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The impulse to save our most cherished moments is a powerful force. When you ask people to choose three possessions to save from a burning house, one of the most common answers is a photo album.

Maybe that’s because photographs tell the stories of our lives – a timeline of memories filled with faces we love and places we have been. Photos speak directly to our emotions; they capture our attention and give us the power to show people who we are and what we do.

When composed professionally, they shine a light on our personalities, relationships, and families. After all, every human emotion has a place in photography.

Whether you need to steal someone’s attention with a stunning headshot or want to save your most loving family moments, I can help.

My name is Adam Chandler, and as a professional photographer in Kiawah Island, SC I delight in the adventure of photography. I constantly immerse myself in whatever genre I’m shooting and seek new ways of bonding with my subjects to provide them with a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Unlike other photographers, I use my technical knowledge of photography, ability to connect with people, and artistic creativity to produce memorable photos for my clients. I believe that providing folks with a client-centric experience sets me apart from other photographers in Kiawah Island.

Some professionals may be wonderful composers but cannot understand what their customers want. Others are great at connecting but don’t have the training or experience to make their work truly special.

When you choose Adam Chandler Photography, rest assured that you are hiring a photographer with creativity, imagination, and a keen eye for detail. You won’t ever have to worry about sacrificing one quality for another.

I have a wide range of professional experience in the world of photography. I have had the pleasure of working with a variety of subjects, from local families to corporate business professionals in the Lowcountry. As a photographer in Kiawah Island with more than a decade of experience, my top priority is not only to capture beautiful images but also to provide you with a relaxing, enjoyable photography session.

Service Areas

Now that you know a little about my background, let’s take a look at some of my most popular photography services in Kiawah Island:

Our company mission is to exceed expectations

Your family is probably the single most important part of your life. From children to grandparents, and even nieces and nephews, building a strong family bond secures your legacy for the future.

You will grow and change with your family throughout life and encounter many memorable milestones along the way.  One of the best ways to document these milestones and relive your memories is with a family photo session.

I love family photography and strive to pour my soul and creativity into each shoot. While each session is different, I approach each one with the same goal: to capture the unique personality, affection, and energy of each family so I can provide authentic, engaging pictures and a uniquely fun experience.

Whether you have a newborn baby that you want to celebrate or have grandparents in town for a visit, Kiawah Island is an amazing city for family photography. There are so many locations in the Lowcountry that make for great family photography backdrops:

  • Beaches – Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island, Kiawah Island, Hilton Head, Edisto Beach
  • Popular Places – Washington Square, Broad Street, Ravenel Bridge
  • Historical Sites – Kiawah Island Battery, Fort Sumter, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Rainbow Row

Whatever location you choose for family photography in Kiawah Island, the Holy City is a wonderful place in which to immerse yourself with friends and family.

As a family photographer in Kiawah Island, one of the reasons why I love working with families so much is the opportunity to get creative. I gladly accommodate the style preferences my clients are looking for – be it more traditional, posed images, or candid, playful pictures.

I use a relaxed style of direction to get your family engaged in our photography session, to help get authentic expressions that are full of life and happiness.

Here are just a few reasons why families choose Adam Chandler Photography for their family portraits:

Document Family Growth

With each year that passes, we grow – both literally in size and also in mind. Having annual family photographs helps document the advancements and growth you have in life. Family photography in Kiawah Island is a great way to remember the quirks or personality traits in your children, or to immortalize an important event like a high school graduation. Since we grow and change so fast, many families arrange for yearly family photo sessions to see their family’s growth year over year.

Remember Milestones

With each year that passes, new milestones are achieved. From a child’s first steps to a sibling getting married, there is no better way to remember such happy events than with photographs. Whether you are welcoming a new puppy into your life or just landed the job of your dreams, celebratory pictures of your family will give you heartwarming memories for the rest of your life.

Create Memories

The smiling, radiant face of your daughter after losing her first tooth. The loving glance between newlyweds. The happy father, beaming with pride after his son scored his first touchdown. As a professional photographer in Kiawah Island, SC, drawing out these feelings and emotions and capturing them on film is one of my greatest joys. Not because the pictures are great, but because you, as my client, will have so many years of enjoyment looking back at them.

Portraits and Headshots in Kiawah Island, SC

A great headshot shows you at your best – whether you want to impress a prospective employer or need professional photography for your website. In today’s world of digital dominance, having a professional headshot or portrait of your team is becoming a necessity. It’s no surprise, then, that headshots and portraits are among the most popular genres of photography.

