Perfect partners, Paul Dunne and Gavin Moynihan are eyeing up a repeat winning performance when the pair combine again in green this week at the GolfSixes in Cascais from June 7-8.
Team Ireland emerged victorious in the second edition of GolfSixes last year at the Centurion Golf Club when Dunne and Moynihan triumphed over the French pairing of Mike Lorenzo-Vera and Romain Wattel in a dramatic finale.
Ireland’s heroes – who played together in the victorious 2015 Walker Cup team – started quickly in the final, winning the first and third holes to forge an early 2-0 lead which the French were unable to pull back. It was a week where it all seemed to click for Dunne and Moynihan, who were three-under or better in every match through six holes at the tournament.
They dethroned the 2017 champions, Danish pair Lucas Bjerregaard and Thorbjørn Olesen and both Dunne and Moynihan are sure to have plenty of support on their mission as defending champions in a region frequented regularly by Irish golfing fanatics.
“I can’t wait to get going again alongside Gavin,” said Dunne, who enjoyed a timely return to form with a top-5 finish at the Made in Denmark a fortnight ago.
“Gavin and I had so much fun last year. It’s an event which the players can really enjoy as well as the fans. The atmosphere has always been incredible at GolfSixes and I am sure that will be the same in Cascais. Portugal is renowned for its golf courses so I am sure they will embrace the event.”
Bizarrely, both players actually dropped down the world rankings following last year’s win with no ranking points or Ryder Cup points on offer at the event. However, for Mount Juliet’s Moynihan, the €100,000 cheque he picked up for the timely result was ample reward and crucial to the Dubliner, who endured a testing rookie season to that point on the Main Tour.
“GolfSixes was probably the best week of last year and one of the best memories of my career so far,” reflected Moynihan, who advanced alongside the top-64 at the Belgian Knockout over the weekend before losing out to Marcel Siem in round one.
“To represent my country alongside Paul was such an honour and to go on and win the event made it even more special.
“It will be really exciting to defend our title at a new venue and I have heard great things about the area of Cascais, so hopefully the Irish fans will come out in force to support us.”
Ireland have been drawn alongside Thailand, Sweden and the English women’s team for the group stage of the competition.
Meghan MacLaren and Solheim Cup star Florentyna Parker will look to build on England Women’s success in 2018, where Charley Hull and Georgia Hall were defeated in the quarter finals by Moynihan and Dunne.