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Palmetto Championship 2021: Garrick Higgo Wins After Late Collapse by Chesson Hadley

Blake SchusterContributor IJune 14, 2021

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

In just his second-ever tournament on the PGA Tour, 22-year-old Garrick Higgo picked up his first victory, claiming the Palmetto Championship at Congaree following a late collapse by Chesson Hadley.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Dream realized. ✔️<br> <br>Let the celebrations begin, @Garrick_Higgo. pic.twitter.com/4SAEDo1zwg

The South African native rallied back after tying for 64th at the PGA Championship to finish 11 under par at South Carolina's Congaree Golf Club, fighting off valiant efforts from Bo Van Pelt, Dustin Johnson and Jhonattan Vegas to take the title.

Of course, that wouldn't have been possible without some help from Hesson. Higgo began the day in third place behind Hesson, who held a four-stroke lead after sitting in first-place from Friday night to late Sunday afternoon.

That streak came to a gutting end as Hesson—seeking his first PGA victory since 2014's Puerto Rico Open—bogeyed his final three holes for his first round over 68 all tournament (75).

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Back-to-back bogeys for Chesson Hadley. <br><br>He shares the lead with one hole to play. pic.twitter.com/mZ6WfGoViC

Higgo, meanwhile, posted rounds of 68, 69, 68 and 68, remaining consistent throughout all four rounds and earning himself a $1.3 million payday.

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Here's a look at the rest of the final leaderboard.


Palmetto Championship Final Leaderboard

1. Garrick Higgo (-11)

T2. Hudson Swafford (-10)

T2. Doc Redman (-10)

T2. Jhonattan Vegas (-10)

T2. Tyrrell Hatton (-10)

T2. Bo Van Pelt (-10)

T2. Chesson Hadley (-10)

T8. Ryan Armour (-9)

T8. David Lipsky (-9)

T10. Matt Fitzpatrick (-8)

T10. Erik van Rooyen (-8)

T10. Pat Perez (-8)

T10. Dustin Johnson (-8)

Notables: T14. Harris English (-7), T25. Ian Poulter (-5), T31. Luke Donald (-4), T35. Sungjae Im (-3), T35. Tommy Fleetwood

Full leaderboard available via PGA Tour

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Step 1: Drive the green<br>Step 2: Drain the eagle@JhonattanVegas made this look too easy. pic.twitter.com/rTuMpjeRsJ

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

The hole has not been kind to him today. 😬 pic.twitter.com/VHNsNjtsTn


Recap

Higgo played about as solid a round as he could've hoped for to lock up his first win. After birdies on Nos. 3 and 4 to begin the day, the newcomer dropped both shots with bogeys on Nos. 6 and No. 9.

The back nine proved much calmer. Higgo picked up an eagle on No. 12, another birdie on No. 14 and made par on his last four holes as Hesson imploded.

Van Pelt began the day in fourth place having shot his best round of the week Saturday (66) and continued to crush the ball Sunday. He reached the green in two shots on the par-five No. 4 to sink his first eagle of the day in between birdies and then did the same on the par-five No. 12.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Co-leader. @BoVanPelt with his second eagle of the day. 💪 pic.twitter.com/vP5UV9cViL

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Birdie<br>Eagle<br>Birdie@BoVanPelt is on cruise control and just two back now. pic.twitter.com/qShx3Tn7zv

Both eagles saw Van Pelt drive more than 330 yards off the tee, with his first shot on No. 4 flying 350 yards. His second shot attempts on each hole were eerily similar, going 213 and 215 feet, respectively, and landing within 10 feet of the cup.

It was exactly what he needed to continue climbing the leaderboard and keep up with Hadley, who struggled for much of the day.

While Van Pelt finished with two eagles, three birdies and four bogeys for his first top-five finish since 2015, Hadley found himself in trouble early on, bogeying Nos. 2 and 3 to finish four over par in the final round.

Those mistakes helped keep Dustin Johnson alive for most of the day despite a bogey of his own on hole No. 1. He wrapped up the front nine with two birdies and had three more on the back before a triple bogey on No. 16 knocked him out of contention.

The No. 1 golfer in the world still made some noticeable progress over the week, earning his highest finish on the leaderboard since he tied for eighth at the Genesis Invitational back in February. He'll happily take that result as he heads to San Diego next for the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.

Golf Channel @GolfChannel

Movin' on 🆙@DJohnsonPGA is within ☝️ of the lead after three birdies on the back nine. 🔥pic.twitter.com/EXgoNUNZny

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

From 2 back to 5 back. <br><br>Dustin Johnson's triple bogey at No. 16 was his first three-putt in 141 holes. pic.twitter.com/AcIFM0co0j

Johnson is still expected to enter the major as one of the betting favorites despite his recent struggles.

Jon Rahm holds the best odds for the U.S. Open at +800 (bet $100 to win $800) with Bryson DeChambeau, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas all tied with the second-best odds at +1200, per DraftKings Sportsbook.

With his victory on Sunday, Higgo is poised to jump up the list of favorites as he returns to a major tournament with a win on his resume. Higgo also becomes the sixth player to win their first tournament this season, joining Jason Kokrak, Carlos Ortiz, Joel Dahmen, Sam Burns and K.H. Lee.

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