Headshots can be tricky, mostly because many humans just aren’t very photogenic. I know that for some clients, it can be hard posing for a professional photo; knowing their headshot or portrait might make the rounds with future employers.

Fortunately, I have years of experience taking professional headshots. Unlike some amateur photographers, I know how to draw out your personality to capture you at your best. I know how to compose your portrait based on the industry you work in or the goal that you have with your photoshoot. Clients choose Adam Chandler Photography because I advise them every step of the way – from the clothes they should wear to the expression they should have.

A professional headshot or portrait is an investment into your personal brand, and here is why:

Show Your Personality

A great headshot can help give people an idea of your personality before you sit down to meet them. For instance, a serious glance at the camera might convey determination. A big smile may say “I’m approachable.” My goal is to match your expression with your personality with every headshot or portrait I take.

Show Your Professionalism

Clients, collaborators, investors, and employers are much more likely to interview you or call your business if you look professional. You have taken the time to invest in your brand, and the important people you’re sharing your headshot with will appreciate your effort.

Stand Out on Social Media

Many of my clients make appointments for headshots and portraits when they want to stand out from the crowd on social media. Whether you own a business and need to create new social media pages or you are looking to network with recruiters on LinkedIn, a headshot lends an air of professionalism that you won’t get with a selfie.

Show Off Your Current Look

Having outdated headshots can send a message of inauthenticity. When you have up to date headshots, you’re showing clients and employers that you are confident, committed, and authentic.

Qualities of a Great Photographer in Kiawah Island, SC

Being a great photographer means more than owning the best pieces of camera equipment. While a great camera gives clients the clearest, highest quality photos available, it won’t help me connect with my subjects. I strive to give clients a fun, enjoyable photo session. I use my knowledge and experience to help set up the perfect shot. After connecting with my client, I draw out their personality to produce a stunning final product.

Clients choose Adam Chandler Photography because I am different from my peers in the best ways possible. Here are just a few qualities that my clients appreciate:

Imagination

I consider photography to be an artform – one that requires a creative mind and heaps of imagination. A great photographer needs to be able to take something ordinary and transform it into something beautiful. A back-alley puddle is about as mundane as it gets, but with the right technique and a little imagination, it can turn into something with much more substance.

Passion

This quality might seem like a no-brainer to most, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen photography that is missing something. More often than not, the photographer isn’t passionate about the subject or model that he or she is photographing.

Patience

Patience is an essential quality for all great photographers. Some days, picture lighting won’t cooperate. Other days, it’s hard to get that big happy smile from younger clients. That’s why patience and flexibility are so important. As a professional with years of experience, I understand that I must have the patience to deal with whatever comes my way and the flexibility to make the most out of any situation.

People Skills

All photographers are created differently. Some photographers are more aloof and put in the bare minimum effort when it comes to speaking with clients. Others, like myself, relish the opportunity to talk with customers. That’s because interacting with subjects allows me the chance to see their vision and transform their idea into art. Talking with subjects lets me draw out their emotions and put younger subjects at ease. People skills are a must in this industry. Luckily for me, it’s one of my favorite parts of the job

Eye for Detail

As a professional photographer in Kiawah Island, SC I am meticulous when it comes to details. Every element of a photograph should be reviewed to ensure cohesiveness. You might think that a family photo session is cut and dry in terms of composition and detail, but all elements of a photograph must come together to convey the vision that my clients desire.
When you hire me as your photographer, I take all the following elements into consideration:

  • Composition
  • Lighting
  • Emotion
  • Storytelling

If you have a goal you want to construe with your photographs, helping you achieve that goal is often found in the details.

I am proud to say that I am very passionate about my work. However, I’m also passionate about giving my clients the most enjoyable, care-free photography experience possible. My passion drives me to work harder, push farther, and strive to be better every day that I wake up.

Adam Chandler

Ready to Get Started?

One of my favorite things to do is to talk to clients about their vision. If you are in need of professional photography, let’s talk today about what you have in mind. Whether you’re looking for family photography in Kiawah Island or want new headshots for your employees, I am here to help every step of the way.  

Latest News in Kiawah Island

Sergeants work shuttle service for PGA Championship

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. — Dave and Sue Sergeant weren’t in front of the cameras or making headlines during the PGA Championship golf tournament here last month. Without the Fort Dodge couple, though, players in the major field would’ve struggled to make the turn or even complete their respective rounds. The Sergeants were part of a volunteer staff who worked the Ocean Course event, famously won in historic fashion by 50-year-old Phil Mickelson. Dave — who recently retired after 50 years as a full-time lawyer...

