Higginbottom goes pro after NZ Open

Last updated 18:26 27/11/2012
Jake Higginbottom
Getty

WINNER: Australian 19-year-old amateur Jake Higginbottom won the NZ Open in Christchurch.

Relevant offers

Golf

Streaky Danny Lee hits form at The Barclays Lydia Ko makes solid start at Canadian Open Rory McIlroy off to worst start in months Lydia Ko looks to Mickelson's short game for tips Rory McIlroy says don't write Tiger Woods off Phil Mickelson primed to halt McIlroy dream run Lydia Ko advised to have surgery on left wrist Woods doubted he could win Ryder Cup point Lydia Ko slips spot to women's golf world No 3 Two-time NZ Open winner Bob Glading dies

New Zealand Open champion Jake Higginbottom has fast-tracked his progression to golf's professional ranks, confirming the amateur phase of his career is over two days after he was unable to accept the $A80,000 winner's cheque at Clearwater.

After firing a final round 67 to secure a one-stroke victory on Sunday, Higginbottom, the first amateur since fellow Australian Harry Berwick won the title in 1956, said he had no plans to turn pro until the end of next year.

However, the 19-year-old revised his plans as he reflected on his biggest success to date - a victory that also earned him a two-year exemption on OneAsia and the PGA Tour of Australasia plus automatic entry into the second round of 2013 US PGA and European Tour qualification schools.

"I've discussed this with my team and we're all very comfortable with the move. I feel that the time is right as I now have playing opportunities in the professional ranks. It's exciting and I'm looking forward to starting my pro career," Higginbottom said.

Golf Australia high performance director Brad James wished Higginbottom well.

"This is great news for Jake and exactly what Golf Australia and the State Associations strive to achieve in taking players to the next level. Jake has worked hard over the last 12 months and we're pleased to see him make the next step in his career."

Higginbottom's first event as a professional will be the NSW PGA Championship this week at Mt Broughton Golf and Country Club in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales.

He will then play the Australian Open at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney and the Australian PGA Championship at Coolum on the Sunshine Coast.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

World No 1 Rory McIlroy is in hot form, but how many majors do you expect him to win?

Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 is under threat

He may go past Tiger but not 'The Golden Bear'

Double figures I'd say

I don't think he will live up to all the hype

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content