Higgins leads Irish qualifiers in Spain
Golf:David Higgins led the way for Ireland’s golfers on the final day of the second qualifying stage on the European Tour as he finished in fourth position at El Saler in Spain to book one of the 73 places on offer in the final round later this month.
The Waterville golfer closed with a two-under 70 to finish on five under, five shots behind Jamie McLeary of Scotland, who won the event by three shots.
Simon Thornton finished a shot behind Higgins on three under after a 75, while Gareth Shaw also goes through to the final stages after carding a 70 to finish on level par.
Donegal-born Ruaidhri McGee, who is based in Spain, missed out after finishing in a tie for 31st spot on five over after a 72, while Norl Fox was well down the field on 16 over.
Chris Devlin claimed a ticket to the final round after finishing in joint eighth spot at Las Colinas. The Ulsterman followed up his brilliant 64 in the third round with a level-par 71 to close on seven under.
Brendan McCarroll, Mark Murphy and Barrie Trainor all missed out.
Niall Kearney finished in a tie for fifth spot at Lamine Golf and Beach Club, his closing round of 72 leaving him on nine under and earning him a spot in the final stage.
Mark Staunton and amateur Alan Dunbar both missed out.
Peter O’Keeffe and Tim Rice will have to wait to see if they make it to the final stages after picking up alternate places at El Valle.
O’Keeffe closed with a 70 for three under and is ninth alternate, while Rice was a shot further behind after a 71 and is 21st on the standby list. Cian Curley finished on two over and misses out.