Gavin Moynihan endured a harsh opening introduction to life as a full member of the European Tour as the Dubliner missed the cut on debut at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.
Having recovered from a quadruple bogey seven on day one to give himself a fighting chance of making it to the weekend, Moynihan struggled on the par-3s again today, carding two double bogey fives en route to a four over par round of 75.
The second day disappointment left Gavin on five over for the tournament, six shots back from the cut-line in a tie for 122nd. No doubt there’ll be better days to come as his Main Tour journey begins.
At the other end of the spectrum, Tour veteran and former Open champion, Darren Clarke, didn’t fare any better. The Northern Irishman left himself everything to do after an opening day 75, and despite playing much better today, it was all too much to ask.
Clarke fired three birdies but a triple bogey six on the 5th, Darren’s 14th, put paid to his chances of advancing to the final 36, eventually finishing the tournament on six over par.
At the summit, a second-round 70 was enough to keep India’s Arjun Atwal out in front at the halfway stage in Mauritius, but he has a dangerous chasing pack breathing down his neck.
Overnight leader Atwal began the day four shots clear at the top after producing a course-record 62 at Heritage Golf Club on Thursday, but he saw his advantage cut to a single shot after fellow early starters Dylan Frittelli and Laurie Canter posted second-round 66s, with Louis de Jager joining them on nine under par in the afternoon.
South African Frittelli finished with a flourish on Friday, rolling in his birdie putt from five feet at the eighth – his penultimate hole – before smashing his tee shot to within a couple of feet of the cup at the par-four ninth and tapping in for a closing eagle.
Canter notched back-to-back birdies towards the end of his round to get within a shot of Atwal, and had a great chance to catch the 44 year old at the ninth – his last – but he just missed his birdie putt from six feet.
Afternoon starter De Jager carded a single bogey and five birdies – including a brilliant ten footer at the last – in his final round to join the group in a tie for second.
But the trio could not catch three-time European Tour champion Atwal, who had carded three birdies and two bogeys earlier in the day to keep his nose in front.
Justin Walters, Oliver Bekker, Miguel Tabuena, José-Filipe Lima and Ockie Strydom were in a tie for fourth on eight under.
Atwal, who will captain Team Asia in January’s EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM, began his second round on the tenth tee and picked up his first birdie of the day at the long 14th.
He dropped a shot at the 16th but got it back at the par-five 18th to return to ten under.
And after beginning his back nine with back-to-back pars, Atwal carded his second bogey of the day at the third.
But Atwal took advantage of the par-five seventh for the second day in a row, rolling in his three-foot birdie putt to get to ten under par.
After his second round, he said: “I was pleased with how I played.
“The putter was definitely not as hot as the first day. I was hitting the ball just as good but it is tough to follow up a 62 with another low round. I’ll take this one-under.
“I’m really looking forward to the weekend.”
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