Garrick Higgo wins Gran Canaria Lopesan Open after seeing off Max Kieffer

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Phil Casey, PA Golf Correspondent
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South Africa’s Garrick Higgo held off a determined challenge from Max Kieffer to win his second European Tour title in the Gran Canaria Lopesan Open.

Higgo took a two-shot lead into the final round at Meloneras Golf and the 21-year-old left-hander carded a flawless closing 63 to finish 25 under par.

Kieffer, who lost out in a five-hole play-off in the Austrian Open last week, finished three shots adrift following a final round of 62, which included an eagle and seven birdies.

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Higgo made the ideal start to the final round as he followed a birdie on the second by chipping in for an eagle on the fourth, with birdies on the ninth and 10th giving him a four-shot cushion.

Kieffer kept the pressure on by driving the green on the short par-four 10th to set up an eagle and four birdies in the next six holes took the German to within two shots of the lead, but Higgo crucially got up and down to save par on the 17th and finished in style with a birdie on the last.

“It’s unreal, I can’t put it into words,” Higgo, who won the Open de Portugal in September last year, told Sky Sports. “It feels amazing.

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“The birdies on nine and 10 were big for me in terms of my confidence. But it wasn’t over until the last hole really, I knew anything could happen especially with the wind coming up. It was a bit stressful.

“My game feels good. I’ve worked really, really hard with my coach and everyone back home.”

Denmark’s Jeff Winther chipped in for an eagle on the 18th to secure third place on 21 under, two shots ahead of England’s Sam Horsfield.

Scotland’s Connor Syme shared fifth place with former Ryder Cup player Thorbjorn Olesen after birdies on the 17th and 18th repaired some of the damage caused by a quadruple-bogey eight on the 14th, where he drove out of bounds.