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Last-chance saloon for Irish pair David Higgins and Peter Lawrie at Perth International

Updated: Thursday, 17 Oct 2013 08:29 | Comments

Peter Lawrie has qualified for the season-ending Race To Dubai tournament every year since 2008
Peter Lawrie has qualified for the season-ending Race To Dubai tournament every year since 2008

This week's Perth International represents the last chance for European Tour players to secure their place in the top 110 on the Race to Dubai and thereby keep full playing rights for next season.

Irish pair Peter Lawrie and David Higgins are both in danger of facing a trip to the dreaded qualifying school if they cannot earn enough money at Lake Karrinyup.

PETER LAWRIE, 114th

A former European Tour rookie of the year, Lawrie won his only title to date in the Spanish Open in 2008 and has never finished lower than 58th on the money list since. However, the Dubliner admits he only has himself to blame for his current position and has missed the cut in eight of his last nine events. "I have flown all the way here because I have one opportunity left to save my season so I need to embrace it and go with it and see what happens," Lawrie said.

DAVID HIGGINS 115th

Less than a year on from securing his European Tour card at Q School in Catalunya, the Waterville man is sitting just outside the top 110 ahead of the Perth International. Higgins finished second at this season’s Italian Open, while he missed out on a place in this year’s Open after incurring a penalty for carrying one club too many in his bag The former Irish Amateur Close 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 before this season was back in 2007.

Other high-profile players in danger of losing their card include:

RICHARD BLAND, 109th

A close friend of former England and Southampton footballer Matt Le Tissier - who has caddied for him on several occasions - Bland at least has experience of this situation having claimed the last exempt spot on the money list 12 months ago. He climbed to 109th courtesy of a closing 65 and share of 26th place in Portugal last week and finished 17th in Perth last year.

OLIVER FISHER, 122nd

Fisher had been tipped as a star of the future ever since he became the youngest player to compete in the Walker Cup, representing Great Britain and Ireland aged 16 years and 334 days against the United States in 2005. The following year he went on to gain his European Tour card at the qualifying school and after losing it in 2009, he regained it in 2010 and claimed his first victory in the Czech Open in 2011.

RICHARD FINCH, 136th

Won twice in 2008 and provided a memorable moment in clinching the Irish Open title, slipping on a riverbank on the 72nd hole as he played his second shot and plunging into the water. The damage to his pride was worth it as he sealed a two-shot victory, but the Hull professional and former English amateur champion has not tasted success since and has recorded just one top-20 finish this season. Has experience of the qualifying school having earned his card there at the third attempt in 2004.

SOREN HANSEN, 137th

Hansen became only the second Dane to play in the Ryder Cup when he qualified for a place on Nick Faldo's side at Valhalla in 2008 as a result of dozen top-15 finishes, including six in a row. The 39-year-old has two European Tour titles to his name but struggled in 2011 and then suffered a fractured rib in May 2012 which kept him out for the rest of the season. He has been playing on a medical extension in 2013 and made 13 cuts from 21 events, but with only one top-20 finish.

PHILLIP PRICE, 157th

Another former Ryder Cup player, Price is best remembered for his victory over Phil Mickelson in the singles at The Belfry in 2002 to help Europe regain the trophy. The following year he won the biggest of his three European Tour titles with a wire-to-wire victory in the European Open, but after an ill-fated attempt to play on the PGA Tour in 2005, the Welshman has not finished higher than 100th on the money list.

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