Ben Crenshaw often used an old Texas expression to explain why struggling golfers shouldn’t try too hard change their games in the cauldron of battle.

“You got to dance with them what brung you,” the two-time Masters champion liked to say.

David Higgins is not struggling with his game but after grinding hard to card a level par 72 on the tough Stadium Course at PGA Catalunya Resort yesterday, the 39-year Waterville man is hoping that the golf he’s brought to Spain is good enough to finish in the magical top-30 after six rounds of the European Tour Qualifying School finals.

Tied for fourth after an opening 65 on the easier Tour Course, the tour veteran slipped to 26th yesterday as he was forced to dig far deeper than he wanted.

“A 72 is fine but I need to do better than that,” said Higgins, who had to hit a six iron to 10 feet and hole the par putt on his final hole of the day to avoid slipping outside the top 30.

“The standard is so high out here that I have to do better than I did today,” added Higgins, who was two of three holes. “I didn’t play well on the front nine at all but if 72 is my worst score and I can shoot under par from here, I will be alright.”

Grinding out a score when you are not playing your best is crucial for a touring professional and England’s Sam Hutsby was “absolutely chuffed to bits” to add a 69 on the Stadium Course to his stunning, 10 under 60 on the Tour track to lead by two shots from compatriot Andy Sullivan on 13 under par.

Not so happy was three-time European Tour winner Nick Dougherty, who finished the day tied for 98th on one-over par after a 73 on the Stadium course, leaving him three shots outside the top 70 who will make tomorrow’s four-round cut.

That’s a stroke better than Ballymena’s Chris Devlin, who struggled with his driver on the Tour Course but limited the damage to a one over 71.

“I should be eating these courses alive and I need to find something,” said Devlin, before heading off into the gathering gloom towards the driving range. “If I had my coach here it would be no problem but….”

Clandeboye’s Jonathan Caldwell and Limerick’s Cian McNamara both shot themselves in the foot after opening with six over 78’s on the Stadium Course. But while the Ulsterman gave himself a glimmer of hope by getting back to four over after a 68, McNamara was already thinking ahead to 2012.

A three over 73 left the 25-year old near the back on the field on nine over but he was already looking at what he might improve when he gets limited Challenge Tour starts next year.

“I have to take the positives from a very good year, doing well at home in Ireland, passing my PGA exams and making it to the final stage of Q-School,” he said. “I know what I have to work on and that’s driving the ball better.”

Caldwell bogeyed his opening hole but then made five birdies in seven holes around the turn before bogeys at his 15th and 18th holes took some of the gloss off an otherwise confidence-building display.

“I dropped two coming in but putted a little better,” Caldwell explained. “I haven’t been striking it well and my irons aren’t good. The long game needs to improve. I need something decent tomorrow to give myself a chance. I need something good in the next couple of days.”

Second round scores from The European Tour Qualifying School Final Stage

PGA Catalunya Resort, Girona, Spain

 

129 S Hutsby  (Eng) 60 69;

131 A Sullivan (Eng) 65 66;

133 P Gustafsson (Swe) 70 63; D McKenzie (Aus) 69 64;

134 J Hansen  (Den) 67 67; E Kofstad (Nor) 66 68; J Guerrier  (Fra) 68 66; J Garcia Pinto (Esp) 71 63; R Quiros  (Esp) 65 69; L Kennedy  (Eng) 68 66; W Abery (RSA) 69 65;

135 B Barham (Eng) 65 70; J Garcia  (Esp) 71 64; G Cambis  (Fra) 66 69;

136 P Dwyer (Eng) 67 69; B Ritthammer (Ger) 65 71; D Vancsik (Arg) 68 68; J Hugo  (RSA) 65 71; M Carlsson  (Swe) 66 70; V Riu  (Fra) 67 69; M Crespi  (Ita) 67 69; R Saxton (Ned) 70 66; M Lafeber (Ned) 69 67; B Grace  (RSA) 68 68; B Parker  (Eng) 69 67;

137 J Gibb (Eng) 69 68; A Otaegui  (Esp) 68 69; M Nixon (Eng) 68 69; W Besseling  (Ned) 74 63; N Meitinger  (Ger) 68 69; M Kieffer (Ger) 70 67; K Borsheim  (Nor) 66 71; A Bernadet  (Fra) 68 69; David Higgins (Irl) 65 72; J Lagergren (Swe) 66 71; G Orr (Sco) 68 69;

