South Africa's Garrick Higgo claims first PGA Tour victory at Palmetto Championship

South Africa's Garrick Higgo claims first PGA Tour victory at Palmetto Championship

Garrick Higgo earned his first victory on the PGA Tour in just his second start on Sunday at the Palmetto Championship at Congaree Golf Club in Ridgeland, South Carolina.

The 22-year-old Garrick Higgo shot a 3-under 68 in the final round to finish in the clubhouse at 11 under.

Garrick Higgo's day began with a call from South African golfing great Gary Player.

“He'd told me he's done it before, won quite a few times from six behind, seven behind,” Higgo recalled. “Just try and do your thing and stay up there. You don't know what can happen.”

Player's guidance helped Higgo to remain patient and steady throughout and made sure to take advantage when opportunities arose and won the event.

Hadley, who held a four-shot lead to start the day, made bogey on No. 17 to drop back into a tie for first with Higgo with one to play. He then needed a par to force a playoff or a birdie to win. But, the 2014 Puerto Rico Open champion missed a ten-foot putt for par and made a bogey on the 18th.

Garrick Higgo and Chesson Hadley

A devastated Hadley had to settle for second place alongside Hudson Swafford, Doc Redman, Jhonattan Vegas, Bo Van Pelt, and newlywed Tyrrell Hatton.

"I've just gone to another level now," said the in-form Higgo after his fourth win in nine months. "So I'll just see what my game can do. I enjoy playing and seeing what my game does and where it takes me, and I'm going to continue with that. I don't think there's any need to put unnecessary expectations on me.

"I'm just proud of the way I hung in there. It was tough all the way from the start, and I definitely didn't have my A game off the tee, but I like that sometimes. I like not having to play perfect golf, but I enjoy scrambling and making a couple putts, which I did, which was awesome."

Higgo’s victory made him the first player since 1988 to win one of his first two career PGA Tour starts. The previous man to pull off the feat, Jim Benepe, failed to win another event in his career. With three victories in his last five starts worldwide, it would be surprising if Higgo does not do much better.