Jun 14th, 2021
Garrick Higgo wins Palmetto Championship
South African wins first PGA Tour event on only second start
Words: GolfPunk Photography: Getty Images
The 22-year-old Higgo finished at eleven-under 273 at Congaree Golf Club, Ridgeland, South Carolina, to win by a single shot from a group of six players on ten-under.
"I'm just proud of the way I hung in there. It was tough all the way from the start," Higgo said.
"Definitely didn't have my 'A' game in terms of off the tee, but I like that sometimes."
Hadley stood on the 16th tee with a two shot lead but then went into meltdown. After taking a bogey at both the 16th and 17th holes, the American had a nine-foot par putt at the last to force a playoff. The putt slipped by the right edge and Higgo was the somewhat unlikely winner.
"I can only imagine what it looked like on TV because it looked awful from my view," Hadley said.
"I mean, I could barely keep it on the planet."
Hadley started the day with a four shot lead but a four-over round of 75 that included six bogeys with just two birdies saw him drop into a tie for second on ten-under-par.
The American was joined in second by fellow Americans Hudson Swafford (66), Doc Redman (67) and Bo Van Pelt (68) along with Venezuela's Jhonattan Vegas (67) and England's Tyrrell Hatton (68).
Left-hander Higgo who started his final round six back from Hadley ground out a three-under round of 68, including three birdies, two bogeys, and an eagle.
“I'm just trying to stay in it. I didn't really want to try and push. It's one of those courses that, if there are a couple of holes that you can definitely make birdie on, so I was trying to capitalise on those,” said Higgo.
"When I made eagle on 12, I didn't have to scoreboard watch. I knew already I was kind of up there or close enough. It was just whether Chesson was going to run away with it or if we were going to stay up there and have a chance."
Higgo now heads to the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines following his exemption courtesy of a rise up the world rankings following recent wins on the European Tour. It was only the second PGA Tour outing for Higgo who tied sixty-fourth at the PGA Championship.