South African Garrick Higgo secured his first European Tour victory at the Open de Portugal at Royal Óbidos thanks to a seven-under-par final round of 65.
The 21-year-old left-hander, whose final bogey of the week occurred on the tenth hole of his second round, finished on 19 under par, one stroke clear of Spain’s Pep Angles, who finished second on 18 under.
Higgo’s countryman George Coetzee continued his excellent form and followed his Portugal Masters victory with a tied for third place at Royal Óbidos on 15 under par, alongside England’s Andrew Wilson, with Sweden’s Jens Dantorp and Spain’s Carlos Pigem finishing tied fifth on 14 under.
Higgo dropped just three shots during the tournament – a double bogey on his sixth hole of the week and that bogey on the tenth during his second round – and had played only a handful of third round holes when Saturday’s play was suspended due to darkness. He returned to the course on Sunday morning and carded a 66 to end round three just one shot off the lead, which was held by Portugal’s Vitor Lopes.
Lopes could not continue his low-scoring performance of the first three rounds and dropped off the pace during round four, but Higgo picked up where he left off. Five front nine birdies, including a chip-in on the sixth hole, saw him make the turn in 31 before further gains on the 11th and the 18th saw him finish on 19 under par.
It was a nervous wait for the Stellenbosch native with Angles playing in the group behind, but when the Spaniard was unable to convert the 35-foot eagle putt he needed for a play-off, victory was secured.
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