Higgins follows in father's footsteps


David Higgins crowned an all conquering year in the Irish PGA region by capturing the Irish PGA championship at Mount Juliet and underlined his ranking as the number one player on the circuit.

He beat 22 year-old assistant professional Noel Murray from Massereene by birdieing the third hole of the play-off, the par five 17th, with an immaculate pitch from 87 yards to two feet.

Kilkenny native Gary Murphy also made the sudden death play-off with all three finishing on seven-under-par for the reduced 54 hole event, but he dropped out after he parred the first hole, also the 17th, to birdie by the other pair.

The remaining pair then halved the 18th in par and returned to the 17th where Murray made a marvellous attempt at birdie, his sand shot rimming the hole after he hit his difficult pitch into sand.

The 39-year-old winner from Waterville, who fired a best of the day final round of five-under-par 67 to reach the play-off, said it was the fulfillment of a boyhood dream to lift the trophy that his father Liam lifted in 1983.

"I remember looking at the trophy as a young lad and saying it would be lovely to win it.I tried for a long time to win it and did it today and I'm just delighted," he said

But he took time to salute his fearless young rival Murray. "He's one for the future. Keep an eye out for him."

There was a two hour delay at the start of the day due to frost and fog.

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