Sport Golf

Thursday 23 November 2017

Dougherty hoping for change of luck

European Tour Q- School

Nick Dougherty confessed he could end up in 'a mental institution' if he thinks about how badly he has played this year.

As bad as Waterville's David Higgins felt about the four-over 74 that left him needing a sub-par round on the Stadium Course at PGA Catalunya Resort today just to make the 72-hole cut, his frustration paled beside that of the 2002 Rookie of the Year.

The 29-year-old Liverpudlian crashed six shots outside the top 70 on two-over after a three-over 75 yesterday and now needs at least a six-under 64 on the Tour Course today to keep his dream alive.

And needless to say, the three-time European Tour winner was thoroughly pessimistic about his chances after making just one cut from 34 starts on the European Tour this year.

"At this point I don't have a huge amount of faith to be honest, because why would it turn around for one day for me when it has gone hideously bad all year?" Dougherty said candidly.

"At some point you've got to stop caring, but I just hope that's soon because I can't put up with doing this for much longer.

"I need a huge break and everything to go my way and it hasn't done once this year, but maybe all my luck will go into one round.

"Time for reflection would put me in a mental institute. If someone said to me now, this is how you're going to play for the rest of my career, I'd pack it in and do something else, 100pc guaranteed. But I hold out hope that I can get it back to how it used to be and how it used to feel."

Higgins' hopes of winning back his Tour card suffered a near fatal blow when he racked up five bogeys and a double bogey in a 74 on the easier Tour Course to slip back to one-under, just a shot outside the projected cut and six shots outside the top 30 who will earn Tour cards on Thursday evening.

Ballymena's Chris Devlin is five shots outside the cut mark on three-over after carding a 73 on the Stadium Course.

Meanwhile, Clandeboye's Jonathan Caldwell and Limerick's Cian McNamara are playing for pride after rounds of 76 and 73 on the same track left them on eight-over and 10-over respectively.

England's Sam Hutsby fired a two-under 68 on the Tour Course to remain in the lead, a shot clear of compatriot Andy Sullivan on 15-under.

DETAILS IN FACTFILE

Irish Independent

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