Garrick Higgo destined for 'big things', says Connor Syme of South African

Connor Syme believes Garrick Higgo is destined to achieve “big things” in golf after being among the players left in the South African’s slipstream for the second time in three weeks on the European Tour.

Garrick Higgo poses with the trophy after winning the Canary Islands Championship at Golf Costa Adeje in Tenerife. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.
Garrick Higgo poses with the trophy after winning the Canary Islands Championship at Golf Costa Adeje in Tenerife. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.

Syme made the prediction after Higgo backed up winning the Gran Canaria Lopesan Open with a European Tour low-record score of 255, by producing an equally-impressive display to land the Canary Islands Championship in Tenerife.

Helped by a hole-in-one, the 21-year-old signed off with a 64 at Golf Costa Adeje for a 27-under-par 257 total and a six-shot success - his third in just 26 starts on the circuit.

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Higgo is the fastest South African to achieve that feat in regular events and fourth youngest in European Tour history, while he also matches the record of Tiger Woods for the fewest number of events needed to claim three European/PGA Tour wins since 1990.

On the back of this latest victory, the Johannesburg man is set to climb to 52nd in the world rankings, setting up an exciting battle with Bob MacIntyre to be the game’s top-ranked left-hander.

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“Garrick is unbelievable,” said Syme, who finished fifth after playing with Higgo in the final round in Gran Canaria and tied for 12th alongside fellow Scot Calum Hill this occasion. “He’s playing incredible golf and he’s going to go onto big things, for sure.”

Higgo, who started the day two a-shot lead, had Hill on his tail after dropping a shot at the second before quickly turning the final circuit into a procession.

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As well as his ace at the seventh, he made six birdies in 13 holes to comfortably win from Australian Maverick Antcliff (65).

Finn Tapio Pulkkanen (66) was a shot further back in third, with Irishman Niall Kearney closing with a 61 to finish on 19-under in a group that also included Higgo’s compatriot and the previous week’s Tenerife Open winner, Dean Burmester.

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Five of the last six regular European Tour events have now fallen to South Africans while a purple patch for the Rainbow Nation has also produced Challenge Tour triumphs for Brandon Stone, JC Ritchie and Wilco Nienaber over the past three weeks.

"It feels amazing, said Higgo of his latest eye-catching effort. "It's unreal. I can’t believe it has happened so quickly again, but my game has been good so I can believe it as well.

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“I have been working really hard on a lot of little things and I have also accepted what works for me and kind of stuck with that. I think that has been a big thing. If I don’t play as well, I don’t look for something.”

On that remarkable run of results for South Africans, he added: "I think we all want to win and all very hungry for a win.

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“I actually called Wilco’s win (on the same day in the Dimension Data Pro Am at Fancourt) at the beginning of the week, so I am definitely going to brag about that with the other guys. I think we all just want to win and play our best. It is nice that it is working out perfectly."

Syme (66) and Hill (71) both finished on 17-under, two ahead of Grant Forrest (66) and Richie Ramsay (68) in joint-23rd.

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