Six of the best for Moynihan in China

Six of the best for Moynihan in China
 Gavin Moynihan. Picture: Jimmy Penrose

Gavin Moynihan. Picture: Jimmy Penrose

Challenge Tour — Mount Juliet’s Gavin Moynihan fired six birdies in an impressive 67 to move up 34 places to tied 12th in the $500,000 Foshan Open in China.

The Dubliner is ranked 23rd in the Road to Oman standings, just €8,157 outside the top 15 who gain automatic promotion to the European Tour at the end of the season.

And with just two events remaining after this week, every euro earned is crucial for the 23-year old, who is ten strokes behind leader Oliver Farr in Shishan Town but only five shots off second place.

Welshman Farr, 21st in the Road to Oman standings, carded a bogey-free 66 to lead by five strokes from Germany’s Sebastian Heisele and Englishmen Ryan Evans and Callum Tarren on 15-under-par.

Moynihan confessed that he struggled to read the grainy greens at Foshan Golf Club over the first two days, but after playing superbly in the Hainan Open last week, he was “hitting the ball nicely" and looking for a strong weekend.

He made an excellent start to that plan on day three as he made birdies at the first, second, seventh, 13th and 14th and followed his dropped his only shot of the day at the 17th with a closing birdie four.

Out in the final group today alongside overnight leader Zhang Hui-lin, Farr made steady progress over the front nine with two birdies to stay in touch with his playing partner who bogeyed eight and nine and saw his lead fall to two shots.

After a further gain at the par four 11th for Farr, Zhang came unstuck at the 12th where after failing to find the green he was forced to play from a difficult lie in the deep rough – the Chinese player eventually left the hole with a quadruple-bogey. 

 Oliver Farr. Image courtesy Richard Castka

Oliver Farr. Image courtesy Richard Castka

Farr took advantage of that mistake, bagging three more birdies over his closing five holes to go into the final day five clear.

“It has been a bit of a turnaround for me in recent weeks,” Farr said. 

“After the Bridgestone Challenge I was not in a good frame of mind with golf and I had a complete week off before arriving in Kazakhstan with not a lot of confidence, but I had a really good last round there and I got a lot of belief from that.

“This whole week has been pretty good to be honest. Today was one of those days where I had to stay patient and then after the 12th I found myself in the lead for the first time this week.

“I wanted to make some birdies coming in and I went on to do that. When I initially went out there I thought ‘this is going to be a tough day’ but I just hit some really good shots and made a lot of putts as well.

“It was still really tricky playing in the final group as the greens were really crisping up towards the end of the round, but all in all it was a really good day.”

At last year’s Foshan Open Farr was one of the first to congratulate champion Marcus Armitage – an experience he is hoping will be a good omen for him tomorrow.

“Marcus text me last night after yesterday’s round wishing me good luck,” he said. “Those were good memories and I came away from here last year feeling really happy for Marcus – hopefully that is a good omen for me tomorrow.”

Foshan Open, Foshan Golf Club (Par 72)

Detailed scores

201 O Farr (Wal) 69 66 66, 

206 S Heisele (Ger) 67 70 69, C Tarren (Eng) 65 71 70, R Evans (Eng) 70 70 66, 

207 S Fernandez (Esp) 72 67 68, 

208 B Neil (Sco) 70 69 69, Z Hui-Lin (Chn) 68 64 76, C Sordet (Fra) 70 72 66, D Huizing (Ned) 66 70 72, 

209 J Winther (Den) 71 69 69, R Cho (Kor) 70 71 68, 

211 R McEvoy (Eng) 71 71 69, Gavin Moynihan (Irl) 72 72 67, C Koepka (USA) 70 70 71, C Blomstrand (Swe) 71 69 71, N Cullen (Aus) 66 74 71, M Antcliff (Aus) 69 70 72, 

212 J Guerrier (Fra) 71 70 71, S Brown (Eng) 70 71 71, J Dantorp (Swe) 69 68 75, E Van Rooyen (RSA) 72 70 70, A Saddier (Fra) 68 70 74, B Virto (Esp) 69 73 70, M Schwab (Aut) 68 70 74, 

213 C Braeunig (Ger) 71 71 71, J Hansen (Den) 71 69 73, S Forsström (Swe) 74 67 72, 

214 P Oriol (Esp) 69 67 78, M Lundberg (Swe) 66 74 74, C Ford (Eng) 73 69 72, M Ovesen (Den) 75 70 69, M Fenasse (Fra) 69 72 73, C Mivis (Bel) 69 74 71, 

215 P Howard (Eng) 67 71 77, V Perez (Fra) 74 68 73, L Gagli (Ita) 71 68 76, M Madsen (Den) 72 71 72, R Saxton (Ned) 70 73 72, C Zi-Hao (Chn) 70 71 74, 

216 A Pavan (Ita) 71 72 73, T Pulkkanen (Fin) 74 70 72, M Kinhult (Swe) 72 72 72, G Forrest (Sco) 72 69 75, W Hongfu (Chn) 70 75 71, 

217 J Geary (Nzl) 72 71 74, D Lee (Kor) 76 69 72, T Sato (Jpn) 69 76 72, 

218 D Foos (Ger) 72 71 75, G Porteous (Eng) 72 72 74, R Sciot-Siegrist (Fra) 69 75 74, J Heath (Eng) 67 72 79, H Wen-Yi (Chn) 75 70 73, 

219 M Perry (Nzl) 72 73 74, J Arnoy (Nor) 74 71 74, M Webb (Eng) 74 71 74, B Macpherson (Aus) 71 73 75, J Doherty (Sco) 74 71 74, Y Jian-Feng (Chn) 73 70 76, T Rongjian (Chn) 70 72 77, 

220 O Lindell (Fin) 73 71 76, 

221 Y Tian (Chn) 71 73 77, T Murray (Eng) 72 73 76, 

222 J Senior (Eng) 74 71 77, 

225 Y Yi-Nong (Chn) 71 73 81.