When Garrick Higgo eagled the par-5 12th at Congaree Golf Club, it seemed a nice moment for the young South African. Few, however, thought at the time it would propel him to victory at the Palmetto Championship at Congaree.

After a mammoth 333-metre bomb off the tee, Higgo had a mere 167 metres to the hole. He pulled a 7-iron and struck a fine shot to nine feet and made the putt to get within two. A 23-foot birdie putt at the par-3 14th followed and when Chesson Hadley – trying to win for the first time in more than seven years – crumbled down the stretch, Higgo was there with a final-nine 32 for a 68 and his first PGA Tour win in just his second PGA Tour start after Hadley missed a nine-footer for par on the 72nd hole that would have forced a playoff.

The blast off the tee at 12 wasn’t unusual for Higgo. His longest drive in each of the four rounds went at least 316 metres – with one travelling 349 metres – to rank T-4 in longest drive for the week. The 22-year-old averaged 290.0 metres (317.2 yards) for the week with his 9-degree Titleist TSi3 driver.

His iron play into the greens also was effective, his Titleist T100 irons and Vokey SM8 wedges finding three-quarters of the greens (54 of 72) to rank fourth in greens in regulation and 11th in strokes gained/approach.

In the short term the Palmetto Championship will be known as the one Hadley lost, it might eventually be known as the event that launched Higgo’s career. After two wins in a three-week stretch on the European Tour in the Canary Islands this spring, Higgo now has full PGA Tour status thanks to this unlikely victory.

What Garrick Higgo had in the bag at the Palmetto Championship:

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Driver: Titleist TSi3 (Fujikura Ventus 6 Blue 6X), 9 degrees

3-wood: Titleist TSi2, 15 degrees

Hybrid: Titleist TSi3, 18 degrees

Irons (4-PW): Titleist T100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM8 (50, 56, 60 degrees)

Putter: Scotty Cameron by Titleist Phantom X 5.5

PHOTO: Mike Ehrmann