Young South African golfer Higgo holds off stiff competition in Spain

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South African golfer Garrick Higgo.
South African golfer Garrick Higgo.

South African golfer Garrick Higgo (21) triumphed in Spain on Sunday, while Brandon Stone won the title on offer in Limpopo.

Higgo held off a determined challenge from Max Kieffer to win his second European Tour title in the Gran Canaria Lopesan Open.

Higgo took a two-shot lead into the final round at Meloneras Golf and the 21-year-old left-hander carded a flawless closing 63 to finish 25 under par.

“It’s unreal, I can’t put it into words.”
South African golfer, Garrick Higgo.

Kieffer, who lost out in a five-hole play-off in the Austrian Open last week, finished three shots adrift following a final round of 62, which included an eagle and seven birdies.

Higgo made the ideal start to the final round as he followed a birdie on the second by chipping in for an eagle on the fourth, with birdies on the ninth and 10th giving him a four-shot cushion.

Kieffer kept the pressure on by driving the green on the short par-four 10th to set up an eagle, and four birdies in the next six holes took the German to within two shots of the lead, but Higgo crucially got up and down to save par on the 17th and finished in style with a birdie on the last.

“It’s unreal, I can’t put it into words,” Higgo, who won the Open de Portugal in September last year, said.

Extra-hole birdie for Stone

Meanwhile, the night before the final round of the Limpopo Championship Stone sat on a deck with a glass of Amarula in hand and watched a magnificent African sunset over the bushveld. Life was good. A day, and 19 holes later, it got even better for him.

Stone birdied the first extra hole to win a four-man playoff for this Sunshine Tour and European Challenge Tour co-sanctioned tournament at Euphoria Golf and Lifestyle Estate on Sunday.

It was the fifth victory of his professional career. But more significantly, it was his first Challenge Tour victory, his first playoff victory, and a much-needed win amidst a frustrating and uncertain time of Covid-19 interrupted schedules and global travel restrictions.

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