Moynihan leads Ireland’s Caped crusaders on rough opening day in South Africa

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Moynihan leads Ireland’s Caped crusaders on rough opening day in South Africa

Gavin Moynihan (Photo ANDERS WIKLUND/AFP/Getty Images)

Gavin Moynihan top-scored for Ireland’s quartet of Challenge Tour raiders but it was another difficult outing on day one of a testing Cape Town Open in South Africa.

The tournament, which marks the first time the Challenge Tour has visited Cape Town, is being played across two venues in the ‘Mother City’, Royal Cape Golf Club and King David Mowbray Golf Club.

Royal Cape was certainly playing the more difficult on the opening day as the winds tested players to the limit but that’s where Moynihan ground out a two-over round of 74 to be sitting just outside the top-80.

The Mount Juliet touring professional posted just one birdie in a difficult showing but will hope to score better on the Mowbray on Friday to ensure his safe passage into the weekend.

Royal Dublin’s Niall Kearney was one-under through three holes before three straight dropped shots was followed by a damaging triple-bogey 8 at the par-5 16th, his seventh.

Kearney birdied his very next hole before reeling off 10 pars in a four-over par 76 also on the Royal Cape layout.

Tramore’s Robin Dawson had a day to forget on the Cape Course in posting a five-over par 77 while Michael Hoey also endured a torrid time on the same course with no birdies on the card in a seven-over par 79.

Daniel van Tonder holds the first round lead for the second consecutive week after carding a six-under par round of 66 in testing conditions in Cape Town.

The South African, who recorded a top ten finish at the European Challenge Tour season opening Limpopo Championship, recorded three birdies and an eagle during a stunning five hole stretch on the back nine at King David Mowbray Golf Club to leap into contention in the ‘Mother City’.

He will head into the second round with a one-shot advantage over Englishman Toby Tree, who defied strong winds at King David Mowbray Golf Club to card an eagle and four birdies in an opening five-under par round of 67.

“I’m really pleased to go out and shoot that score in these conditions,” van Tonder said. “I’ve been playing well for a while and I tend to play well in difficult conditions, so I’m happy for this wind to keep coming.

“My game came together really well today. The greens are really small out here so if you miss one your short game needs to be sharp and I managed to recover nicely today, as well as hitting the ball solid.

“I’ve been happy with my form for a while now, but I really want to go out there and get a win. This is one of the biggest events on the Tour for us and we wait all year for this stretch of events, so it is a good time to be in form and hopefully I can go out there and win it.”

Full scoring HERE

 

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