Moynihan delivers career-best European Tour finish in France

Bernie McGuire

Gavin Moynihan (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Bernie McGuire

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Gavin Moynihan heads to this week’s Portugal Masters with a real chance of holding onto his Tour card.

Moynihan secured a Tour career best of a share of fifth place thanks to a closing round of 71 at the Open de France in Versailles.

The 25-year old also collected the second biggest prize cheque of his pro career in earning Euro 57,280 in very cold conditions on the Le National layout.

Moynihan arrived in France lying a lowly 162nd on the Race to Dubai and is now up to 140th heading to The Algarve where a top-three finish would lift the Dubliner inside the cut-off mark of 117th and thus full 2020 Tour membership.

Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts ended a seven-year winless drought in signing for a one-over par 72 but holding on to win by a shot with a 13-under par total.

Though the 36-year old former Ryder Cup star had to do it the hard way in forfeiting a three-shot overnight lead in tumbling to second place after bogeys and five, six and 12.

Colsaerts then in a 30-minute run brilliantly birdied 12 and chipped-in for an eagle ‘3’ on 14 but only to horribly put a ball into water on 15 and fall back into a tie for the lead with Dane Joachim Hansen.

A Hansen bogey on 17 in his eventual round of 68 handed a very emotional and teary-eyed Colsaerts, who parred his closing three holes, the honour of becoming the first Belgium-born in 61-years to lift the gleaming silver trophy.

Victory also secured Colsaerts the bigger prize of a two-year Tour exemption when staring at losing his Tour card in what could have been his penultimate event of 2019.

He said: “This is a very special moment for me as the French Open has always been very special given I am French speaking, and I have been coming here for I don’t know how many years.

“It’s been a long road and I’ve had so many people supporting me over the years, and that is why I am so emotional.

“I went through up-and-downs for so many years now that is just so good to win again.

“This win also changes everything for me for the next couple of years. Lighter schedule. I have a wife at home and a little kid now that I am going to be able to spend a bit more time with now, which is nice.”

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