Higgo shines for SA at Curro SA Juniors
Eagle Canyon’s Woo Ju Son leads the South African charge in the 44-strong Girls Division after day one of the Curro South African Juniors International (SAJI), while Boland golfer Garrick Higgo has the overnight lead in the Boys Division through 18 holes of the 54-hole Global Golf Junior Tour strokeplay event being contested at Durbanville Golf Club.
Sixteen-year-old Higgo from De Zalze will sleep on a two-shot lead after a fine five-under 67.
He fired from the get-go with a birdie-birdie start, but then surrendered the gains with back-to-back bogeys at the par-four third and fourth holes.
No sulky face on his dial and this enabled him to roar back with a second pair of consecutive birdies on the first set of par fives at the fifth and sixth holes.
“I was thinking 66 after that great start and then I mucked it up a bit with the bogeys,” said Higgo.
“Then the wind came along to add spice to the occasion. I’m just happy that I pitched up to play with a putter that played ball. I think I made 25 putts for the round, and that’s always a good thing if you want to win a tournament as big as this one is. I would just like to thank all the people that made this event possible for us juniors, it means so much to us.”
After closing out the next four holes in level-par, Higgo found distance off the par-five 11th tee with a huge drive and then opted for the same club in a bid to reach the green in two.
He duly obliged, setting up an eagle attempt. His first putt missed, but made no mistake with the second which gave him birdie and moved him to three-under-par. He then cashed in with two more birdies at 15 and 16 to move clear of the field.
“I used the driver off the tee most of the times and that’s how I’m going to do things in the second round. No holding back for me. I just have to go for it and see where it takes me,” said Higgo
“It was a fun day all round. I played alongside Will Porter from Scotland and Timo Vahlenkamp from Spain, who both play for their national sides,” he added.
“It was a real test for me versus their skill sets and I think I did okay.”
Southern Cape’s Caylum Boon sits in second place on 69, one clear of a grouping of five players that includes countryman Chandler Shaw, Jakub Hrinda of Slovakia and three German representatives – Cedric Otten, Maximilian Schmitt and Timo Vahlenkamp.
Said 16-year-old Otten of his experience so far: “Every time it is a new challenge in another land far away from home. You meet new friends and it is a game and we are all trying to win.
“The assignment for us foreigners is a huge and difficult one but not an impossible one. But what a great tournament to be part of.
“For me, a good day at the office. I made lots of birdies (five) and some holes not so nice. The wind was a big factor; this breeze we played in is a lot stronger than what we get at home. So it was a real test of abilities and I was okay with my 70 score.
“Now to be a tad more careful with the approach, the mind-set and all the other little things that one has to manage in order to be in contention come the third and final round on Thursday. I’m just hoping my name is on the front page of the leaderboard.”
Written by Mike de Bruyn
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For more information on the Curro SA Juniors International, please visit the official Curro Golf website www.currogolf.com