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

Semifinalists found at interprovincial Fair suck of the sav, Aussies up to their old tricks at the golf, no surprises there Amelia Garvey confident Canterbury golfers can handle the pressure A tale of two nines: Tiger Woods' rise and fall in return to pro golf NZ golfer Ryan Fox among the frontrunners at the Australian PGA Championship Semifinalists still to be found at Interprovincial South African golfer Branden Grace's amazing trick shot in par-3 competition Ugly golf rage at United States golf course Lydia Ko to play for record prize money as LPGA announces four new tournaments Tigers Woods hits two eagles on eve of his return to competitive golf

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

If she is able to, when do you expect Lydia Ko to win her first major?

Next year, she's so close

She's still working towards it, within three years

It may be longer than we think, within five years

The expectation might be too much, maybe never

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content