Phelan holds nerve to earn his Tour card
KEVIN PHELAN produced his best golf of the week at the PGA Catalunya Resort in Girona to secure his European Tour card for 2014.
The Waterford star finished in a tie for 17th place in the gruelling six-stage final qualifying event to seal his playing rights, but it was a different story for David Higgins and Ruaidhri McGee, who both missed out.
Phelan got off to a dream start as he secured birdies at the first, second and fourth holes at the Stadium Course.
The 23-year-old carded a bogey four at the par-three fifth to temporarily drop out of the top 25 heading towards the back nine.
He then sank a terrific putt at the 12th for another birdie, only to again hamper his chances with consecutive bogeys at the 13th and 14th. However, he held his nerve to land decisive birdies at the 15th and 18th for a three-under-par 69 and a total of 10-under.
Kerryman Higgins never really got going and finished with a level-par 72 for the day and in a share of 59th spot.
Starting at the 10th, McGee got off to a superb start with a birdie at the first hole to set him up for what needed to be a record-breaking round. But a triple-bogey seven on his fourth hole all but ended the Derry native's hopes and he finished the day on two-over-par to finish on three-over for the event and a tie for 66th place.
Spain's Carlos Del Moral led the qualifiers, finishing a staggering 26-under-par after his final round of five-under 67.