David Higgins posted a final round two-under 70 to earn his European Tour card for 2013 at the PGA Catalunya Resort.
Higgins went into the sixth and final round of the final qualifying event at the European Tour’s Q School, knowing that a top-25 finish would secure his playing rights on tour next year.
The Cork man, who turns 40 on Saturday, started the day in a share of 22nd place, but played impressively throughout, including six birdies, to shoot two under and move up the field to finish the event on seven under in a tie for 16th position.
The former Irish Amateur Closed Championship and South of Ireland Championship winner has previously won three times on the Challenge Tour, the second tier of European golf, while Higgins’ last spell on the European Tour was in 2007.
England’s John Parry romped to victory in Catalunya as he finished on 19 under, four shots clear of Sweden’s Mikael Lundberg, with compatriot Andy Sullivan taking third spot on 13 under.
Simon Thornton, Niall Kearney, Peter O’Keeffe, Chris Devlin and Gareth Shaw were the other Irish golfers to qualify for the six-round tournament, however, all five failed to make the cut ahead of Wednesday’s fifth round.
Other prominent players to miss out on their tour card include former Ryder Cup players Oliver Wilson and Paul Broadhurst, last year’s Q School winner David Dixon, Sam Hutsby, Kenneth Ferrie, Pablo Martin, Gary Boyd and Nick Doughtery.
Scotland’s George Murray three-putted the final hole to miss out by one shot.