21-year-old Garrick Higgo win his second European Tour title at the 2021 Gran Canaria Lopesan Open.
“I wasn’t nervous on the outside,” said Higgo, who started the final round with a two-shot edge over three others for the €230,500 first prize. “But it was the first time ever that I have had a lead. All my other wins have been from behind, so I know what it is like to beat someone and how things can change. At first, I was just trying to keep myself in the battle”
That he did with some success. Bogey-free all day, Higgo’s up-and-down for par at the penultimate hole all but sealed the win. The closing birdie he made on the downwind 528-yard par-5 18th was a formality and only confirmed his superiority.
There is always room for improvement,” said Higgo, who will move into the top 100 on the World Ranking for the first time, likely earning him a spot into his first major championship at next month’s PGA Championship at Kiawah Island. “But my game is trending the right way. I have been working hard and there are things I can get better at, so I will just take every week as it comes and see where my game goes. I haven’t been playing that well at the start of the year, so this is amazing.”
Higgo’s maiden victory at last season’s Open de Portugal at Royal Óbidos came in just his seventh event and this triumph at Meloneras Golf arrives in his 24th.
That makes him the fastest South African to two wins in European Tour history not including Major Championships, and the victory could also move him up to a career best 65th on the Official World Golf Ranking.
Including Majors, the only South African to claim two wins in fewer events is the great Gary Player, and Higgo revealed he spoke to Player on Saturday night as he sat on his first 54 hole lead.
“I spoke to Gary last night actually and he just said there is no such thing as a lead and you should play like you’re two behind,” he said. “That was nice from him. He’s said it to me so many times but I’ve never really had a lead so I’ve never had to worry about that.”
The result also secures a South African double, with Brandon Stone having won the Limpopo Championship on the European Challenge Tour earlier in the day.
“It’s unreal,” Higgo added. “Jeez, I can’t put it into words, it feels amazing. It’s quite a relief finishing now.
“It wasn’t over until the last hole really, I knew anything could happen, especially with the wind coming up. It was a bit stressful.
“I am just going to keep going forward. I am playing next week, the week after and see where my game goes. It feels good, I have worked really hard with my coach and everyone back at home, so it feels amazing.”