The Island’s Gavin Moynihan. Pic: Pat Cashman

GAVIN Moynihan has won his ‘Category 17’ European Golf tour card for 2018, after a great performance and a tense wait at the Q-School tournament at the Lumine Golf Club near Tarragona, Spain.
A birdie on the 18th hole of his final round proved critical for the 23-year-old The Island club man who needed to finish in the top 25 to earn his spot for next year.
He then had to wait for almost an hour for Swedish player Christofer Blomstrand to ultimately miss a 25 foot putt that ensured Moynihan finished high enough in qualifying school to win his place. The former Malahide CS student tied for the 25th with a number of other players, 33 of whom made the ultimate cut.
Moynihan is a twice Irish amateur champion (2012 and 2015), and turned pro following his Walker Cup appearance in 2015. His first professional win came earlier this year, in the Lookers Championship at Close House in Newcastle.
“It wasn’t that I was nervous today, I was just stressed. People say you don’t really understand what it’s like at Q-School until you’re there, but on that back nine, I knew exactly what they meant,” Moynihan said after his success.
“My goal was the top 10 but top 25 gives me a few extra starts and with a few invitations to a couple of the bigger events on top of what I already have, I will hopefully have a decent season,” he continued.
“What tour I concentrate on will depend on how I play. If you are playing well on one tour, you will obviously stick with that so I will definitely play six or seven European Tour events before the Challenge Tour even starts.”
The Q-School is seen as having a slightly diminished importance compared to recent years in the light of the big-money Rolex Series with few from the qualifying school expected to make the Rolex events. Despite its perceived lesser status, it is nevertheless a critical step to golf’s peak.
“To birdie the last there when I knew I needed it to have a chance, was the most pleasing shot of the week,” Moynihan concluded.
“I had a win on the Europro Tour, a lot of top 10s and a few other chances this year. So to come here and get a decent card after having nothing a year ago, I can’t be selfish and complain about today. Overall, it has been a very, very positive year.”
The former Irish amateur champion can now enjoy this winter looking forward to a full season at European golf’s peak, and a chance to compete regularly with the best players in the world. It’s a step onto the big time, and a shot at the biggest prizes of all.