CHORLEY golfer Nick Dougherty recorded his highest finish on the European Tour for nine months in the Irish Open yesterday.

Dougherty finished in tied fourth position and was in the upper reaches of the leaderboard for most of the tournament in Drogheda after an opening round of 66.

The Shaw Hill professional followed that with a 67 on Friday but slipped out of contention for victory with a 73 on Saturday.

Dougherty did rise back up the standings yesterday, though, with a 69 to finish on 13 under par.

His tied fourth finish was his best performance at a European Tour event since he was tied second at the SAS Masters in Sweden last August.

The former QEGS pupil has endured a difficult time since his mother died last year and went into the Ireland event in 110th position in the European Tour Race to Dubai standings.

His previous best finish this year was tied 14th at the Johnnie Walker Classic in Australia.