Gavin Moynihan showcased all the grit and determination needed to carve out a successful career on the European Tour by birdying the last hole to secure his card for next season at Qualifying School in Tarragona.
Faced with the prospect of missing out by the narrowest of margins, Moynihan flushed a crunch four-iron from 219 yards to the front edge of the par-5 18th and got up and down for the crucial birdie that took him to a 13 under par total and into the coveted top-25, right on the number.
For a long time it looked like he’d cruise to his main tour playing privileges – three birdies in his opening four holes leaving him well inside the projected target. But Q School’s never easy, and the pressure of the toughest examination in golf soon told.
Bogeys at 12 and 15 would’ve been enough to knock the confidence of the meanest contender, but Gavin, already guaranteed a number of starts through his Challenge Tour exploits this term, plucked up the courage to find one last effort.
“The last 15 minutes were brutal,” said Moynihan.
“To birdie the last there when I needed it to have a chance, was the most pleasing thing.”
“It wasn’t that I was nervous today, I was just stressed. People say you don’t really understand what it’s like at Q-School until you’re there, but on that back nine, I knew exactly what they meant.”
His precious birdie draws the curtains to a close on a most remarkable season for the Island Golf Club product, one he couldn’t conjure in his wildest dreams this time twelve months ago.
“From where I was 11 months ago, when I had lost my swing and then had to go to the Europro Tour Q-School in March to where I am now, I couldn’t really have asked for much more,” Moynihan added.
Indeed starting the year with no status whatsoever, he didn’t need to look too far for inspiration as Paul Dunne had paved the way for this generation of young Irish pretenders to make the step up in grade.
Yet speaking to us a few weeks ago as he targeted the season ending Race to Oman as his gateway to the European Tour, Moynihan acknowledged that although he had the game to compete with the big boys, getting there was the only obstacle:
“It’s great to see what Dunner has achieved. I’ve known him since I was 16 and on our day our game’s stack up quite well against eachother, maybe a shot or two in the difference. But because of him you know that if you make it, there’s no reason why you can’t win or contend every week on the main tour, it’s just getting there that’s the hard part!”
Well he’s just winged that hurdle en route to the Promised Land, and with this sort of confidence you would hope that his game continues to trend somewhere along this steep upward curve.