Harry Higgs, who nearly hit rock bottom this year, may have uncovered the secret formula to keep his game ascending.
After opening last week in Bermuda by shooting a 64, the 30-year-old followed that up with a 75 and easily missed the cut — his 13th missed cut in 17 events since the Masters. A week later, south of the border on a sponsor’s exemption, Higgs followed up a 70 with a second-round 62 — tying his career low — and will make his first cut since August on either the PGA Tour or Korn Ferry Tour.
Highlighted by a hole-out eagle from 86 yards on No. 4, Higgs, who finished his round T-3, said Friday at Mayakoba was the most fun he’s had on a golf course since Sunday at the 2021 PGA Championship, where he placed T-4. He’s been trying to regain that form, but in the past year he hasn’t recorded a top 10.
“(Mentally I’m) all over the place,” Higgs said after his 9 under round Friday. “Like, I have had a lot of poor days and a lot of consecutive poor days, and then I've also had not as many as I would like, but I've had some days that were great where I had full control, I was making good decisions, I was kind of, as we all say, getting out of my own way.”
Full-field scores from the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba
With the state of Higgs’ game, playing competitively in 2022 has been a minefield, and that doesn’t translate to good golf.
“For the last probably four, five, six months, I show up, I'm preparing the same way, I'm probably borderline working too hard and too much at home and here,” he said. “A few too many times, almost — actually, sorry, almost all the time I go on the first tee for a competitive round and I don't really know what's going to happen, which is a really not fun place to be.”
But during his last two rounds, the world No. 256 has felt a shift in his mindset.
“From the start yesterday afternoon until I finished today that I allowed myself, and this is something that I usually am good at, I allowed myself to, as I would say, spiral upwards to continuously start to feel more and more comfortable when good decision making,” he said, “like thinking through shots and where to miss and all this, you know, good club selection, and kind of like good I guess in a way visualization before I hit it, but then also just trust.”
Higgs, however, wasn’t the only one who noticed a change on Friday.
“(Higgs’ caddie and brother) said he saw something different in me today,” Higgs said. “He said he's kind of unlocked it, right? So I'm going to go sit and have lunch and hear what he has to say about it.”
And if they discovered the secret recipe, then, after so many down months, the only place for Higgs to go is up.
"If I can continue tomorrow to spiral upwards and feel more and more comfortable," he said, "and more and more certain in what I'm doing, then I love my chances, right?"