Recharged Higgins targets Joburg

Recharged David Higgins is hoping it will be second time lucky in South Africa next week.

The Waterville ace has entered the Joburg Open at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club, just five weeks after being struck down by food poisoning and sunstroke during the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek.

He said: "I got food poisoning on the Thursday night at the Dunhill and because I couldn't drink any water the next day I nearly passed out after eight or nine holes.

"But I am feeling alright again now and I've been hitting it nicely in practice over Christmas so I'm hoping to get off to a good start.

"I like Johannesburg and I have had a lovely break so I will be fresh and raring to go."

Higgins lost his full playing rights last season but hopes to get back on the main tour by racking up a couple of wins on the Challenge Tour.

He said: "I will play some Challenge Tour events for a while after Joburg and then get back to the European Tour in Madeira and Portugal

"I will try to get into Indonesia and some of the smaller events. But apart from that I am looking at winning a couple of Challenge Tour events so I can get back on the tour that way.

"I am probably going to play Costa Rica and Guatemala because I did well in Guatemala a few years ago and lost in a play-off."

The Kerry ace reckons that he should get 16 or 18 starts on the main tour in 2007.

He added: "I just have to play steady and get a few top tens here or there. I am mentally refreshed now after a nice break at Christmas and I am looking forward to getting going again."