South Africa has a rich history when it comes to producing prodigious golfing talent. Indeed, the rainbow nation can boast 22 Grand Slam titles, which is fourth on the list of the nations who have won the most Grand Slams in the history of golf; only America, Scotland, and England are ahead of the nation that resides on the southern tip of Africa.
Perhaps it’s the fact that South Africa gets over 2500 hours of sun per year that enables aspiring golfers to spend time outdoors playing the sport they love, and in turn, has helped turn the country into a global powerhouse in the golfing world. Whatever the reason is, it looks as if the next phenomenon from South Africa has arrived to take his place among the greats of the game in due time.
Indeed, Garrick Higgo may only be 21 but he has already won his second European Tour event after only 24 starts. Higgo’s latest masterclass came on the cliffs of Gran Canaria as he won the Gran Canaria Lopesan Open in emphatic fashion, eventually finishing on -25. This second win, added to his first in Portugal after just seven starts last year, means that the young South African has already racked up €617,626.57 in career earnings. When you convert that to South African rands, Higgo has won over R10,000,000 which is enough to retire on for most residents of the rainbow nation.
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) April 25, 2021
This is a crucial point given that before Higgo has turned 22, he has already secured his financial future, which should take the pressure off as he continues to make his way on the international circuit. So often, the pressure of having to make the necessary amount of money to survive on tour is enough to stop promising careers in their tracks, with players forced to abandon the dream after hitting a financial wall. Indeed, traveling around Europe to various tournaments can be a huge drain on finances if players are missing the cut.
As far as Higgo is concerned, that is a problem that is a thing of the past. In reality, South Africa’s new golden boy can now do what everyone who watched him play golf growing up thought he would, notching up the wins and getting to the summit of world golf.
Right now, Higgo has climbed to 65th in the official world golf rankings which will ensure him a place at the 2021 PGA Championship and his first shot at winning a major. Unsurprisingly, Dustin Johnson is the favorite in the William Hill sports betting odds, as the world number one is tipped to win at just +1000. Higgo has a mammoth task ahead of him to make it 23 Grand Slams for South Africa at the PGA Championship, which suggests that the 21-year-old’s maiden Grand Slam experience will be more of a learning curve than an actual charge for the Wanamaker Trophy.
That opinion may of course be at odds with what Higgo’s coaches at home think about his chances at Kiawah Island, given how highly regarded this young talent is back on South African shores. Although, those closest to Higgo aren’t alone in their appraisal of his talent when you take into account that Golf Digest recently wrote an article entitled ‘Garrick Higgo is a 21-year-old you should be watching.’
— Sunshine Tour (@Sunshine_Tour) February 8, 2020
With that said, it may take a while before the world begins to catch onto the fact that the next golfing star is here as Higgo currently plays on the European Tour. It is the PGA Tour where players get the most global exposure, but it seems only a matter of time before we see Higgo on a PGA Tour stream.
The time will undoubtedly come when it will seem impossible that at one stage the world didn’t know who Garrick Higgo was. The South African golfing conveyor belt has delivered again, which should certainly mean that their Grand Slam tally rises sharply over the next two decades.
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