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

Ryder Cup hopeful Patrick Reed builds a two-shot lead at Bethpage Black Mid-round birdie blitz keeps Lydia Ko right in the hunt at Canadian Women's Open Lydia Ko makes strong start to title defence at Canadian Pacific Women's Open Patrick Reed and Martin Laird set pace at Bethpage, Jason Day two back Danny Lee picks Ryan Fox to partner him at World Cup of Golf Golfer Rory McIlroy glad to be proven wrong about Olympics Star-struck Lydia Ko eager for Tokyo 2020 after silver medal effort in Rio Cromwell golf pro living the dream Australian golfer Robert Allenby unleashes against Twitter 'haters' after Lochte calls US golfers playing for final Ryder Cup automatic spots

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