JOHANNESBURG – Led by 21-year-old Garrick Higgo’s maiden European Tour victory at the Open de Portugal at Royal Óbidos, it was a weekend to remember for SA professional golfers.
Higgo fired a bogey-free seven-under 65 to claim the title by one shot on 19-under from Spain’s Pep Angles. Last week’s SA winner on the European tour, George Coetzee finished in a tie for third on 15-under.
It was just the seventh European Tour event for Higgo, and the victory may just be the first of many for the left-hander.
“It’s awesome. It feels pretty surreal to be honest,” said Higgo after his round.
“I’m sure it’s going to kick in tonight but my family and everyone is excited, I’m excited, it’s an awesome feeling.”
Elsewhere, SA’s Ashleigh Buhai edged ever closer to her first victory on the Ladies PGA Tour with a playoff defeat to England’s Georgia Hall in the Portland Classic.
The pair could not be separated after three rounds, with Buhai and Hall ending on 12-under. A bogey on the second playoff hole, however, cost Buhai the title.
.@GolfRSA National Squad member & @Sunshine_Tour rookie winner Garrick Higgo led a stellar cast of SA golf performances over the weekend, with his maiden @EuropeanTour victory on Sunday. Video: @Golfhackno1 pic.twitter.com/hkmxBc4Cqz
— African News Agency (@AfriNewsAgency) September 21, 2020
“I just have to keep doing what I’m doing with my swing. I felt very confident this week,” said Buhai, who earned her second LPGA runner-up finish in the process.
“I’m proud of myself. Even in the playoff I executed it the way I wanted to,” said Buhai. “We go forward, and I know this will bump me up into CME and get me into U.S. Open, so it takes care of a lot of stuff.”
Meanwhile, Louis Oosthuizen finished third at the US Open at Winged Foot Golf Club.
The 2010 Open champion Oosthuizen carded a final round three-over 73 to finish on two-over for the tournament, eight shots behind American winner Bryson DeChambeau on six-under.
“Finishing third in a major is always great,” said Oosthuizen after his round.
On the US Champions Tour, four-time major champion Ernie Els finished one shot outside of a playoff at the Pure Insurance Championship in California. American Jim Furyk defeated his compatriot Jerry Kelly on the first hole of the playoff.
Els, 50, signed for rounds of 65 70 70 to finish on 11-under.
African News Agency (ANA)