Moynihan and Turner start well in Mauritius
Gavin Moynihan

Gavin Moynihan

Tiger Woods suffered the triple bogey blues to find himself eight shots off the pace in his $3.5 million season-ending Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.

The host struggled with his irons and made a six in the par-three 12th in a 73 at Albany Golf Club, ending the day tied for 16th behind leaders Patrick Cantlay and Patrick Reed on one-over par.

"I just didn't quite feel comfortable with my game, and it was reflected in my scoring," said Woods, whose attempted recovery from the edge of a hazard at the 12th rolled back into the water from where he took three more to get down after a drop.

Woods (42) undid some of the damage with birdies at the 15th and 18th but was well off the pace set by Cantlay and Reed, who shot seven-under 65's to head Henrik Stenson and Dustin Johnson by three strokes.

There was better news for Mount Juliet's Gavin Moynihan in another island paradise as he opened his 2019 European Tour campaign with a sparkling 69 in the tri-sanctioned Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open.

The Portrane native (24) made a horror start to his rookie season last year, missing 14 cuts in a row.

But after winning back his card at the Qualifying School, he was pleased to overcome steamy conditions and end the day tied for 22nd, just five shots behind the in-form Victor Perez and India's S Chikkarangappa on three-under.

"I'm just trying to continue playing how I have been playing and see what happens," said Moynihan, who plays the South African Open and the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek before the Christmas break.

"It was very hot and humid, but I drove it great, scored well and made a few nice up and downs."

He birdied the short fifth and hit an eight iron stiff on the sixth to go two-under before following a bogey at the par-three eighth with birdies at the 14th and par-five 18th.

Rising French star Perez (26) carded nine birdies in a superb 64 to join Chikkarangappa on eight-under par and lead by one stroke from South Africa's Jaco Van Zyl, American Kurt Kitayama and Japan's Masahiro Kawamura.

Muskerry's Niall Turner (35) is tied for 33rd after a 70, but it was a day to forget for the Irish, and Australia's John Senden, in the Australian PGA Championship at RACV Royal Pines Resort in Queensland. 

Michael Hoey and Cormac Sharvin shot six-over 78's and Tramore's Robin Dawson an 80 as Australia's Jake McLeod and Matt Jager fired six-under 66's to lead by a shot from Dimitrios Papadatos and South Korea's Jaewoong Eom.

Senden shot a level par 72 after his driver shaft snapped at the handle as he began his downswing on the ninth, causing a "fresh air".

"I had no chance of actually stopping the shot, so, unfortunately, that counts as actually one stroke," said Senden, who was forced to remove the tee, drop the ball on the tee box and hit an iron.

"I was playing two shots off the tee. So, you know, it just happens."

In Spain, Des Smyth and Paul McGinley are tied 22nd, eight shots behind Argentina's Rafael Gomez, after opening 72's in the Costa Blanca Benidorm Senior Golf Masters.

Gomez posted an eight-under 64 to lead by three strokes from Welshman Stephen Dodd with Eamonn Darcy tied 33rd after a 73 and Brendan McGovern and Philip Walton tied 47th after 77’s.

Meanwhile, AIG will sponsor the Women’s British Open for the next five years, starting at the Marquess Course at Woburn from August 1-4 next season.