Birdie-birdie finish salvages Moynihan’s day in Sweden

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Gavin Moynihan (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

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Gavin Moynihan dug deep to card a birdie-birdie finish that rescued his opening round at the Scandinavian Invitation at Hills Golf & Sports Club.

The Mount Juliet pro, who was unlucky not to build on a top-11 placing at the Finnish Challenge when missing out by a single shot last week on the halfway cut in Prague, posted an opening round of one-under par 71 to head Irish hopes in Sweden.

The Dubliner recovered from being two-over through his first four holes to rally with four birdies in total while his minus-one tally is good enough to be inside the top-40 after day one.

Sadly, the same can’t be said for Michael Hoey or Paul Dunne who both struggled on the opening day.

Hoey’s three birdies were cancelled out by three bogeys and a double that saw him sign for a two-over par 72 while Dunne, despite racing out of the blocks to be minus-two through four holes, capitulated on his homeward half to post a six-over par 76 that resigns him close to the foot of the board.

At the top, Wade Ormsby produced a sensational 62 to take the early lead.

Early starter Ormsby, who is still looking for his first win of the 2019 Race to Dubai campaign after coming up just short at the ISPS Handa Vic Open earlier in the year, fired an eagle and six birdies on Thursday to get to eight-under par and surge to the top of leaderboard.

“I made a pretty straight birdie on 12 and then 14 I was in between a five and a four iron, picked the right one and boxed it, so then I just got a bit of momentum through the final holes. I felt quite comfortable out there, I was holing my return putts and that kept the round going, which added up to 62.

“I felt like I had been hitting the ball quite well, I just wasn’t quite free enough in my putting, so I as working hard on that to get back to a point where I feel more comfortable and less into my technique. Putted well today, didn’t putt amazing, but holed what I needed too.”

The Australian enjoyed a long stint at the top after making a fast start but required a birdie at the ninth – his last hole – to finish his round alone at the summit, with Frenchman Alexander Levy and home favourite Joakim Lagergren one shot back on seven under.

Former champion Matthew Fitzpatrick opened with a bogey free 64 to head into the clubhouse on six under. The Englishman was apprehensive following a three week break from tournament golf but he showed no signs of rust, firing six birdies to sign for a 64, with South African Erik van Rooyen and Englishman Matthew Southgate a further shot adrift.

Meanwhile, Australian Adam Bland made the 22nd hole-in-one of the season when he holed a seven iron from 154 metres on the tenth to win a Volkswagen Touareg V6 TDI 4 Motion.

Full Scoring HERE

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