TWENTY-year-old Gavin Moynihan led through all but one round of the 2015 Irish Amateur Golf Championship, to take his second title on Sunday in comprehensive fashion.
The Island GC man’s stunning third round 65 proved the difference, meaning 2012’s unlikely winner went into the final round level with young club mate Kevin LeBlanc.
Both were to have final rounds that fell short of their week’s high points, but Moynihan’s more consistent final day 74 gave him a three shot win and four under par finish overall.
Consecutive early birdies set the tone, giving Moynihan the edge, but both players were to falter as the wind picked up. Notably, Moynihan had to back off one putt while the wind calmed.
Experience showed, with Moynihan playing the last few holes conservatively and intelligently, focusing on keeping LeBlanc comfortably behind him rather than going for the spectacular.
“I think it’s a bit more special,” Moynihan said of his second Irish Amateur victory. “It’s been on my mind the whole year, I couldn’t wait to get back here at the start of the year.”
At just 17, The Island’s other frontrunner LeBlanc also has to be considered a serious contender for the future, having hung in there impressively for three of the four rounds. “If I’d held a few putts, it would have been the difference,” he said.
A double bogey on a pressure final hole, at which point LeBlanc still has an outside shot of overturning playing partner Moynihan, saw the youngster drop to a disappointing tie for third, behind Ardglass’s Cormac Sharvin.
Moynihan was quick to praise the youngster, saying: “Kevin is going to win this, definitely. Nothing fazes him.”
Sixteen-year-old County Louth teenager Thomas Mulligan also impressed, closing out in an impressive 11th place, having secured a first day share of the lead with a notable three under 69.
For now, though, it’s Moynihan who once against sits top of the Irish amateur golfing tree. The win brings his record at the championship to an exceptional played four, won two, and reached a tie breaker at a third.
The victory guarantees Moynihan a place at the Walker Cup in September, while his next outing will see him take on the pros at the Irish Open in County Down.