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Garrick Higgo wins Palmetto Championship for first PGA Tour win

Garrick Higgo hits off the third tee during the final round of the Palmetto Championship.
Garrick Higgo hits off the third tee during the final round of the Palmetto Championship in Ridgeland, S.C., on Sunday.
(Stephen B. Morton / Associated Press)

Garrick Higgo won the Palmetto Championship at Congaree for his first PGA Tour victory Sunday when leader Chesson Hadley blew a two-shot lead with bogeys on his final three holes.

The 22-year-old South African shot a 3-under 68 and finished at 11 under in his second career tour event. Get ready to see more of him. The victory, along with $1,314,000, gives him PGA Tour status through the 2023 season.

“It’s amazing,” Higgo said. “I just stayed patient all week.”

It was a heartbreaking finish for Hadley, seemingly in control at 13 under with three holes to play. But he drove into a waste area on the 16th and could not get up and down after missing the 17th and 18th greens to give away victory.

“I can only imagine what it looked like on TV because it looked freaking awful from my view,” Hadley said. “I mean, I could barely keep it on the planet.”

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Hadley finished with a 75 after opening 65-66-68. He fell into a tie for second at 10 under with Hudson Swafford (66), Doc Redman (67), Jhonattan Vegas (67), Tyrrell Hatton (68) and Bo Van Pelt (68).

After an even par front-nine, Higgo had an eagle on the par-5 12th and birdie on the 14th to get to 11 under — two shots in back of Hadley.

Higgo also saved par from 10 feet away on the 71st hole after missing the fairway with his first two shots.

When Higgo tapped in for par on the 18th, he headed off to wait for a potential playoff. Turns out, he didn’t need the extra reps as Hadley missed a 10-footer for par to fall to give the rising young player his first signature win.

Higgo took off his sunglasses and grinned when told of his victory, then hugged his caddie to celebrate.

To-ranked Dustin Johnson made a run at the top late in the round, coming within a shot Hadley after birdies on the 10th, 12th and 13th holes. His chances ended with a triple bogey on the 16th hole and he finished with a 70 to tie for 10th.

Van Pelt made birdie on the 15th to get to 12 under, then gave it right back with a bogey on No. 16.

An aggressive Paul George scored 31 points in the Clippers’ needed Game 3 victory over the Utah Jazz, and L.A. still has a shot at playoff history.

LPGA Tour

DALY CITY — Matilda Castren became the first Finnish winner in LPGA Tour history in the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship, pulling away on the front-nine at foggy Lake Merced and holding off Min Lee by two strokes.

“Oh, my God. I can’t believe it’s happening,” Castren said. “I mean, I knew one day it would be me, but you didn’t think it was going to be so soon. But I’m obviously so happy right now.”

Two strokes behind Lee entering the final day of the tour’s two-week run on the San Francisco Peninsula, Castren birdied the first three holes, eagled the par-5 fifth and birdied the par-5 ninth for a front-nine 30.

Castern followed with eight straight pars and holed a 3-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th for a 7-under 65. The 26-year-old former Florida State won in her 15th career LPGA Tour start. She finished at 14-under 274 after tying for 30th last week in the U.S. Women’s Open at nearby Olympic Club.

“I just played shot by shot, hole by hole, and just tried to stay really patient,” Castren said. “I was thinking about it the whole day, like winning, and I just tried to focus on one shot at a time. It just happened.”

Lee finished with a 69. She cut Castren’s lead to one with a birdie on the par-5 15th, but dropped a stroke with a two-putt bogey on the par-3 17th.

Champions Tour

MADISON, Wis. — Jerry Kelly successfully defended his title in his hometown American Insurance Championship, closing with a 6-under 66 for a one-stroke victory over Fred Couples and Miguel Angel Jimenez.

The 54-year-old Kelly finished at 14-under 202 at University Ridge for his eighth PGA Tour Champions victory.

Couples bogeyed the par-5 18th for a 68. The 61-year-old Couples won the 2017 tournament for the last of his 13 senior titles.

Jimenez, the leader after each of the first two rounds, shot a 69.

Jim Furyk (68) and Retief Goosen (68) tied for fourth at 12 under.


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