Saturday 10 December 2016

Higgins claims huge win

Published 04/08/2016 | 02:30

David Higgins handled the pressure brilliantly to close out the victory. Photo: Getty Images
David Higgins handled the pressure brilliantly to close out the victory. Photo: Getty Images

Sixteen years after being edged out by current Open champion Henrik Stenson for the Challenge Tour Order of Merit in Cuba, David Higgins clinched the biggest win of his career at The Oxfordshire.

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The 43-year-old Waterville professional closed with a six-under 66 to become just the fourth Irish golfer to capture the prestigious Titleist & FootJoy PGA Professional Championship, following in the footsteps of David Jones (1978, '79, '94), John Dwyer (2007) and David Mortimer (2010).

Higgins, who pocketed a cheque for £10,000 and the use of a Peugeot 308 GT for a year, rated his triumph as one of the best of his career and he gave himself a pat on the back for the way he handled the pressure.

"I'm delighted because I was very nervous. It's been a while since I've been in a tournament this big so to come out on the right end is great," said the Kerry professional, who won three Challenge Tour titles as well as a 54-hole Irish Professional Championship at Mount Juliet in 2012.

"It must have been 12 or 14 years since I won something like this so you have to enjoy these. They don't come along very often.

"Everyone at Waterville will be delighted. There will be a few pints drunk tonight because this is a big event and to win it is great for all of Irish golf."

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