—Top 30—-

138 T Sluiter  (Ned) 63 75; A Domingo (Esp) 71 67; M Southgate  (Eng) 70 68; A Tampion  (Aus) 65 73; R Dinwiddie  (Eng) 67 71; A Haindl (RSA) 71 67; A Parr (Can) 72 66; D Brooks (Eng) 70 68; C Paisley (Eng) 67 71; M Lundberg (Swe) 70 68; T Nørret (Den) 71 67; A Garcia-Heredia (Esp) 72 66; P Archer (Eng) 73 65; J Bäckström (Swe) 72 66;

139 S Pinckney (USA) 66 73; R Bland (Eng) 67 72; S Kim (Kor) 68 71; A Tadini (Ita) 69 70; A Marshall (Eng) 68 71; D Dixon (Eng) 74 65; H Bacher (Aut) 71 68; A Snobeck  (Fra) 67 72; D Fichardt (RSA) 66 73; C Brazillier  (Fra) 65 74; B Chapellan (Fra) 70 69; C Doak (Sco) 71 68; O Henningsson  (Swe) 73 66;

140 M Molina (Arg) 71 69; A Ahokas (Fin) 74 66; H Soon-Sang (Kor) 68 72; T Mordt  (RSA) 69 71; A Byeong-Hun (Kor) 70 70; M Lorenzo-Vera  (Fra) 70 70; J Levermore (Eng) 73 67; S Buhl (Ger) 68 72; J Wahlqvist (Swe) 71 69; U Weinhandl (Aut) 69 71; J Knutzon (USA) 70 70; A Forsyth (Sco) 70 70; S O’Hara  (Sco) 73 67;

—-Top 70—-

141 E Grillo (Arg) 73 68; J Zapata (Arg) 70 71; S Drummond (Sco) 75 66; W Ormsby (Aus) 74 67; A Da Silva (Bra) 70 71; A Kang (USA) 73 68; M Haastrup  (Den) 74 67; J Morgan  (Eng) 73 68; J Elson (Eng) 74 67; D Wright (Eng) 68 73; A Perrino  (Ita) 68 73; T Ferreira  (RSA) 71 70;

142 E Canonica (Ita) 69 73; M Eliasson (Swe) 72 70; X Poncelet  (Fra) 73 69; M Madsen  (Den) 71 71; M Tullo (Chi) 73 69; B Evans  (Eng) 72 70; T Remkes (Ned) 73 69; F Delamontagne  (Fra) 68 74; P Broadhurst (Eng) 72 70;

143 A Canete (Arg) 71 72; M Erlandsson (Swe) 71 72; P Richardson (Eng) 72 71; T Van Der Walt (RSA) 69 74; R Echenique (Arg) 70 73; A Michael (RSA) 67 76; J Robinson (Eng) 75 68; N Dougherty (Eng) 70 73; C Lloyd (Eng) 69 74; T Leon (USA) 67 76; C Monasterio (Arg) 71 72; S Benson (Eng) 72 71; D Bransdon (Aus) 70 73; C Macaulay  (Sco) 76 67; J Walters (RSA) 73 70; T Argonz (Arg) 69 74; E Saltman (Sco) 74 69; S Jeppesen  (Swe) 73 70; J Sandelin (Swe) 71 72;

144 Chris Devlin (Nir) 73 71; M Rominger  (Sui) 74 70; P Oriol (Esp) 68 76; T Hatton (Eng) 72 72; P Reed (USA) 64 80; A Hartø  (Den) 74 70; L Saltman (Sco) 77 67; F De Vries  (Ned) 68 76; J Haeggman (Swe) 69 75;

145 D Smith (Eng) 75 70; L Goddard  (Eng) 69 76; D Gaunt (Aus) 73 72; J Lima  (Por) 72 73; S Wakefield (Eng) 71 74; M Ford (Eng) 67 78; F McGuirk  (Eng) 76 69; G Clark (Eng) 70 75;

146 F Praegant (Aut) 77 69; M Siddikur  (Ban) 73 73; A Townsend (Aus) 73 73; A Velasco (Esp) 72 74; J Ruth  (Eng) 72 74; L Jensen (Den) 81 65; M Vibe-Hastrup  (Den) 69 77; A McLean (Sco) 68 78; A Lahiri (Ind) 70 76; Jonathan Caldwell  (Nir) 78 68;

147 C Russo (Fra) 72 75; S Matton (Eng) 74 73; A Versfeld (RSA) 70 77;

148 M Quiros (Esp) 75 73; A Kaleka  (Fra) 77 71; F Fritsch  (Ger) 75 73; C Suneson (Esp) 70 78;

149 J Huldahl (Den) 77 72;

150 B Mannix (Eng) 74 76;

151 Cian McNamara (Irl) 78 73;

153 G Emerson (Eng) 79 74;

154 J Etulain  (Arg) 77 77; L Tintera  (Cze) 72 82;