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. — Dave and Sue Sergeant weren’t in front of the cameras or making headlines during the PGA Championship golf tournament here last month.

Without the Fort Dodge couple, though, players in the major field would’ve struggled to make the turn or even complete their respective rounds.

The Sergeants were part of a volunteer staff who worked the Ocean Course event, famously won in historic fashion by 50-year-old Phil Mickelson. Dave — who recently retired after 50 years as a full-time lawyer — and Sue — a loan officer with Green State Credit Union — were responsible for shuttling golfers to and from the tee boxes and greens as members of the transportation committee.

“It was quite an experience,” said Dave, a local legend and Iowa Golf Association Hall of Fame member. “They gave us times and shifts. We had to be there by 6:30 a.m. in the mornings. We worked two of the three practice rounds, then three of the four days (during the tournament). We’d take players from the practice area to the tee box, or from greens to tees — wherever they needed to go on our eight-seat cart.

“I kid you not: from the No. 9 green to the 10 tee, it was a full mile. And it was a mile from the clubhouse to the first tee. Just unbelievable distances. So we stayed busy.”

The Sergeants initially signed up to help when they were visiting Sue’s sister, Cindy Hadley, for Thanksgiving in 2019.

“Cindy lives down in the area,” Dave said. “We thought we’d put our names in (through the PGA) and see what happened. Lo and behold, we were accepted. Then COVID comes along, and everything was kind of hanging in the balance. We were getting constant notifications and updates about rules, regulations, schedule updates and instructions. But for a while, we weren’t even sure if they were going to have this tournament at all.”

The Sergeants shuttled a number of well-known PGA stars to their destinations.

“Jordan Spieth, Stewart Cink, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Patrick Reed,” Dave said. “John Rahm, Bryson DeChambeau, Ian Poulter and Phil Mickelson walked right past us when we were parked by the clubhouse. We never really knew who we were going to get. The rules said we weren’t supposed to talk to them unless they talked to us, and we wore masks (due to COVID-19 protocol) the whole time, so it wasn’t exactly a ‘normal’ experience. But quite a few of them struck up conversations with us, as did some of the caddies.

“It seems like Sue had more players talking to her than I did. She had Spieth one day and I had to explain to her this is one of the top players in the world. Almost all of them were friendly and unassuming.”

Sergeant said there were “special routes” for the shuttle service to avoid large crowds and get the players around.

“It was kind of a ‘back’ way, so we weren’t really as visible (to the fans),” Sergeant said. “Working behind the scenes, so to speak.”

Sergeant admitted he “broke protocol” when he saw Iowa native Zach Johnson.

“I felt OK about calling him over, since we know each other,” Sergeant said. “He came up and said, ‘Dave, how the hell are you?’ I think he was surprised to see us. We talked a little about the golf course, the tournament and everything else. Zach is still good friends with (former Fort Dodge Country Club course superintendent and Algona native) Donnie Teeter, so we have a local connection of sorts (Johnson also played in the Fort Dodge Amateur during his collegiate days at Drake University).”

Sergeant followed Johnson for a few holes during one of his off days.

“It wasn’t exactly a spectator-friendly course,” Sergeant said. “I couldn’t see Zach very well; it was hard to get in a real good position. An exhausting course to walk and get around on. I think that’s what made our job unique — the shuttle service was something players needed, rather than it being optional.”

The 76-year-old Sergeant was named the Iowa Golf Association’s Senior player of the year four times: from 1997-99 and in 2001. The 1963 Fort Dodge Senior High graduate, who was inducted into the IGA Hall of Fame in 2014, qualified for the U.S. Senior Open in 1998 and again in 2003.

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Brooks Koepka vs. Bryson DeChambeau: The best moments from golf’s superstar feud that keeps on giving

The new generation of rising golf stars features more friends than foes. It’s not uncommon to see Jordan Spieth and his buddies Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler and Smylie Kaufman all over each other’s Instagram stories. But there’s one rivalry in the up-and-coming generation, and that’s between Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau. Maybe it’s more of a feud — call it whatever you’d like. But two of the PGA Tour’s best players have had a few attention-drawing spats. They enter the 2020 Master...

The new generation of rising golf stars features more friends than foes. It’s not uncommon to see Jordan Spieth and his buddies Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler and Smylie Kaufman all over each other’s Instagram stories.

