'why are they screaming?'

Harry Higgs holes out improbable eagle en route to Korn Ferry Tour win, gives all-time victory speech

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Reed Hoffmann

Xander Schauffele needed to make a birdie putt on the 72nd hole at Valhalla Golf Club to win the PGA Championship (spoiler alert: he did), but somehow that still wasn’t the most dramatic closing performance in a pro golf tournament on Sunday. Fighting to get back onto the PGA Tour after losing his status in 2023, Harry Higgs needed to hole out from 83 yards for eagle on the final hole of regulation to get into a playoff at the Korn Ferry Tour’s AdventHealth Championship. That seems more than unlikely, but well, this happened.

It’s not going to get any better than this. Needless to say, this is the one instance that throwing your golf club in the air is totally justified. Higgs appeared as shocked as anyone that the ball found the bottom of the cup.

There’s a spirited high-five with caddie Matt Erwin and even a “wow, that just happened” look from Higgs as he holds his hair back in shock. Higgs then celebrated on the green with his wife Kailee; the couple got married just two weeks ago. The Harry chants from the dumbfounded Blue Hills Country Club crowd are truly the cherry on top.

“I had a horrible lie and I was trying to land it … about 15 yards further onto the green than it actually did,” Higgs said. “With it being a bad lie, obviously it was going to come out with quite a bit of topspin. I didn't think I hit it hard enough to land it on the green. I don't even know where it landed, but it came out with topspin and once it landed, it was rolling quick, so I figured it was going to be up there probably within 10, 12 feet of the hole.

“Then the roars got louder and louder and louder. We were already walking ahead. I was thinking, why are they screaming? There's no way, there's no way. Then I guess it dropped and they freaked out and then I also freaked out.

“I've had some pretty unbelievable weird things happen to me, but in that moment for that to go in, I'd probably say it was the best of my career, for sure.”

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Reed Hoffmann

Of course, Higgs needed to settle down and follow that godsend with a win, which he did in a matter of moments. The 32-year-old made a seven-foot birdie to hold off Tanner Gore on the first playoff hole, which just so happened to also be on the par-5 18th he had come to know so well. It was Higgs’ first pro win since July 28, 2019—putting 1,757 days between victories.

Higgs grew up in Overland Park, Kansas, less than a 20-minute drive from Blue Hills, and went on to give a brief (but perfect) speech to the admirers after the come-from-behind victory.

“I haven’t had a cocktail in a long time,” he said. “I told myself I wasn’t gonna drink again until I won a golf tournament, so here we go.”

Five years earlier Higgs finished second in the event. “I definitely had that on my mind. I was really, really wanting to win here,” he said. “Winning is really, really difficult. Just on a personal note, I am very, very fulfilled right now. This sh*t has been hard.”

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Reed Hoffmann

The victory vaulted Higgs from No. 75 to No. 7 on the Korn Ferry Tour points list, giving the former SMU golfer a great chance to get back onto the PGA. The top 30 at the end of the season-long standings in October earn full tour status.

“All these folks here, they've watched me grow up,” Higgs said after the win. “It’s nice to give them a moment where somebody that they … definitely know and hopefully love, watch someone like that achieve one of their goals.

“It's difficult for me to be knocked down, but it's OK to be humbled. I was certainly humbled and I'm still going to need to do it. I have not dealt with success well in the past, gotten maybe complacent and just thought, well, I've been hitting good shots, I'm just going to keep doing that. I was hitting good shots for a reason. So I need to make sure that I focus on those things that I have focused on this week, and then also it's OK if it doesn't work out as I wish. Take a fricking deep breath and move on.”