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Higgo captures Harry Oppenheimer Trophy

24 Nov 2017

2017 Harry Oppenheimer Trophy champion Garrick Higgo; credit GolfRSA.

Boland junior Garrick Higgo produced another winning performance to capture the season-ending Harry Oppenheimer Trophy on Thursday. It was the second time in three successive starts that the country’s leading amateur celebrated victory and – following his Bobby Locke triumph two weeks ago – it marked the second time in two weeks that Higgo finished in the winner’s circle after being missing out on a trophy finish in the same events 12 months ago.

The GolfRSA National Squad player opened with a four-under-par 68 at Maccauvlei Golf Club to finish three shots behind first round pacesetter Jason Rossiter from Central Gauteng, but he rocketed into the second round lead with a six-under 66.

The 17-year-old De Zalze golfer began the third round on 10-under 134, one shot clear of Rossiter and two ahead of fellow GolfRSA National Squad players Casey Jarvis and Malcolm Mitchell two shots back in joint third. David McIntyre, Anuerin Gounden and South Africa’s top ranked junior Jayden Schaper was a further shot adrift.

Higgo mixed three birdies with a lone bogey in the third round and boxed an eagle putt at the par-five closing hole for a 68.

He heading into the final round on 14-under 202, with a three shot lead over Gounden from Ekurhuleni and Free State golfer Therion Nel, who charged into contention with a flawless 66. He kept control with an eagle at the par five second and was lining up a short birdie putt at the seventh when the hooter sounded.

For a second consecutive year, the tournament hit by a lightning storm. The dangerous conditions persisted and officials were forced to reduce the event to 54 holes.

Higgo was thrilled to finish the 2017 on a high note and to cement his number one spot in the Open Amateur rankings ahead of the seasonal break.

Higgo was thrilled to finish the 2017 on a high note and to cement his number one spot in the Open Amateur rankings ahead of the seasonal break.

“Last year I shot 65 in the first round and I finished one shot behind Kyle McClatchie,” Higgo explained. “I was three behind after Kyle shot 66 in the second round, but then the third and final rounds were cancelled due to the weather. I had quite a lot of points to defend and I definitely came looking for the win this year.

“I’ve had a really fantastic season. A strong start at home and a lot of experience gained abroad. It’s has been really special to come back and to win on home soil at the end of the season. This was the cherry on the cake.”

Final Result (top 20)
202 Garrick Higgo 68 66 68
205 Therion Nel 71 68 66; Aneurin Gounden 68 70 67
206 Jason Rossiter 65 71 70
208 David McIntyre 69 69 70; Malcolm Mitchell 69 68 71
209 Kyle McClatchie 71 68 70
210 James du Preez (Jnr) 70 69 71
211 Cameron Moralee 71 71 69; Jayden Schaper 66 72 73; Byron Coetzee 70 73 68
212 Erhard Lambrechts 70 71 71; Louis Albertse 70 72 70; David Nortje 71 69 72; Casey Jarvis 67 70 75
213 Deon Germishuys 71 71 71; Darin de Smidt 66 76 71
214 Keaton Slatter 69 71 74; Siyanda Mwandla 71 71 72; Theunie Bezuidenhout 74 68 72

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA, a SAGA and WGSA Not-For-Profit company.

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