Niall Kearney and Gavin Moynihan will hope to sign off their respective 2020 campaigns on a high as the pair join a strong field this week at Wednesday’s starting Golf in Dubai Championship presented by DP World.
Royal Dublin professional Kearney has enjoyed just ten starts in a curtailed season that has seen him play across the European Tour and Challenge Tour having earned his full playing privileges for the Challenge Tour last season. As a result, it’s been almost impossible for the 32-year old to gather momentum but there were some signs of welcomed progress at the beginning of November where Kearney followed a tied-22nd result at the Challenge de Andalucia with a share of 14th at the Challenge de Cadiz.
In Andalucia, a moving day 67 bolted Kearney up the board while at Cadiz, he led at the halfway mark after opening with a stunning 66. The next mission will be stringing four rounds together but there was plenty of encouragement to take from those two performances ahead of this week’s welcomed return to the Main Tour for the $1.2million event.
The Island professional Moynihan meanwhile will look to arrest what has been a worrying run of missed cuts since golf’s return post-lockdown. Back in July, Moynihan made his first appearance in some five months at the Austrian Open where he tied 55th, however, since then the now 26-year old has missed thirteen cuts on the spin, breaking 70 just once in that stretch with a second round 69 at the Italian Open. There have been near misses of course, not least in Italy where he fell one shot shy of the halfway mark but Moynihan will be eager for some weekend action this week in the UAE to give him a much-needed boost of confidence ahead of the off-season.
That will be no easy task given the quality of field on show this week where Danny Willett will start the inaugural Golf in Dubai Championship in the company of fellow Major Champion Martin Kaymer and four time European Tour winner Thomas Pieters. Willett has some very fond memories of competing in Dubai, having won the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in 2016 and the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai two years ago.
Also taking his place in a strong international field this week is World Number 39 Bernd Wiesberger, who plays alongside Englishmen Matt Wallace and Aaron Rai. In-form Scot Robert MacIntyre is part of another exciting three-ball with Li Haotong and Rasmus Højgaard, who already has two wins to his name this season.