Mount Juliet’s Gavin Moynihan finds himself the lone Irishman in this week’s historic tri-sanctioned Joburg Open.
It is a first visit to South Africa for Moynihan in what is his second event as a full European Tour member and a ninth main tour appearance since his debut in the 2013 Irish Open.
The 23-year old arrived in the South African capital from the island of Mauritius when he had last weekend off after missing the cut.
Moynihan got his first look at the Randpark course earlier in the week but heavy rain on Wednesday washed out any practice on the course hosting the event for a first time.
Bizarrely, this week’s Joburg Open is the second this year after the first was staged in February, thus robbing Darren Fichardt of nearly three months as defending champion.
Also, the event boasts the largest field for some time with 240 players set to tee-up, however the withdrawal of event favourite, Louis Oosthuizen is a big blow to sponsors and supporters.
Oosthuizen was forced to withdraw after a bizarre injury when he caught fingers on his right hand in an airport luggage trolley.
“The body feels great but I had a different incident this week with jamming my fingers in trolleys at the airport,” he said. “Unfortunately, I don’t think I will be able to play this week.”
“I’m here and I was ready to do everything. I was actually relieved there wasn’t a pro-am because I thought the rest would help but this morning is even worse than it was yesterday. I tried to grip a golf club but there’s no way I can go to my grip position.”
“It’s a sad thing, but you know I have had my struggles with a couple of things. My body actually feels great but when something like this happens the Monday when I travel, it’s a bit of an unfortunate one.”
Moynihan tees up 9.15am Irish time