Higginbottom's rise continues at NZ Open

BY Bruce Young | Web.com Tour | 2011 BMW New Zealand Open | Round Two | 02 Dec 2011

New South Wales amateur Jake Higginbottom recorded a second round of 68 at the BMW New Zealand Open and, as the morning field completed their rounds, the 18 year old had a share of the lead with the joint overnight leader Brad Kennedy.

In perfect morning conditions on day two at the Clearwater Resort, Higginbottom birdied his opening hole but made the turn in only 1 under before the fireworks began. He birdied five of his next eight holes before a three putt bogey at the last cost him the outright lead before the afternoon field had even hit off.

Higginbotton is currently the second highest world ranked Australian amateur behind Matt Steiger and has performed with credit in several professional events of late including the Australian Open where he started and finished the event very well with rounds of 68.

He also finished joint runner-up and just one shot behind Adam Crawford at the NSW Open and 21st at the Australian PGA Championship.

His amateur victories this year have included the Queensland Stroke Play and Amateur Championships on the Gold Coast, the Keppera Bowl in Brisbane and the NSW Stroke Play Championship and having only turned 18 in October of this year he is clearly a youngster on the rise.

The conditions compared to yesterday were perfect for scoring,” said Higginbottom,” after his round. “It looks like it will stay this way all day and i reckon 7 or 8 under will be leading at the end of the day. That’s not too bad. I would prefer to be a couple behind than in front.”

“It was great experience at the Australian Open to have played with the bigger players,” he added when asked how his recent good form in professional events has helped him.

Higginbottom has just been picked in the Australian National squad again in Tier 1 and hopes to play some events in the US this year ahead of what he hopes will be selection for the Eisenhower Trophy.

Given the standard of his game and what he is achieving then that selection is likely to be a no brainer

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    About the Author: Bruce Young

    A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of the game comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.


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