Higgins chases tour card in Girona
Six months after leaving two of the world’s top three in his wake in the BMW PGA at Wentworth, Waterville’s David Higgins tees it up in the European Tour Qualifying School final stage for the ninth time today, bidding to prove to himself that there is life on tour after 40.
The 39-year old is one of six Irish players in a 156-man field at PGA Catalunya Resort near Girona hoping to finish among the top 25 and ties who will be awarded full cards at the end of six gruelling rounds.
Along with Douglas’s Peter O’Keeffe, Lurgan’s Gareth Shaw, Newcastle’s Simon Thornton, Dubliner Niall Kearney and Ballymena’s Chris Devlin, the reigning Irish PGA champion will play two rounds on both the Stadium and Tour courses near Girona in Catalonia’s northeast, hoping to make the 72-hole cut for the top 70 and ties before chasing his card with another two rounds on the Stadium track next Wednesday and Thursday.
Having opted to escape the Challenge Tour grind and ply his trade on the PGA Irish Region circuit since 2008 with occasional forays on tour in events such as the Irish Open and the BMW PGA, he knows that he is running out of time in his bid to get back on tour.
“I am 40 on December 1st this year so I don’t have too many years to compete at the highest level and I miss it,” said Higgins, who finished joint 10th with the likes of Ian Poulter at Wentworth, where Rory McIlroy missed the cut and world number three Lee Westwood was 33rd.
“It’s 10 years to the Seniors Tour and that’s a long way away. I want to get back out there.”
Without a full card since 2006, Higgins has concentrated on the domestic circuit with great success but his showing at Wentworth and a more laidback attitude to the game has given him the belief he can still compete with the best.