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Higgo crosses second hurdle at US Junior Amateur

20 Jul 2017

Garrick Higgo; credit USGA

South Africa’s Garrick Higgo is through to the final 16 in the 70th U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at Flint Hills National Golf Club.

The GolfRSA National Squad player qualified for both the U.S. Junior Amateur and U.S. Amateur Championships last year, but lost the Junior Amateur in the first round and missed the cut in the US Amateur by three strokes at Oakland Hills Country Club.

Higgo was outside the projected cut-line after he posted a first round 76 in the 36-hole stroke play qualifier, but the 17-year-old Boland golfer racked up five birdies over the back nine in the second round for a 67 to make the match play field with ease.

With the field of 156 whittled down to the top 64, a tie for 29thearned him a first round match with Wil Gibson from Arkansas.

Higgo was 4-up through seven holes after birdies on two, four, five and seven. Gibson hit back to win the eighth and 12th holes with birdies, but Higgo reeled in three birdies from in a row 13 to 15 to close out a 5 & 3 victory over the American.

The left-hander from De Zalze Golf Club was just as impressive in his second round match against Angelo Giantsopoulos, of Canada.

Higgo drew first blood with back-to-back birdies to go 2-up and he answered the Canadian’s birdie at the third with one of his own at the fourth to stay ahead.

A birdie at the sixth moved Higgo to 3-up and the pair halved the next two holes in pars.

Giantsopoulos took the 10th and the 11th in birdies to trail by one and the status held for the next two holes as they halved 12 and 13 in pars, but Higgo hit the purple patch against with a trio of birdies from 14 to dispatch the Canadian 4 & 3.

His next opponent is Cole Hammer from Texas, who defeated Californian George McNeely 4 & 3 in round one and knocked out Frankie Capan from Minnesota 2 & 1.

As the second alternate from the U.S. Amateur qualifier at Texas Star Golf Course, Higgo will have to wait and see if he will join fellow South African Ian Snyman in the field at Oakland Hills Country Club from 15-21 August.

The Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation graduate is currently in his season on a golf scholarship at the University of North Texas. Snyman opened with a five-under-par 67 at the Lantana Golf Club in Texas and carded 68 in the final round to claim the second qualifying spot on nine-under 135.

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