But there’s one rivalry in the up-and-coming generation, and that’s between Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau. Maybe it’s more of a feud — call it whatever you’d like. But two of the PGA Tour’s best players have had a few attention-drawing spats. They enter the 2020 Masters with DeChambeau ranked sixth in the world and Koepka ranked 12th, and before the week is over at Augusta National, they may be asked about each other once or twice more (or in a made-for-television godsend, maybe they’ll wind up in the same group on the weekend).

Here’s a look back at the notable moments in Koepka and DeChambeau’s relationship (so far).

MORE: A history of Tiger Woods at the Masters

January 2019: Brooks Koepka complains about Bryson DeChambeau’s slow play

Golf has not been immune to the pace-of-play discussion that’s made its way into a number of sports. DeChambeau is one of the slower competitors on tour, approaching each shot with a scientific process that requires more time than your average golf shot at the local course.

Koepka was asked about his thoughts on slow play shortly after that video clip of DeChambeau above, while speaking on the Golf’s Monthly podcast. This is what Koepka had to say:

“I just don’t understand how it takes a minute and 20 seconds, a minute and 15 to hit a golf ball; it’s not that hard. It’s always between two clubs; there’s a miss short, there’s a miss long. It really drives me nuts especially when it’s a long hitter because you know you’ve got two other guys or at least one guy that’s hitting before you so you can do all your calculations; you should have your numbers. Obviously if you’re the first guy you might take ten extra seconds, but it doesn’t take that long to hit the ball, especially if it’s not blowing 30. If it’s blowing 30 I understand taking a minute and taking some extra time with some gusts, you know changing just slightly, I get that but if it’s a calm day there’s no excuse. Guys are already so slow it’s kind of embarrassing. I just don’t get why you enforce some things and don’t enforce others.”

DeChambeau had a response.

“It’s actually quite impressive that we’re able to get all that stuff done in 45 seconds; people don’t realize that it’s very difficult to do everything we do in 45 seconds. I think that anybody that has an issue with it, I understand, but we’re playing for our livelihoods out here, and this is what we want to do. If we want to provide the best entertainment for you, it’s part of our process, or it’s part of my process, at least.”

“We try and speed up. Trust me, we do our due diligence to speed up and do our best. We’re not trying to slow anyone down. I’m not trying to slow anyone down. It’s just a part of the process, and unfortunately the Rules of Golf allow for a certain amount of time, and we’re (using it) to our fullest potential.”

The PGA Tour updated its pace-of-play rules in January. Any player who takes more than 120 seconds to take a shot will be assessed an Excessive Shot Time. Officials can then assess a one-stroke penalty for the second bad time in a tournament, and for every bad time thereafter. Players will also be fined for such times.

The tour put together an Observation List based on ShotLink data, which tells them how long players take for each shot (it’s not publicly available data). Then officials can choose to monitor especially egregious individuals on a specific basis.

You can also read this entertaining piece from Golf Digest to see if Koepka really has a case about DeChambeau’s shot-playing.

August 2019: DeChambeau admits Koepka would ‘kick my ass’ in a fight

On SiriusXM Radio, DeChambeau and Koepka were both on the same show with Michael Collins. They had recently met and spoke on the practice green at a tournament, and things appeared amicable. When DeChambeau was asked about it, he put himself in his place.

“Let’s be honest, we know who would win that fight,” DeChambeau said of a hypothetical bout between him and Koepka. “And it’s not me.”

Koepka hammered the point home: “You got that right.”

DeChambeau again said “I want to make it faster, no doubt.” And then in showing his youth, he concluded his comments with this: “I would love it if I was done in two hours and ‘See ya later.’ I’d be playing ‘Fortnite’ all day long.”

July 2020: Koepka trolls DeChambeau with ‘steroid’ tweet

When the PGA Tour returned from its coronavirus shutdown, DeChambeau looked as strong as ever and was hitting his drives further than any player had consistently in the tour’s history. That led to wondering whether DeChambeau’s bulking up was all protein shakes and muscle activation, as he claimed.

Koepka got in on the action, too. He went for the subtweet approach this time, using a Kenny Powers GIF to troll DeChambeau.

After winning a tournament in September, DeChambeau was asked about the added length to his game.

“I was hitting it (like) just a normal, average tour player a year ago,” DeChambeau said. “And then I all of a sudden got a lot stronger, worked out every day, been working out every day, and all of a sudden — not because of clubs, but because of me — I was able to gain 20, 25 yards.”

