Higgins takes Open beating

By Brian Keogh

David Higgins took an early morning beating from Carnoustie and confessed: "I got what I deserved."

The Waterville man, 34, got lashed by freezing rain and crashed to a disappointing 79.

Out in the second group of the day at 6.41, Higgins was up just after 4 o'clock in the morning and must have wished he stayed in bed.

He said: "I probably wouldn't play golf on a day like that at home the way conditions were this morning.

"You are supposed to be making birdies on those opening holes and I was just delighted to be making pars. It was just lashing rain and freezing cold.

"It is great to be here and you can go away and learn what you have to work on to improve. But I didn't play well and I got what I deserved."

Most of the damage was done with a triple bogey at the par three eighth, where he bladed a bunker shot into deep rough and failed to escape at the first attempt.

But after adding five bogeys to that, including three in a row to finish, Higgins wasn't looking for any sympathy.

Higgins said: "I was in the bunker, bladed it really into a bad lie, hit a bad chip down and missed a short putt. The course is playing very tough.

"The back nine is the back nine and I was hitting four-irons into really tight pins and just missed a few of them and took bogeys."

Five over par with seven to play, Higgins was forced to hit driver at the 248-yard par-=three 16th but came up 30 yards short and right in the rough and dropped a shot.

After another bogey at the 17th,. he was forced to lay up short of the Barry Burn at the 499-yard 18th.

Playing into the teeth of the wind, he was left with a 270-pin second shot and decided to play up.

He added: "Overall it was very difficult and the last four holes are very tough. On 18 I am laying up short of the water because of the temperature. If I was a little warmer you would have shorter clubs in to the greens but unfortunately it wasn't.

"It is still a fantastic experience. A 79 is never a great score but I enjoyed it and I have another chance to play well tomorrow and I might shoot a great score and make the cut."

Playing partner Graeme Storm, winner of the French Open three weeks ago, was just one better with a 78 as Kevin Stadler took 75.