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Higgo and Son keep control at Curro SA Juniors

09 Mar 2016

Garrick Higgo is the 36-hole leader in the Curro SA Juniors International; credit Shaun Roy/ImageSA

De Zalze golfer Garrick Higgo has been in a league of his own in the 97-strong Boys Division through two rounds of the 56-hole Curro South African Junior International, while overnight leader Woo-Ju Son protected her overnight lead in the Girls Division of the Global Junior Golf Tour event against a 43-strong line-up at Durbanville Golf Club.

Sixteen-year-old Higgo is a young man on a mission.

The Boland teenager fired a six under 66 and sits on 11-under-par 133, seven clear of Slovakia’s Jakub Hrinda, who moved up a place to outright second after posting four-under 68.

Zimbabwe’s Justin Kirsten (68), Wilco Nienaber (69) and Constantin Unger (71) from Germany share third place.

Higgo began his campaign on a positive note in testing conditions on Tuesday with an opening 65 that gave him a two-shot lead over the chasing pack. He teed off just before noon and once again played superb golf on the par-72 championship layout.

Teeing off at the 10th, he was on song from the start as he birdied the first and eagled the par-five second.

“I hit a long drive at the second and opted for a three-wood for my approach to the green which was about 215 metres out. The ball travelled true and ended up a foot away from the hole after nearly going. I dropped the putt and from then on never looked back,” said Higgo.

And he never did as he went on to claim four more birdies and a solitary drop at the 17th.

“I don’t think home ground advantage has given me any kind of edge over my rivals so far. You have to be able to play golf to challenge for titles at this level, and without trying to sound arrogant, I’ve played really well for the first 36 holes.

“And I’m not going to allow myself to fall into the trap of being overconfident for the final 18 holes. It’s all about staying focused now. I would love to win this event that forms part of the Global Tour series. There are world amateur rankling points at stake and the winner wins an all-expenses paid trip to Germany.

“I’m just going to go out there and have fun. This week has been about meeting people from around the world and sharing experiences, both on and off the course. The competition has been fierce and I hope to take top spot later tomorrow.”

Hrinda, a tall, pencil-slim fellow, feels a 65 and a misfire from Higgo would give him a chance of winning.

“I hear from everyone around me that Garrick is playing really well, so kudos to him and I’m sure he’s not going to let up down the home straight,” Hrinda said.

“I think I have a slight opportunity if I play the perfect round on a layout I fancy. You guys here in South Africa have so many great courses and great players, but where I come from we have less than 10 courses and they are not close to being of this standard we’re playing on here.

“Either way it goes it’s been real fun playing in this wonderful country and now I’ll go and sleep and dream about what might unfold today.”    

GIRLS COMPETITION

Son from Country Club Johannesburg followed her first-round even-par 72 with a 69 to take a six-shot lead on 141 shots. Her round was made up of two birdies, an eagle and one bogey.

The pocket-size 15-year-old seems set to nail home the victory at a course where she has already won the Western Province Junior Championship this year. She finished third in the 2015 Curro SA Juniors International and is no doubt be aiming for top spot on the podium.

Tasked to chase down the country’s number one junior is Chrystal Beukes of Stellenbosch Golf Club (72), who finished alone in second place ahead of Woodhill Country Club’s Catherine Lau (73) and KwaZulu-Natal’s Brittney-Fay Berger (72) of Kloof Country Club.

“To win such a prestigious tournament would be a big honour, but let’s not predict the future, there’s still work left before I can celebrate,” Son said.

“I chipped in for eagle from 30 meters at 11 and had a birdie at 14, but things became tough coming home. The wind was three-club strength, but I stuck at it and am happy with the score I shot. I’ve had my fair share of two-under scores on par fives, but this one was a cool one because it wasn’t the best chip I’ve made from off the green.”

BOYS LEADERBOARD – ROUND TWO (TOP 10)
133 Garrick Higgo 67 66
139 Jakub Hrinda SVK 70 69
142 Justin Kersten ZIM 74 68; Wilco Nienaber 73 69; Constantin Unger GER 71 71
143 Kyle De Beer 74 69; Jens Christian Tvergaard DEN 72 71; Timo Vahlenkamp GER 70 73; Cedric Otten GER 70 73

Written by Mike du Bruyn on behalf of the Curro SA Juniors International.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA - Twitter hashtag #CurroGolfChamps.

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