Higgins shoots a 64 to keep his qualifying school hopes alive


David Higgins is keeping his fingers crossed that he can continue to master the dark art of putting, after carding a six under 64 to get within two shots of the lead after the second round of the marathon Final Stage of the European Tour Qualifying School at PGA Catalunya Resort.

As Douglas’s Peter O’Keeffe came back from the dead by following his opening 81 with a five under 65 on the Tour Course to keep alive his hopes of making the cut tomorrow, 39-year old Higgins followed him by making six birdies to share seventh on five under par.

“I played well today and I’m delighted with my position” said Higgins, who didn’t have to hole a putt longer than 15 feet. “You have to score well on the Tour Course because the stadium is very tough . . . if I can keep doing what I am doing, I will be fine.”

Overnight leader Estanislao Goya of Argentina posted a one under 71 on the Stadium Course to lead by a stroke on seven under from a quintet of players including Finland’s Mikko Korhonen who shot a 62 on the Tour Course.

His play obviously inspired playing partner O’Keeffe, who moved to within two shots of the top 70 who will make the four-round cut after picking up seven birdies in a 65 he reckoned could easily have been a 60.

Struggling with a replacement driver, Ballymena’s Chris Devlin shot a one over 73 on the Stadium Course to share 66th spot on two over, with Niall Kearney a shot further back in 83rd after putting poorly for a 72 there.

Newcastle’s Simon Thornton finished with back-to-back bogeys for a three over 75 that left him tied with O’Keeffe on four over.

Irish scores (at PGA Catalunya Resort, Girona, Stadium Course par 72, Tour Course par 70): 137– D Higgins (Irl) 73 64, 144 – C Devlin (Nir) 71 73, 145 – N Kearney (Irl) 73 72, 146 – P O’Keefe (Ire) 81 65, S Thornton (Irl) 71 75, 154 – G Shaw (Nir) 81 73.

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