Garrick Higgo keen to maintain fine form after completing Canary Islands double
Garrick Higgo is placing no limit on his ambitions after cruising to a second victory in three weeks with the aid of a hole-in-one in the final round of the Canary Islands Championship.
Higgo, who won the Gran Canaria Lopesan Open a fortnight ago, aced the par-three seventh at Golf Costa Adeje in a closing 64 to finish six shots clear of Australia’s Maverick Antcliff.
The 21-year-old left-hander’s winning total of 27 under par was just two shots outside the European Tour record held by fellow South African Ernie Els and meant he was an incredible 68 under overall for the three-week Canary Islands swing.
“I need to check if there’s something in the water,” joked Higgo, who will celebrate his 22nd birthday in the United States on Wednesday ahead of his major debut in the US PGA Championship.
“I played so well today. I hit the ball very nice so it was a lot less stressful than the last time. I can’t believe it happened so quickly again, but my game has been good so I can believe it as well.
“You definitely dream about all of these things. I definitely believed I could do it, but it is nice that it’s actually happened.”
The victory takes Higgo to the verge of the world’s top 50 and he has no intention of resting on his laurels.
“I think I can go as high as I want to,” he added. “The way I’m playing I can do a lot of good things.
“I’ve been working really hard on a lot of little things and I’ve also accepted what works for me and stuck with that and not, if I don’t play as well, go look for something (different) and I’m just going to try and keep going.”
Higgo took a two-shot lead into the final round and had already doubled his advantage by playing the first six holes in two under before holing out with a nine iron on the short seventh.
“It was a perfect number for a nine iron,” he said. “I knew I had to hit a full one though, but I also knew I didn’t want to be behind that flag. When I hit it, it came off really hot so I was hoping it wasn’t going to go long.
“I saw one bounce and it just disappeared so I thought it might have been long, but then someone behind the green started screaming.”
The result was never in doubt from that point and Higgo’s only disappointment was three-putting the 16th for his second bogey of the day when in sight of the record set by Els at Lake Karrinyup in Perth in 2003.
Ireland’s Niall Kearney was part of a five-way tie for fourth on 19 under after threatening to card the second 59 in European Tour history.
An eagle, nine birdies and a bogey in his first 16 holes left Kearney needing to play the final two in two under, but he could only par the eighth and ninth to return a superb 61 and equal the course record.
“I felt as though my game has been quite good the last few weeks, felt as though something was brewing but it was just not coming through, so it’s great to shoot a round like that,” Kearney said.
“It gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”
Japanese golfing hero Hideki Matsuyama’s top five PGA Tour victories
Following his victory on home soil in the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP we take a look at the 29-year-old’s finest PGA Tour moments.
Mallorca champion Jeff Winther nearly missed final round due to bathroom drama
Winther’s six-year-old daughter had to come to the rescue.
Jeff Winther claims maiden European Tour title with Mallorca victory
The 33-year-old Dane finished one shot clear of Sebastian Soderberg, Pep Angles and Jorge Campillo.
Hideki Matsuyama triumphs on home soil to take ZOZO Championship title
Matsuyama finished five shots clear of runner-up Brendan Steele.
Hideki Matsuyama one shot in front heading into final round of ZOZO Championship
The 29-year-old Japanese held a three-shot advantage at one stage down the back nine.
Matt Wallace remains in contention at ZOZO Championship after strong finish
Wallace was two over par for his first 15 holes at Narashino Country Club but birdied the 16th, 17th and 18th to add a 69 to his opening 65.
Matt Wallace two shots off the lead after first round of the ZOZO Championship
Home favourite Hiroshi Iwata led the way on seven under.
Collin Morikawa looking forward to having fans back in Japan
The American is racking up the miles as he contends at the start of the PGA Tour season and the end of the European Tour campaign.
Rory McIlroy’s 20 PGA Tour wins: From the breakthrough in 2010 to THE CJ CUP last week
The Northern Irishman was supreme at the weekend, holding off the challenge of Rickie Fowler and Collin Morikawa in Las Vegas.
Billy Horschel sets out to double prize money at event aimed at boosting diversity
The 34-year-old American hosted the inaugural Billy Horschel APGA Tour Invitational at Sawgrass in July.