DeChambeau concluded with an inconvenient word choice: “You’ve kept me pushing the needle, moving the needle, and (my supporters are) going to keep inspiring me to.”

July 2020: Koepka jokes about DeChambeau’s ant near his ball comment

During the first round of the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, DeChambeau hit a shot into the trees and asked for relief from the landing spot due to a red ant near his ball. The request was denied.

Koepka had obviously heard about the request, and the next day, he hit a drive in a similar location. After lining up over his ball, he stepped away and said to his caddy, “There’s an ant.”

After a pause, Koepka clarified that he was joking. Nick Faldo remarked on the broadcast, “Bryson is definitely causing some entertainment out there.”

May 2021: Koepka reacts to DeChambeau comment during interview

Koepka, giving an interview following the second round of the 2021 PGA Championship, was seemingly interrupted by DeChambeau while discussing the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, S.C.

Warning: Explicit language used.

It’s hard to tell from the video what DeChambeau said to elicit Koepka’s reaction. But according to replies to the original tweet from people who claimed to be there, he said, “Maybe you should hit it on the right line” after Koepka said he found the course “difficult to read.”

The fued between DeChambeau and Koepka spilled out onto social media over the next 48 hours.

Koepka fired the opening shot after NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers was announced as DeChambeau’s partner for “The Match” against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady.

When DeChambeau responded he’s “living rent free” in Koepka’s head, Koepka shared footage from a fan calling DeChambeau “Brooksie” during a PGA Championship practice round.

@BKoepka It’s nice to be living rent free in your head!

— Bryson DeChambeau (@b_dechambeau) May 26, 2021

The USGA is reportedly arranging a featured group for the U.S. Open that would pair Koepka and DeChambeau with Gary Woodland, the last three winners. We can only hope.

TBJ Plus: Way cheaper to rent than buy home in Raleigh; Awesome coastal resort sold; PNC partners with NCCU

RISING HOME PRICES MEAN IT'S WAY CHEAPER TO RENT: With the rapid rise of home prices in the Triangle over the past year, any savings from historically low interest rates have been essentially wiped away. And a new ...

RISING HOME PRICES MEAN IT'S WAY CHEAPER TO RENT: With the rapid rise of home prices in the Triangle over the past year, any savings from historically low interest rates have been essentially wiped away.

And a new study from LendingTree (Nasdaq: TREE) shows it's hundreds of dollars cheaper each month to rent rather than buy a home in the Raleigh metro.

The study used Census data and compared the median monthly gross rent to the median monthly housing cost, with a mortgage, in the country's 50 largest metropolitan areas. And it wasn't even close. In every city in the ranking, renting costs less.

Raleigh ranks 37th in terms of having the largest spread between renting and owning a home – at $457. The median rent cost was $1,113 a month while a home was $1,570 a month.

Charlotte comes in at No. 46 on the list with a spread of $368. And the largest gaps were in New York City and San Francisco at $1,363 and $1,183, respectively.

But watch out, rental rates are back on the rise in the Triangle after stalling in 2020.

PNC, NCCU PARTNER UP: On the heels of its buyout of BBVA, PNC (NYSE: PNC) is moving in on a major historically Black university in Durham: North Carolina Central University.

PNC has finalized an agreement with NCCU to provide banking services and financial education programs for students, faculty and staff.

Jim Hansen, regional president at PNC, said it’s an extension of a longstanding collaboration the bank has with NCCU – one that will create new customers and allegiances.

“It’s a very natural evolution of the conversation,” he said.

It builds on similar partnerships at N.C. State University and Fayetteville State University.

The partnership comes with an affinity debit card program which will allow customers across all of PNC’s branches to “show their eagle pride” through NCCU-branded cards.

AWESOME RESORT IN COASTAL S.C. SOLD: A huge resort in South Carolina's coastal lowcountry has been sold – and there's a Charlotte connection.

The Palmetto Bluff resort situated between Hilton Island and Savannah, Georgia, spans 20,000 acres and is described as a celebrity magnet. The buyers are South Street Partners of Charlotte and Henderson Park Capital Partners of London, but a sale price has not been disclosed.

The property features 32 miles of riverfront, extensive nature trails, village centers and a Jack Nicklaus golf course.

South Street also owns the master developer behind Kiawah Island in S.C. and a resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains that was once planned to have a Tiger Woods designed golf course.

Check out photos of Palmetto Bluff:

TRIANGLE ATTRACTIVE FOR REMOTE WORKERS: With the pandemic shifting a larger chunk of the workforce toward remote work, the Triangle appears set to benefit.

