Higgo’s 4-under leads SA challenge in Tournament of Champions

Garrick Higgo carded a four-under-par 69 on Friday to move to nine-under-par and a share of 15th after the second round of the PGA Tour’s Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua in Hawaii.

In a 38-man field made up exclusively of PGA Tour champions and of the 2021 major winners, Higgo’s halfway score was only good enough to be eight shots off the flying pace set by Australia’s Cameron Smith, who added a nine-under 64 to his opening eight-under. At 17-under through 36 holes, Smith was three clear of world number one Jon Rahm, who carded his second successive seven-under 66, and of Daniel Berger of the United States, who also had a second 66.

Higgo made an early bogey on the second, but got things going with successive birdies on five and six. Things threated to get away from him on the par-five ninth, when he had to take an unplayable after his tee shot was pushed left. He then dumped his fourth into a greenside bunker and wasn’t able to get up and down for bogey. Double there meant he turned in one-over 37.

But he was sparkling on the homeward nine, with four birdies and an eagle only somewhat spoiled by a closing bogey on 18. His eagle came on the 15th when he rifled his approach over 250 yards to within nine feet and made the putt.

Erik van Rooyen made six birdies and three bogeys on his way to a second-round three-under 70, putting him a share of 15th with Higgo.

The other South African in the field, Branden Grace, made seven birdies and three bogeys to card a four-under 69 like Higgo. He was in a share of 22nd on eight-under for the tournament, nine shots off the pace.

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