Ireland’s latest European Tour member, Gavin Moynihan, will have it all to do to make the coveted top-24 after a slow start on day one of the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 in Perth.
The Dubliner returned an opening round of 73 to sit in a tie for 88th on one over par after a frustrating debut at Lake Karrinyup Country Club.
A bogey at the 1st did little to settle his nerves but four straight pars followed before Moynihan opened his account with a birdie three at the 6th. He’ll rue his play around the turn – a bogey five on 9 followed by a double on 10, but to his credit Gavin dug in deep.
He picked up a much needed gain on 13 before adding a fine birdie two at his penultimate hole to achieve parity for his backward half. All-in-all, far from a disaster but with hot scoring ahead he’ll have to go low tomorrow as only the top 24 players after 54 holes will advance to the match play knockout stages, with the top eight players seeded.
Defending champion Brett Rumford continued his love affair with Lake Karrinyup as he carded an opening 64 to head the field on day one in Perth.
The local favourite dominated proceedings in the inaugural event last season, leading for all three days of stroke play before taking the title after the Super 6 match play format on Sunday.
A stunning opening nine of 29 helped him threaten to do so again, the six-time European Tour winner made just two pars in his first nine holes with birdies on the tenth, 11th, 12th, 14th, 15th, 17th and 18th – courtesy of a monster putt – to lead by three. And while he dropped two shots after the turn, he bounced back to get to eight under and lead by two from playing partner Lee Westwood and Australian James Nitties.
Westwood was doing his best to keep pace and the Englishman made an eagle on the 15th thanks to a spectacular chip-in to go with birdies on the 11th and 12th. The former World Number One was delighted to continue his upward curve after firing a second round of 62 last week in Malaysia to finish tied 11th.
“The swing’s just getting better all the time,” said a visibly enthused Westwood. “It’s just unfortunate I’ve got a long period of time off after this through different circumstances and I should be working on the game and my fitness over the few weeks after this tournament.
“I played very nicely, very solidly. Hit a lot of good shots, drove the ball well, putted nicely as well without anything really going in for me. I chipped in on 15 for eagle but other than that, everything was pretty close range.
“There was a bit of breeze up but if you hit the ball well, then it’s very scoreable. The golf course is in great condition. If you start putts on line, they tend to go in.
“It was nice to shoot 66. I don’t think this is a tournament where you want to be playing catch-up, really. You want to get yourself in the mix and try and cruise through the second and third days and get into that top 24.”
Australian’s Wade Ormsby, Jason Scrivener and Gareth Paddison were then at five under alongside Frenchman Sébastien Gros, Malaysian Nicholas Fung, Japan’s Daisuke Kataoka, Korea’s Yi-keun Chang, and Thai duo Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Prom Meesawat.
South African Zander Lombard made the second albatross of the season when he holed a two iron from 210 yards on the 15th en route to an opening round of 68.