A report from ApartmentList.com has Raleigh in the top five for best cities for remote workers. The report created a weighted index of 230 cities in the country, ranking them on factors, including housing affordability, access to natural amenities and access to urban amenities.

Raleigh ranks fifth for remote friendliness but 120th for affordability. It's 64th for natural amenities and 107th for urban amenities.

The top three cities on the list are Provo, Utah; Fort Collins, Colorado; and Boise, Idaho.

ApartmentList also notes that rents are heating up. in Raleigh, rental rates are up 7 percent since May 2020. That national rate is 5 percent.

NC TAX REVENUE ON THE RISE: The state's comeback economy is a big boost to tax revenue.

The resurgence could generate an additional $6.5 billion over the next two years for state coffers, WRAL reports.

"Revenue collections for the year ending June 30 will be $1.9 billion more than was anticipated in February," according to a forecast from Gov. Roy Cooper's state budget office and the legislature's fiscal research office. That means the state could haul in $29.5 billion by June 30 – the end of the fiscal year – 23 percent higher than what was collected last year when Covid-19 blew up the economy.

As a result, economists are raising revenue estimates for the next fiscal year by $2.35 billion and $2.25 billion for 2022-23.

It's another sign things are moving in the right direction.

CAPTAIN SULLY COULD BE AMBASSADOR SULLY: The famous pilot behind the Miracle on the Hudson could soon have a new title.

President Joe Biden has nominated airline Capt. Chelsey "Sully" Sullenberger to represent the U.S. on an international civil aviation safety board, the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Capt. Sully became a national hero in 2009 when he landed a commercial airliner on the Hudson River shortly after the plane hit a flock of birds after takeoff from New York's LaGuardia Airport. All 155 people on board were rescued.

FINALLY, AT-HOME COVID TESING FOR EVERYONE: The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says every resident in the state is now eligible for Burlington-based LabCorp's (NYSE: LH) at-home testing kit for Covid-19.

The kit is shipped overnight directly to people's homes at no cost and can be used for ages 2 and up.

The kit includes test supplies (nasal swab, sample container, etc.), instructions and prepaid shipping materials. Results are typically provided within 24 to 48 hours after the lab receives the specimen.

Higgo wins Palmetto Championship

RIDGELAND, S.C. (AP) — Garrick Higgo’s day began with a call from South African golfing great Gary Player. It ended in triumph just like so many of Player’s Sundays did in his Hall of Fame career. The 22-year-old Higgo won the Palmetto Championship at Congaree for his first career victory on the PGA Tour, taking the tournament after leader Chesson Hadley squandered a two-shot lead with bogeys on his final three holes. The 85-year-old Player told his rising, young countryman not to worry about trailing leader C...

RIDGELAND, S.C. (AP) — Garrick Higgo’s day began with a call from South African golfing great Gary Player. It ended in triumph just like so many of Player’s Sundays did in his Hall of Fame career.

The 22-year-old Higgo won the Palmetto Championship at Congaree for his first career victory on the PGA Tour, taking the tournament after leader Chesson Hadley squandered a two-shot lead with bogeys on his final three holes.

The 85-year-old Player told his rising, young countryman not to worry about trailing leader Chesson Hadley by six shots starting the final round.

“He’d told me he’s done it before, won quite a few times from six behind, seven behind,” Higgo recalled. “Just try and do your thing and stay up there. You don’t know what can happen.”

Player was right as Higgo remained patient and steady throughout — and made sure to take advantage when opportunities arose.

The left-hander did that with a closing 3-under 68 — his fourth round in the 60s this week — charged by an eagle on the par-5 12th hole and a birdie on the 14th to reach 11-under, the winning score.

Higgo kept himself in position on the challenging 17th hole, rolling in a 10-foot par save after not hitting the fairway on his first two shots.

Higgo sensed the moment was his if he could sink the putt. “I had a good feeling on that,” he said with smile.

He also benefitted from a late collapse by Hadley, who held the lead after the second and third rounds. Hadley, seeking his first tour win since 2014, was still ahead by two shots starting the 16th hole. But a wayward tee shot led to a bogey there and he failed to get up and down on the 71st and 72nd holes to give away the win.

Hadley finished with a 75 after rounds of 65-66-68.

“I can only imagine what it looked like on TV because it looked freaking awful from my view,” he said. “I just didn’t have it today. It was bad and (I’ve) got to do better and I will.”

