Rocha and Rodiles win marathon Q-School

Spain's Carlos Rodiles and Brazilian Alexandre Rocha shared top spot as a marathon European Tour Qualifying School finals sloshed to a conclusion at rain-sodden San Roque.

The pair finished on 15 under par 417 after six rounds with Rodiles closing with a bogey-free 69 to Rocha's 71 to grab the top card on a countback.

Torrential midday rain flooded the course and forced a one hour 40 minute delay that threatened to send an already gruelling exercise into a ninth day.

But officials managed to clear greens of excess water in time for Rodiles, Rocha and American Notay Begay III to conclude their final rounds in fading light on the New Course at the Sotogrande venue.

Waterville's David Higgins crashed to 78th and second last place after final round 81 as 35 players finished level par or better to clinch their playing right for 2007.

The former Irish Amateur champion was bitterly disappointed by his performance but vowed to work hard to improve his game and regain his card next season.

He said: "I played better all year than my results showed. You have have a big week or probably two or three and I didn't have any.

"I put myself in position to have a few big weeks and I didn't finish them off. I ended up here and I have to go away now and try and improve and start again.

"I was probably disappointed coming in here but I'll take a few weeks off now, re-group and get going again."

Rodiles, who hit three birdies in a faultless 69, said: "It's been six tough rounds over eight days against 156 other guys who had a massive desire to get on the tour. It is very competitive but in the end I tied with Alex and next year I'll try not to have to come back here."

Third placed David Drysdale, who carded a 71 for ten under par total of 422, was delighted to regain his playing privileges after finishing one place outside of those who have kept their playing privileges by right for the past two years.

English amateur Oliver Fisher closed with a 71 to grabbed the fifth card on seven under par and become the third youngest player to earn his card in the history of the tour at 18 years and 64 days.

Native American Begay, a close pal of Tiger Woods, grabbed the eighth card on six under while former European Tour winners Patrik Sjoland, Sven Strüver, Warren Bennett, Santiago Luna and Alex Cejka also came through.