 72 72, J Girrbach (Sui) 70 71 75, M Ovesen (Den) 74 69 73, 

217 M Tullo (Chi) 72 70 75, 

218 S Forsström (Swe) 72 71 75, R Santos (Por) 75 69 74, 

219 L Linqiang (Chn) 69 75 75.