Boom golfer set for PGA

BOOM youngster Jake Higginbottom is high on the hit list of Victorian PGA Championship organisers to play at Creswick’s Forest Resort next month.

Tournament co-ordinator Ben Roberts said Higginbottom’s management had already been approached.

The 19-year-old has taken the Australasian PGA Tour by storm this season.

Higginbottom was the leading amateur in the Australian Masters at Kingston Heath, finishing 10th.

He then took out the New Zealand Open.

As he was amateur, he missed out on pocketing the winning prizemoney of $72,000.

Just two days later on Tuesday, he turned professional.

Higginbottom from New South Wales made the perfect start to his professional career on Thursday, carding a first round seven-under 65 to lead the NSW PGA Championship.

He sits in the top 10 at the halfway mark.

Roberts is confident the teenager will play the $130,000 Vic PGA on January 17-20 – the second time it will be played at Creswick.

Roberts said Higginbottom was one of the most exciting youngsters to emerge on the Australia golf scene for sometime.

“It’s great for the game. It’s just what golf needs.”

Roberts said the Victorian PGA Championship was an ideal event for rising stars such as Higginbottom.

The 2009 champion Andre Stolz and veteran Peter O’Malley have confirmed they will be returning for another shot at the title - joining defending champion Gareth Paddison as definite starters.

O’Malley and Stolz finished equal third on five-under at Creswick this year – two shots behind Paddison.

O’Malley carved up the course with a fourth round 66.

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