- South Africa’s Garrick Higgo acknowledged it was a “surreal” feeling after winning his maiden European Tour title.
- Higgo received his biggest paycheck of his career thus far as he won the Open de Portugal by one stroke.
- The 21-year old earned R1.5 million for his efforts.
Garrick Higgo stunned the golfing world on Sunday as the little known South African sealed his maiden European Tour victory in only his seventh start.
The 21-year-old truimphed in this past weekend’s Open de Portugal, which was co-sanctioned by the Challenger Tour.
Higgo posted a stunning bogey-free seven-under par 65 to finish on 19-under par to claim the win and was one stroke clear of Spaniard’s Pep Angles.
His win at Royal Obidos Spa & Golf Resort saw him earn €78 812 (R1.5 million) ands aw him jump 24 places in the World Golf Rankings to now lie 122nd place.
“It’s awesome. It feels pretty surreal to be honest,” Higgo told reporters following his victory on Sunday.
“It actually feels a little bit like South Africa to be honest. I just really enjoyed it and I just made sure I had fun out there. It’s a funny feeling. I’m sure it’ll kick in tonight, but for now it’s just nice.”
Higgo had a breakthrough season on the Sunshine Tour in 2019/20 when he claimed two victories – 2019 Sun City Challenge and February’s Tour Championship.
He was awarded the Bobby Locke Trophy after a superb rookie season which included the two wins, as well as a runner-up finish and three Top 10 finishes on the Sunshine Tour.
The Stellenbosch golfer will now receive additional European Tour playing rights after Sunday’s win, meaning he will be in the field at this week’s Irish Open at Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort.
Higgo believes that his victory will give him a lot of confidence as he looks to join several of South Africa’s top golfers as a regular on the European Tour.
“It does give me a lot of confidence. It was a bit of a big hit with Covid meaning there isn’t any promotion from the Challenge Tour this year, so obviously one of the dual-ranked events is ideal to win because you can get straight on to the European Tour. It’s an awesome feeling to get it done.”
Higgo became the second South African to win in a week after George Coetzee claimed his fifth European Tour victory at the Portugal Masters.
– Compiled by Lynn Butler
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