Higgins on the brink at Q-School

David Higgins drives at the 13th on the Stadium Course at PGA Catalunya Resort in the fifth round of the European Tour Qualifying School final stage. He shot a 72nd to share 22nd place with the top 25 and ties after Thursday’s sixth round earning tour cards for 2013.It’s tough to get aggressive when you are teetering on a razor’s edge but that’s exactly what David Higgins believes he must do to secure his tour card in today’s sixth and final round of the gruelling European Tour Qualifying School final stage in northern Spain.

The 39-year old carded a level par 72 around the rain-sodden Stadium Course at PGA Catalunya Resort, slipping three places to joint 22nd and just inside the top 25 and ties who will secure precious tour cards today.

With placing in operation for the 73 survivors from the first four days, Higgins’ lack of length was a major handicap on a course that measures over 7,300 yards from the back tees.

And while he holed an outrageous 75-footer for birdie at the 200-yard 16th to dip under par for the first time all day, he missed the green at the 463-yard 18th and feebly prodded a five foot par attempt wide of the mark to finish with a bogey.

England’s John Parry shot a fifth round 66 to lead the Qualifying School by four shots on 17 under par. ©Getty Images.“I didn’t play any good today,” Higgins said after a round featuring three birdies and three bogeys. “The putt on 16 was certainly a bonus because it was my putt and one of my playing partners thought it was his and decided he was going first. So that worked out because he was on the same line and I got a great read.”

Out in level par after cancelling out bogeys at the second and sixth with birdies from inside four feet at the fourth and par-five seventh, Higgins had to get up and down for pars at the 10th, 11th and 15th before that late birdie bonus at the 16th.

“I hit some good shots but I didn’t hit it great,” he said. “I wasn’t aggressive today and I came out of a few shots. I need to be better tomorrow. I probably need one or two under tomorrow just to be safe.

“I missed two fairways on the front nine and hit both second shots heavy out of the rough because it was wet and cold and didn’t get up and down.

“You have to just keep going and try to stay aggressive. It’s hard. It’s just tough. There’s a lot of mental pressure.”

England’s John Parry fired a six under 66 to lead by four shots on 17 under par from Finn Mikko Korhonen (70), compatriot Matthew Southgate (68) and 20-year old German amateur Moritz Lampert (70) as long-time leader Estanislao Goya of Argentina slipped to joint 12th on eight under after a 76.

Buoyed by the presence of his physical trainer, Parry has been pumping iron every night and believes that’s helped him remain fresh during what is a marathon week.

“I feel I have a lot less pressure now because, for me to not get a card from this position would be horrific,” said Parry, who had seven birdies and a bogey in his 66. “I almost feel my card is in the bag. I am playing well so I’m pretty relaxed for tomorrow.”

Sunset at PGA Catalunya Resort before the final day’s play at Q-SchoolEuropean Tour Qualifying School Final Stage

PGA Catalunya Resort, Girona, Spain

(After 90 of 108 holes)

339 J Parry (Eng) 71 71 64 67 66;

343 M Korhonen (Fin) 74 62 66 71 70; M Southgate  (Eng) 72 70 65 68 68; M Lampert (am) (Ger) 70 67 65 71 70;

344 M Lundberg (Swe) 68 68 65 73 70; A Sullivan (Eng) 71 67 65 69 72;

345 A Snobeck  (Fra) 69 67 68 69 72; M Nixon (Eng) 68 72 67 68 70; B Åkesson (Swe) 70 72 66 67 70;

346 R McEvoy  (Eng) 67 72 64 70 73;

347 P Erofejeff (Fin) 72 67 66 73 69;

348 E Goya (Arg) 64 71 64 73 76; E De La Riva  (Esp) 70 70 65 73 70; D Gaunt (Aus) 74 68 68 69 69; J Lagergren (Swe) 71 66 67 70 74; M Madsen  (Den) 78 66 64 70 70;

349 M Delpodio  (Ita) 67 69 65 79 69;

350 D Im (USA) 72 66 70 72 70; G Murray  (Sco) 66 71 70 71 72; O Floren  (Swe) 71 66 70 72 71; G Orr (Sco) 67 69 68 74 72;

351 S Little (Eng) 70 68 67 77 69; C Macaulay  (Sco) 71 71 66 74 69; D Higgins (Irl) 73 64 68 74 72; C Del Moral (Esp) 70 71 68 72 70;

<—-Top 25 and ties—>

352 B An (Kor) 69 72 66 75 70; L Jensen (Den) 70 74 65 74 69; M Sell  (Eng) 74 67 68 73 70; M Jonzon (Swe) 74 69 66 70 73; T Remkes (Ned) 71 72 68 69 72; J Lima  (Por) 76 67 64 74 71; J Timmis (Eng) 74 69 66 77 66; S Arnold  (Aus) 67 73 67 72 73;

353 P Hedblom (Swe) 70 69 66 76 72; D Griffiths  (Eng) 67 72 70 75 69; A Levy (Fra) 68 72 71 67 75; O Wilson (Eng) 75 68 72 70 68;

354 A Forsyth (Sco) 75 65 68 75 71; C Lloyd (Eng) 73 69 68 75 69; S Benson (Eng) 75 70 67 70 72;

355 M Glauert (Ger) 73 70 64 74 74; T Fisher Jnr (RSA) 69 71 71 74 70; A Marshall (Eng) 75 67 67 77 69; A Domingo (Esp) 70 70 69 72 74;

356 C Brazillier  (Fra) 69 74 66 75 72; N Ravano (Ita) 74 70 69 72 71; G Boyd  (Eng) 76 70 73 67 70; J Huldahl (Den) 76 70 72 66 72; D Kemmer (USA) 79 66 74 66 71; S Dodd (Wal) 77 70 68 68 73;

357 H Bacher (Aut) 74 68 66 75 74; O Bekker (RSA) 73 72 71 67 74; D Dixon (Eng) 72 74 73 66 72; J Ruth  (Eng) 70 71 69 76 71; T Haylock  (Eng) 74 72 71 68 72; J Barnes (Eng) 77 69 74 65 72;

358 J Hugo  (RSA) 71 72 64 77 74; J Glennemo (Swe) 72 69 68 73 76; F Calmels  (Fra) 72 72 65 75 74; Å Nilsson (Swe) 74 69 68 74 73; A McArthur  (Sco) 80 67 71 65 75; M Brier (Aut) 71 69 73 70 75; S Hutsby  (Eng) 74 68 73 70 73;

359 T Pilkadaris (Aus) 75 73 71 67 73; D Vancsik (Arg) 75 68 68 73 75; T Murray (Eng) 68 72 70 73 76; C Kim (USA) 73 66 69 77 74; R McGowan  (Eng) 77 71 70 66 75;

360 S Kim (Kor) 78 67 77 63 75;

362 W Besseling  (Ned) 69 73 70 72 78;

363 J Howarth (Eng) 75 67 69 75 77; T Van Der Walt (RSA) 71 69 70 72 81;

364 S Norris  (RSA) 68 72 71 73 80.