Moynihan motors to season’s best finish in Scotland

Bernie McGuire
Bernie McGuire

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Gavin Moynihan fired a final day four-under-par 67 to secure his best individual finish of the 2018 season at the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels and Resorts.

The Dubliner carded six birdies and just the two dropped shots for a five-under total, propelling himself into tied 6th position in the process.

Having not made a weekend cut since making his European Tour debut as a fully fledged member at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open back in December, this result may well prove a huge confidence boost ahead of a crucial period of the season.

The Island professional picks up a cheque worth €7,300 for his efforts but the confidence gained from playing through to a Sunday finish might just be worth its weight in gold.

Unfortunately it wasn’t such a productive day for Michael Hoey and Ruaidhri McGee as the pair fell into a share of 36th spot at the close of play in Scotland.

Hoey signed for a two-over-par 73, one stroke worse than McGee as the duo ended their tournaments on a one-over-par total after quiet weekends.

The day belonged to David Law, however, who became the first home winner of the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge for eight years after carding a four-under-par final round of 67 to claim his maiden European Challenge Tour title.

The 27-year-old started the final day at Macdonald Spey Valley Golf Club one shot behind overnight co-leaders Stuart Manley and Pedro Figueiredo, and after carding two birdies and a bogey over his front nine he remained one adrift of the lead.

As others faltered around him Law held his nerve, bagging further gains at the par four 11th and the par five 13th before holing a 15-foot birdie putt on the par three 16th to leave himself with a two-shot advantage over Denmark’s Joachim B Hansen as he walked onto the 18th green.

After rolling in a tricky five-foot par putt in front of a delighted home crowd the man from Aberdeen was left speechless after becoming the first Scottish player since George Murray in 2010 to win the Aviemore event.

“I’m lost for words,” he said. “It was good, really good. On the last they had just changed the board and I knew Hansen had gone to nine under so I knew I needed to hole that.

“Up until then I would’ve been happy to three-putt it but I knew I needed to hole it to guarantee the win – and to do that was amazing.

“I said to myself when I holed that birdie on the 16th that I’m going to lay it up on 17 and play for par – just play smart. If I make four then I make four and that’s a bonus but a par five is a good score.

“This is the best. In five years out here I’ve never won and I’ve never been close to winning to be honest. I had a couple of chances down the years but to do it here with everybody here is just amazing.

“There’s more pressure this week as it’s your home event but there’s also more support and that’s huge. Everyone was rooting me on and I felt that carrying me through.”

With victory in Aviemore Law moves up 69 places to sit in tenth place on the Road to Ras Al Khaimah with 50, 160 points. Hansen, who birdied three of his last seven holes to sign for a two under par round of 69, finished two shots behind Law in second place – a result which takes him up to second in the Rankings with 102,150 points.

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