Saturday 23 September 2017

Higgins' Open heartache

David Higgins
David Higgins

Waterville's David Higgins suffered British Open Championship heartache last night after seeing his chance of qualifying for Muirfield disappear through a horrendous mistake.

Higgins shot a superb four-under-par 67 in his second round at North Berwick for a 36-hole aggregate of 137, which gave him a tie for second place with Welshman Gareth Wright and Scot George Murray, just behind West Country amateur Jimmy Mullen.

This meant the Irishman had to head for a play-off – with three players going for two places – but then disaster struck when it was discovered he had 15 clubs in his bag, one more than the permitted number, resulting in a two-stroke penalty.

Wright and Murray therefore were awarded places at Muirfield on July 18-21 along with Mullen.

Meanwhile, at Dunbar, Colm Moriarty missed out on qualifying by a whisker.

The Athlone man was in prime position after his opening round, carding a five-under 65 to shoot him to the top of the leaderboard, but his one-under-par second round saw him finish one stroke off qualification on six-under overall.

Amateur international Kevin Phelan also narrowly missed out at Dunbar, finishing one shot behind Moriarty, while Brendan McCarroll and Old Conna's Neil O'Briain ended the afternoon three-under and one-under respectively.

Last year's Irish Amateur Champion Gavin Moynihan finished three-under at Musselburgh as his bid for a chance at Muirfield glory floundered.

The Irish challenge for qualification at Gullane petered out with Killarney's Daniel Sugrue and Bushfoot's David Jones finishing four and seven-over respectively.

Irish Independent

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