Player later posted his congratulations to Higgo on social media. Player called it “one of the most enjoyable things for me to witness in my career. He is without a doubt the most humble, well mannered young man that you could wish to meet. Watch this space, big things to come!”

Higgo had won twice on the European Tour in the Canary Islands before playing in the PGA Championships on Kiawah Island, where he tied for 64th. He’ll head West to Torrey Pines for the U.S. Open next week.

After that, Higgo thinks he’ll likely fulfill his dream of playing regularly on the PGA Tour. His win makes him exempt through the 2023 season. He also earned $1.314 million for the career-altering victory.

“So at the moment, I’ll focus on that, see if I can keep going,” he said.

Hadley fell into a tie for second at 10 under with Hudson Swafford (66), Doc Redman (67), Jhonattan Vegas (67), Tyrrell Hatton (68) and Bo Van Pelt (68).

When Higgo tapped in for par on the 18th, he headed off to wait for a potential playoff. Turns out, he didn’t need the extra reps as Hadley missed a 10-footer for par to fall to give the rising young player his first signature win.

Higgo took off his sunglasses and grinned when told of his victory, then hugged his caddie to celebrate.

To-ranked Dustin Johnson made a run at the top late in the round, coming within a shot of Hadley after birdies on the 10th, 12th and 13th holes. His chances ended with a triple bogey on the 16th hole and he finished with a 70 to tie for 10th.

Van Pelt made birdie on the 15th to get to 12 under, then gave it right back with a bogey on No. 16.

Swafford came close to playing next week at the U.S. Open. A win at Congaree Golf Club would’ve meant a cross-country flight to Torrey Pines. He, too, came close and was within two shots of the lead before finishing tied for fourth.

The tournament at Congaree filled in for the RBC Canadian Open, which was canceled for a second straight year due to COVID-19.

The run capped an unprecedented stretch of golf in the Palmetto State.

It began in April with Stewart Cink winning his third RBC Heritage title at Harbour Town Golf Links and continued last month with 50-year-old “Lefty,” Phil Mickelson, becoming the oldest major winner at the PGA Championship on Kiawah Island.

And now, another lefty in Higgo brands himself a future star with his first win on tour.

PGA Tour Picks: 121st U.S. Open

By Tom LaMarre There are storylines galore heading into the 121st U.S. Open this week on the South Course at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, especially since 50-year-old Phil Mickelson stunned the golf world by becoming the oldest major champion in history when he claimed his sixth major title with his victory in the PGA Championship last month at Kiawah Island, S.C. Beginning Thursday, Lefty will attempt to become the sixth player to complete the Career Grand Slam by winning the U.S. Open, in which he has finished second six times. ...

By Tom LaMarre

There are storylines galore heading into the 121st U.S. Open this week on the South Course at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, especially since 50-year-old Phil Mickelson stunned the golf world by becoming the oldest major champion in history when he claimed his sixth major title with his victory in the PGA Championship last month at Kiawah Island, S.C.

Beginning Thursday, Lefty will attempt to become the sixth player to complete the Career Grand Slam by winning the U.S. Open, in which he has finished second six times. If he can win, he will join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods as the only players to win all for majors.

“It’s very possible that this is the last tournament I ever win,” Mickelson said after winning the PGA. “Like, if I’m being realistic. But it’s also very possible that I may have had a little bit of a breakthrough in some of my focus and maybe I go on a little bit of a run, I don’t know. The point is that there’s no reason why I or anybody else can’t do it at a later age. It just takes a little bit more work.

“I’ve believed for some time now without success that I could play at my best and compete in major championships still, but until this week, I haven’t proven it to myself or anyone else. I do believe that if I stay sharp mentally, I can play well at Torrey Pines. I’ll take two weeks off before that and go out to Torrey and spend time on the greens and really try to be sharp for that week because I know that I’m playing well and this could very well be my last really good opportunity. Although I get five more, but (it could be my last really good opportunity to win a U.S. Open. So I’m going to put everything I have into it.”

Mickelson grew up in San Diego playing Torrey Pines and has won what is now the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines three times, the last in 2001, although he finished one stroke behind winner Bubba Watson in 2011.

In recent days, he’s spent a lot of time on the course he played as a youngster.

“Other than the (Farmers), I haven’t played here a lot in the last 20 years,” said Lefty, who won the PGA by two strokes over Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa. “But this is the U.S. Open, a tournament I’ve never won, and it’s special because it’s in my backyard.”

If Mickleson can win this week, it probably is the only thing that will surpass the last time the U.S. Open was played at Torrey Pines in 2008, when Tiger Woods defeated Rocco Mediate in a 19-hole playoff.

