Higgo hopes for faster greens at Royal St George’s

Garrick Higgo is playing in his third major championship in this week’s Open Championship at Royal St George’s in Sandwich, Kent, but he’s a rookie when it comes to the world’s oldest and biggest major.

It showed in his opening round of three-over-par 73 on Thursday, which has left him with something of a mountain to climb ahead of the halfway cut if he is to take part in the weekend action. He made four bogeys and just one birdie, but he settled things down on the homeward nine as he dropped just one shot on the 11th, and made pars all the way in.

“I played all right,” he said after his first round. “I mean, just didn’t get it going on the greens, to be honest. My ball-striking was better than it’s been for a while today, so it was a bit frustrating that I couldn’t get it under par. But hopefully I can get a nice low one tomorrow.”

While he was on or about average when it came to hitting greens in the first round, reaching them in regulation over 60 percent of the time, he felt that with the greens somewhat slower than expected after some heavy rain early in the week, things could get better as the course gets drier heading for the weekend.

“Honestly, I just need to make a lot more putts,” he said. “But the greens are still pretty slow, so hopefully if they speed up in the second round, but I’m going to do some work now on that. But if I hit the ball the same as today, then I should have a lot of chances to at least get a couple back.”

He has a brief history with Royal St George’s which should help him in his second round. “I played the British Am here in 2017,” he said. “It’s a little different. Obviously I think we’re playing it a lot longer than what we did then, but it’s nice to play a major on a course that you have played before under tournament conditions. I love this course, so hopefully I can get a good one tomorrow.”

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