Garrick Higgo destined for greatness - Gary Player

Higgo carded a final-round three-under 68 for a tournament total of 11-under-par to win the Palmetto Championship by 1 stroke.

Garrick Higgo of South Africa lines up a putt on the 18th green during the final round of the Palmetto Championship at Congaree on 13 June 2021 in Ridgeland, South Carolina. Picture: Mike Ehrmann/AFP

JOHANNESBURG - South African golf legend, Gary Player, has led the chorus of congratulations for countryman Garrick Higgo after the 22-year-old claimed his maiden PGA Tour title in just his second start.

Higgo carded a final-round three-under 68 for a tournament total of 11-under-par to win the Palmetto Championship by 1 stroke on Sunday.

During his post-round interview, Higgo received a message from Gary Player, who said that he was watching the final round with great interest.

“My whole family and I sat here and we had to change our underwear because we were pooping ourselves so much. I don’t think I have ever in my lifetime been more excited about anybody winning a golf tournament. I had tears in my eyes because you really deserve it.” he said.

The result means that the Johannesburg-born left-hander has become a full member of the PGA Tour with exemption until the end of the 2023 season and secured a place at the Masters.

“You can have all the coaching and talent but if you don’t believe yourself that you are the best, you can never do it. I think you’ve got that in your brain now and you are destined for greatness, you’ve just got to keep working hard and set your goals higher all the time,” Player added.

The immediate outcome of the win includes prize money to the value of $1.3 million and a jump of 15 places in the world golf rankings from 54th to 39th.

“I’m proud of the way I hung in there because it was tough from the start because I definitely didn’t bring my A-game off the tee but sometimes I enjoy scrambling and making a couple of putts, which I did and that was awesome,” Higgo told the media after his win.

Higgo is no stranger to winning in recent times with this being his fourth title in nine months after his breakthrough victory came in the Open de Portugal on the European Tour in September last year.

“To be honest, I think I just enjoy the challenge and I’m a very tough competitor. I wouldn’t say that I do anything out of the ordinary and I don’t think there is a need to put any unnecessary pressure on myself going forward,” he added.

Along with Player, the likes of Ernie Else, Erik van Rooyen, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel also congratulated Higgo on his victory.

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