Lawrie and Higgins have it all to play for
Irish duo are hoping for a good weekend in Perth as they bid to retain European Tour status
Peter Lawrie tees off on the second hole during day two of the Perth International at Lake Karrinyup Country Club. Photograph: by Matt King/Getty Images
That ambition was given a boost when South African Tim Clark in 78th place in the Race to Dubai standings and Carl Pettersson (103rd) confirmed that they would not be taking up European Tour membership for 2014.
Lawrie and Higgins move up to 112th and 113th - the top 110 retian their cards after the tournament in Australia - and it has simplified their task a little going into the final 36 holes. Lawrie lies at one under for the tournament while his countryman and Waterville native Higgins is at one over.
It should be pointed out that they can still be caught from behinmd and one of those is Sweden’s Peter Hedblom who still believes in fairytales.
The 43 year old Swede arrived in Western Australia needing nothing less than a victory to secure his place on The European Tour, and after rounds of 68 and 69 at Lake Karrinyup Country Club finds himself two shots clear and in with a chance to write the kind of story that JM Barrie’s Peter Pan would be proud of.
Hedblom is currently ranked 179th on The European Tour’s Race to Dubai . Only a victory – and the two year exemption that comes with it – is good enough for Hedblom and he has put himself in a superb position to do just that, posting a seven under par halfway score to lead by two from Ryder Cup star Ross Fisher, with Søren Hansen, Clint Rice, Josh Younger, Jin Jeong and Dimitrios Papadatos a further shot back.
“I love fairytales,” smiled Hedblom. “A similar thing actually happened to my best friend on Tour, Michael Jonzon, in 2009. He was like me, way back and needed a big finish in Castellón which was his last tournament and he won it – he beat Martin Kaymer. That was a fairytale story.
“That was the same year as my last win, so it has been a little while for me but I know I have the game to do it. It’s been two great days so far and it is great right now to be leading.
“We’ll see – I think the closer I get to Sunday, the more difficult it will become but I don’t really have anything to lose. If I want to play another year, full year on Tour, I need to win. So you just have to go for it and have fun.”
Peter Pan couldn’t have said it better himself.
137 P Hedblom (Swe) 68 69;
139 R Fisher (Eng) 72 67;
140 C Rice (Aus) 68 72; D Papadatos (Aus) 69 71; J Jeong (Kor) 68 72; J Younger (Aus) 70 70; S Hansen (Den) 71 69;
141 B Ninyette (Aus) 72 69; J Nitties (Aus) 68 73; B Van Pelt (USA) 70 71; R Finch (Eng) 72 69;
142 M Fraser (Aus) 72 70; N Cullen (Aus) 69 73; R Haller (Aus) 72 70; M Brown (Nzl) 70 72; C Campbell (Aus) 71 71; N O’Hern (Aus) 69 73; F Andersson Hed (Swe) 69 73; M Hoey (Nir) 73 69; J Scrivener (Aus) 75 67;
143 P Wilson (Aus) 72 71; P Lawrie (Irl) 73 70; P Spargo (Aus) 72 71; D McKenzie (Aus) 75 68; R McGowan (Eng) 71 72; D Johnson (USA) 69 74; J Hansen (Den) 70 73; G Paddison (Nzl) 74 69; A Kaleka (Fra) 74 69; F Zanotti (Par) 75 68; D Willett (Eng) 72 71;