Higgins in the saddle

By Brian Keogh

Horse-lover David Higgins has the bit between his teeth in a dramatic late bid for a European Tour return.

The Waterville man needs to bank at least €90,000 between now and the end of the season to win back his card.

And his late dash for the line continued in the €1.6 million KLM Open in Holland when he hit a bogey free 67 to share eighth place on five under par.

Fellow struggler David Carter, whose only victory came in the Irish Open at Druids Glen in 1998, leads on 10 under at links gem Kennemer thanks to a second successive 65.

But 156th ranked Higgins has his sights set on a top-three finish that would secure a place in the top 115 and his card for 2008.

Higgins said: "I am playing very steady. I am comfortable with links style golf and I'm looking forward to the next couple of days.

"My driving has been very good. I missed a few fairways today but only by a yard or two. There is some serious jungle off the fairways here and I am keeping it out of that and in play.

"I am doing nicely and I am pleased with the position I am in. I have been playing well for the last few months and when you get on a course that suits your game, it comes out."

Higgins plans to play the next two events at Gleneagles and Crans Sur Sierre before taking a week off.

He added: "The next two weeks will be good because both are links style courses. Sean Quinn sponsors the British Masters the week after that so I am keeping my finger crossed for an invite there"

Gary Murphy fell back to tied 49th on two under after a 71 as Damien McGrane hit a 72 to miss the cut by three shots

Amateur Stefan Langer, 16, followed his first round 98 with a 91 to finish dead last on 49 over as dad Bernhard finished alongside Murphy after a 71.