Higgins makes positive move at Q School

Waterville's David Higgins made a move in the right direction as Philip Walton lost ground in the European Tour Qualifying School Finals at San Roque.

As Spain's Carlos Rodiles carded a spectacular eight under par 64 to lead on 10 under par after two rounds, Higgins added a solid 70 to his opening 72 to move up to a share of 21st place on two under par.

However, Walton failed to take advantage of near perfect conditions as he posted what he described as a "mediocre" one over par 73 that left him in joint 93rd place on five over par.

With the top 30 and ties after six rounds earning their playing privileges for 2007, there is still a lot of golf to be played in southern Spain.

With the field split in two due to the closure of the Old Course until today, Higgins and Walton had a golden opportunity to take advantage of the luck of the draw after half the field took a battering in the wind on the New Course on Saturday.

"Today was a day when I should have got to four or five under," Higgins said. "I didn't quite do it, but I did okay."

Level par starting the day, Higgins birdied the second but struggled to the turn in one over after sloppy bogeys at eighth and ninth

And while he turned his day around by picking up birdies at the 10th and 12th and added an eagle three at the 16th, he bogeyed the last to go into the third round with his options still intact.

He said: "I hit too much club on eight and hit a bad tee shot on nine but I hit it close on the 10th and 12th to about four feet to get it back and then hit a five wood to 15 feet for the eagle on the 16th.

"The 18th is a tough hole and I hit a nice putt from inside eight feet and it just didn't break. I am going along steady enough and I am playing okay."

Walton never got going at all and managed just two birdies on the par fives against three bogeys in his 73 that leaves him with work to do to make the 72 hole cut for the top 70 and ties.

"I played pretty mediocre stuff today really," the 1995 Ryder Cup hero confessed. "I didn't putt well either. I missed a very short putt on the 14th - it was only about a foot.

"I am going to have to make a few strides forward tomorrow. Nothing is really happening to be honest to you. I played well in that second stage and I just haven't really fired yet."

Marbella native Rodiles, who lost the 2003 Volvo Masters in a play-off to Swede Fredrik Jacobson, had an amazing outward half of eight under par 28, following birdies at the 10th and 11th with six more on the trot from the 13th.

He got to 11 under par with a birdie at the fifth coming home but dropped one at the next on his way to opening up a two-stroke lead on 10 under par from England's Warren Bennett and Norway's Eirik Tage Johansen.

The Spaniard lost his card at the end of 2005 after a horror year both on and off the course.

He said: "My mum had breast cancer and my parents split after 25 years. Plus I had a child but my wife almost miscarried and was in the hospital for a couple of months.

"All of this happened within a couple of months so my mind wasn’t on the golf. I tried to come back but it was too late, so I decided to make some swing changes and get some help.

"My mother pulled through and my wife had a little girl called Carmen so everything good now and I can concentrate on the golf."