Sunday, 06 May 2018
Sunday Highlights - GolfSixes

Ireland won the 2018 GolfSixes with a 2-0 victory over France in the final after putting on a brilliant display on day two at Centurion Club.

Paul Dunne and Gavin Moynihan were the final wildcard entrants into the second edition of the innovative event and lost just one of their six matches over a glorious two days in St Albans.

They were birdie or better on 12 of the 17 holes they played on Sunday as they beat England Women, South Korea and the French after finishing top of Group C on Saturday.

The only match Ireland lost all week was to Mike-Lorenzo Vera and Romain Wattel and while the French duo made two birdies of their own in the final, they simply could not keep pace with the Irish pair.

Moynihan and Dunne played together on the victorious Walker Cup team in 2015 but have had differing fortunes since turning professional and making their way onto the European Tour.

Dunne won the British Masters supported by Sky Sports last season and finished second at last month's Open de España, while Moynihan will be hoping this can prove a springboard to success.

The 23 year old had missed all eight of his European Tour cuts  - plus two on the Challenge Tour - since graduating from the Qualifying School last year but he will now share the 200,000 euro winning prize with Dunne.

After a 2-0 win over England Women, Moynihan chipped in for a birdie on the play-off hole to see Ireland past South Korea, while France - who finished second to the Irish on holes won in Group C - beat England Men 2-0 and Australia 3-1 to reach the final.

"When you have the tricolour besides your name it becomes a little bit more serious," said Dunne. "We're happy to represent Ireland well, have a nice trophy under the belt and it kind of sets well to kick on for the rest of the season.

"It's an individual game and it's nice to get together with a partner, especially like Gavin, who I've been friends with for a long time and have success like this.

"We just played really solid all week. Gavin was hitting some amazing iron shots and, obviously, the pivotal moment for us was him chipping in on the play-off against the South Koreans."

Moynihan added: "We know each other's games so well and we're comfortable with each other. We had a game plan coming in and the course set up well for us, I think. We had fun. Honestly it was the best fun I've had on the golf course since I've turned pro. It was a great few days."

The six holes of greensomes match play means that a good start is vital and Dunne got Ireland off to a flier, putting his tee-shot to the first to three feet for a birdie and a 1-0 lead.

Lorenzo-Vera holed a 25-footer on the second for a French birdie but Dunne hit back from 12 feet and the score stayed at 1-0 with the hole halved.

Ireland got on the green at the par five third in two and when Lorenzo-Vera put France's second into trouble on the right and they needed two more blows to get on the green, the hole was conceded.

Both teams parred the fourth with Wattel making a clutch putt and while he did the same on the fifth, Dunne followed him in to seal victory with a half.

"That was very tough," said Wattel. "Congratulations to Ireland. We beat them earlier yesterday but today, that was the damage.

"It was really fun to play with Mike. Thank you, Mike."

Lorenzo-Vera added: "On the second I was just walking to the green and I turned and I'm like, 'whoa, that's much more people than I thought'. That's nice, having the people next to you and you're really not thinking about asking for silence or whatever. You just have to focus. Anything can happen. That's really cool."

In the third/fourth place play-off, the South Korean pair of Soomin Lee and Jeunghun Wang birdied the second, fourth and fifth to beat Australia 3-0.

Sam Brazel and Wade Ormsby had earlier beaten European Women 2-0 in the quarter-finals, with South Korea beating Thailand 2-1.

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