Higgins' Open heartache
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.