Composed Gavin Moynihan grabs second Irish Amateur Open crown

Michael Connaughton (President, Golfing Union of Ireland) presenting Cormac Sharvin (Ardglass) with his runner up medal at the Irish Amateur Open Championship at The Royal Dublin Golf Club today
Michael Connaughton (President, Golfing Union of Ireland) presenting Cormac Sharvin (Ardglass) with his runner up medal at the Irish Amateur Open Championship at The Royal Dublin Golf Club today

Gavin Moynihan stayed composed to win his second Irish Amateur Open Championship at Royal Dublin yesterday.

In 2012 he came from the blind side to become the youngest ever champion. This time he led from the front.

“The first time I was just trying to make the cut. I wasn’t even thinking about winning,” said the 20-year-old who finished with five straight pars to sign for a 74 that gave him a three shot win on four under.

“This is definitely better, the last one was tougher to win,” said Moynihan

Level with clubmate Kevin LeBlanc at the start of play, Moynihan began birdie-birdie to edge ahead.

LeBlanc kept in touch until the seventh when a bogey put him two behind but it was to and fro throughout a fascinating finale.

Both players faltered as the wind got over 25mph -- at one stage Moynihan had to back off a putt as gusts of up to 40mph swept across the links.

Moynihan dropped three shots in four holes at the start of his back nine and had to hole a 10-footer for bogey on the 10th.

LeBlanc failed to capitalise, his putter going cold for the first time this week.

“I think this win is a bit more special,” added Moynihan.

“I couldn’t wait to get back here the start of the year. It was in my mind the whole year. I’ve played here four times, missed the cut once, won twice and lost in a playoff.”

With this victory, Moynihana appears to have nailed down a spot in September’s Walker Cup squad.

His next chance to shine comes at the end of May when he tees it up alongside the professionals at the Irish Open in Royal Co Down.

Apart from Moynihan, the biggest winner of the week was Cormac Sharvin.

The rising star from Ardglass birdied the 18th to sneak into second place, which gives his Walker Cup credentials a huge boost.

“It doesn’t do my Walker Cup selection any harm,” said Sharvin, who birdied three of his last six holes to finish at one under.

“I got off to a slow start. I was three over through 11 so didn’t have much going.

“The front nine was there to be taken, straight downwind. You needed to be two or three under and then hold onto it on the back nine. I did it in reverse which is nice I suppose.”

In other news, Chris Selfridge, has been named the Mid-American Conference Male Scholar-Athlete of the Week.

Selfridge, who will turn professional at the end of the month, is finishing his college golf career in style at the University of Toledo.

Chris helped Toledo finish in second place at the MAC Championships with a fourth-place tie individually at one-over par 289 (74-69-72-74), two strokes behind winner Johnny Watts.

Selfridge was honored following the tournament by being named MAC Men’s Golfer of the Year, becoming the second Rocket to earn the league’s top honour.

In addition, the 23-year-old was selected one of five individuals to participate in an NCAA regional on Thursday-Saturday, May 14-16.