David Higgins admitted he has his sights firmly set on a place in the PGA Cup squad after topping the leaderboard at the Titleist & FootJoy PGA Professional Championship Irish qualifying event at Killeen Castle Golf Club.
Higgins tied for top spot with Monkstown PGA Professional Cian McNamara after both carded level-par rounds of 72.
They will join six other qualifiers at the £91,500 grand final which will be held at Burnham & Berrow in Somerset on June 2-5.
Former European Tour player Higgins is aiming for another impressive display there as he wants to fly the family flag in the USA.
This year’s PGA Cup is being held at CordeValle Golf Club in California.
Higgins’ father is European Seniors Tour player Liam Higgins and his brother Brian is also a professional at the Waterville Links Golf Club in Co Kerry.
“This is the first time I’ve qualified for the PGA final and the sole purpose is to try and win a place in the PGA Cup team, that’s why I’m here,” said Higgins. “I come from a golfing family and I’d be proud to be a part of the squad if I can get there.
“I’m lucky that I grew up with golf clubs always in the house, as well as my father and brother I also have uncles who play.
“I’ve not been able to play in the PGA Cup before because I had a European Tour card. Now I want to try and get there, it’s a big prize.”
Higgins expected a tough day at the Jack Nicklaus designed Killeen Castle course for the early season qualifying event.
“It’s a long old golf course and I think we knew it would be testing as we haven’t played that many events this year,” added the 42-year-old.
“With that in mind, I think 72 was always going to be a good score. The weather was ideal, I think if it had been raining and windy, the winning scores would have been around one or two over par.”
A play-off was needed at the Co Meath venue to decide two of the qualifying places and Padraig Dooley (Drive Golf Performance Limited); Damian Mooney (Nevada Bob’s Belfast); Liam Bowler (Wexford Golf Club); Mark Staunton (Delgany Golf Club); Daniel Beattie (Deer Park Hotel, Golf & Spa) and Shaun Donnelly (Castle Hume Golf Club) all made it to the final.
Titleist & FootJoy PGA Professional Championship - Irish Qualifier
April 20, 2015, Killeen Castle Golf Club (Par 72)
72 David Higgins (Waterville Golf Links), Cian McNamara (Monkstown Golf Club)
73 Padraig Dooley (Drive Golf Performance Ltd)
74 Damian Mooney (Nevada Bob’s Belfast), Liam Bowler (Wexford Golf Club)
76 Mark Staunton (Delgany)
77 Daniel Beattie (Deer Park Hotel, Golf & Spa), Shaun Donnelly (Castle Hume Golf Club)