Gavin Moynihan hopes to bring the luck of the Irish to the Monaghan Irish Challenge as the European Challenge Tour visits Concra Wood Golf Club for the first time this week.
The fourth edition of the Irish Challenge heads to Concra Wood and Castleblayney, where Moynihan will aim for more Irish success after his GolfSixes victory with Paul Dunne earlier in the year.
The 25 year old has two Challenge Tour top ten finishes to his name this season, and has seen a rise in form over the last month. The Irishman will seek to turn that form into a winning formula when he competes at Concra Wood for the first time tomorrow.
“I’ve played well in Irish Opens on the European Tour but I’m yet to make a cut at a home event on the Challenge Tour, so hopefully that’ll change,” said Moynihan, who claimed a share of 14th in the 2017 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation.
“The last few weeks have been nice, and I’ve been playing well, so I’ll aim to keep that form going on home soil.
“It’s great having an event at home. There will be a few people from my club and one of my good friends is going to caddie for me. It’s a very relaxed week and sometimes it feels like you’re not even playing a tournament because you’re so relaxed.”
Tens of thousands of fans flocked to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation in July and with tickets for The Open Championship at Royal Portrush Golf Club already selling out, Moynihan is hoping to see more home support at Concra Wood.
“The crowds really make the Irish events special,” he said. “There have been lots of fans at all the French events with the buzz of The Ryder Cup this year. They’ll definitely be lots of people around at Concra Wood.
“I’ve had people asking me when it’s on and there is always a good crew from Gary Hurley’s and Cormac Sharvin’s clubs who follow them wherever they play. There should be a decent turn out here.”
Hurley and Sharvin will battle Moynihan and the rest of the Irish contingent for the Christy O’Connor Jnr Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the lowest scoring Irishman of the event.
Last year, Ruaidhri McGee walked away with the trophy following his share of 15th place, and now Moynihan fancies his chances of claiming the trophy named after the iconic Irishman.
“I got to know Christy quite well before he passed, so to win that special trophy will be another motivator during the week,” he said. “I’m going to enjoy the week, as I do for most of the time I play in Ireland, and hopefully come away with a good result.”
With four events left on the Challenge Tour’s International Schedule all eyes will be focussing on the top 15 places, where European Tour status will be awarded to those finishing within the illustrious spots at the end of the season.
Stuart Manley, who is fourth in the Rankings, and ninth place David Law will tee it up in the final Challenge Tour event on European soil, looking to enhance their European Tour credentials for next season.