David Higgins grabbed a dream place in the Open at Turnberry and immediately set his sights on giving Padraig Harrington a run for his money in the Irish PGA.

The Waterville ace, 36, grabbed one of four qualifying spots on offer at Glasgow Gailes when he holed a chip for an eagle two at the ninth and shot a two under par 69 to finish tied for third on three under.

Now he's hoping to keep his hot streak going when he arrives at The European Club on Wednesday to do battle with Open champion Padraig Harrington in the Irish PGA.

Higgins beamed: "I am delighted. It couldn't have come at a better time for me. When I finished I thought I had taken one shot too many but it worked out brilliantly."

Looking forward to a warm up in the Irish PGA , he added: "I love links golf and I'm delighted Padraig is playing the Irish PGA because he makes the tournament for us. It is great to have a chance to compete against him and try and beat him but there is no reason I can't win."

Higgins qualified for the Open at Carnoustie in 2007 but missed the cut by four shots as his old rival Harrington went on to lift the Claret Jug.

He lost his tour card in 2007 after a liver infection caused him to miss five and half months of the season. But he's determined to get back on tour through this year's Qualifying School and hopes to use the Open as a springboard after failing to make the cut when he qualified the first time around.

He said: "I can't wait and I am going to make the most of it. I went over to Carnoustie a bit late the first time I qualified so I will get there earlier this year and I will enjoy it a lot more this time.

"I am playing well and I am doing well in the Irish Region events. You have just got to keep at it. I am a lot happier with what I am doing this year and I can't wait to have a crack at this Open again."

Higgins was one of 12 Irishmen bidding for 12 Open spots at three venues but he was the only one to make it through.

Peter O'Keeffe missed out by two shots at Western Gailes after a one over 72 with Jonny Caldwell slumping from 11th to 34th at Kilmarnock after a 74. Full details and scores are available at Opengolf.com