Woods sank a 12-foot birdie putt on the final hole of regulation before winning the 14th major of his career the next day in the playoff, before finally adding his 15th major title the 2019 Masters.

Woods won’t be at Torrey Pines, where he has won eight times, because he still is recovering from an accident in the SUV he was driving in February in Southern California, sustaining compound fractures in each leg in addition to a shattered ankle.

However, the favorites include defending champion Bryson DeChambeau, four-time major champions Koepka and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, three-time major winner Jordan Spieth and top-ranked Dustin Johnson, who won the Masters for his second major title in November.

Koepka, who had knee surgery earlier this year, missed the cut in the Palmetto Championship at Congaree last week, giving him a chance to head to Torrey Pines early.

“I’m playing really good,” said Koepka, who won the 2017 and 2018 U.S. Open and the 2018 and 2019 PGA Championships, and tied four second the recent PGA despite a nagging knee injury. “I like the way I’m striking the ball. I like the way I’m putting the ball, too. Just seemed to be (off) a little bit of speed control.

“(The knee), it’s good. It’s in a really good spot. I like where it’s at. I’ve done enough rehab, strength’s coming around. I mean, I can almost squat down to read a putt like normal. Didn’t do it too much this week just because I don’t want to screw it up for next week.”

Even without Woods, and with Mickleson going for history, this should be another week to remember at Torrey Pines.

BEST BETS

1. Jon Rahm, Spain – The third-ranked Rahm probably is atop the list of best players without a major title, and has seven top-10s in the Grand Slam events, including a tie for third in the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Won the 2017 Farmers and had a six-stroke lead in the Memorial two weeks ago before withdrawing after a positive Covid-19 test.

2. Dustin Johnson, United States – DJ was in the chase in the Palmetto Championship last week before fading to a tie for 10th. The top-ranked Johnson claimed a second major title in the Masters by five strokes in November after winning the 2016 U.S. Open by three at Oakmont. Best result in the Farmers at Torrey Pines was a tie for third in 2011.

3. Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland – Has won four major titles, including the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional, but none since the 2014 PGA at Valhalla, and has 22 top-10 finishes in the Grand Slam tournaments in his career. The 11th-ranked McIlroy tied for third in the 2020 Farmers at Torrey Pines, tied for fifth in 2019 and tied for 16th this year.

4. Bryson DeChambeau, United States – The defending U.S. Open champion claimed his first major title by six strokes at Winged Foot and tied for fourth in the PGA at Harding Park last year. The fifth-ranked DeChambeau missed the cut in his only two starts in the Farmers at Torrey Pines in 2017 and 2018, failing to break 70 in four rounds.

5. Xander Schauffele, United States – High on the list of best player to never win a major, the sixth-ranked Schauffele has finished in the top 10 on eight occasions in the Grand Slam events, including second in the 2018 Open Championship at Carnoustie and the 2019 Masters. Grew up near Torrey Pines and tied for second in Farmers this year.

6. Justin Thomas, United States – The second-ranked Thomas captured his only major title when he won the 2017 PGA Championship by two strokes over three players, and he has four other top-10s in the majors, including a tie for eighth last year at Winged Foot. He tied for 10th in the 2014 Farmers at Torrey Pines, but missed the cut the next year.

7. Brooks Koepka, United States – Saves his best for the majors and tied for second behind Phil Mickelson in the PGA Championship last month. The 10th-ranked Koepka captured the 2017 and 2018 U.S. Opens, plus the 2018 and 2019 PGAs, and has 10 other top-10 results, including three seconds. Missed the cut in two of three starts in Farmers.

8. Patrick Cantlay, United States – Coming off a victory in the Memorial in his last start, the seventh-ranked Cantlay is another top player seeking his first major victory. He has only two top-10s in the majors, a tie for third in the 2019 PGA at Bethpage Black and a tie for ninth in the 2019 Masters. He missed the cut in two of three starts in the Farmers.

9. Collin Morikawa, United States – Captured his first title by two strokes over Dustin Johnson and Paul Casey last year in the PGA at TPC Harding Park. The fourth-ranked Morikawa tied for eighth in his title defense last month and lost to Patrick Cantlay in a playoff in the Memorial recently. Tied for 21st in the Farmers at Torrey this season.

10. Hideki Matsuyama, Japan – Became the first Japanese player to win a men’s major when he captured the Masters in April after previously posting seven top-10 finishes in the Grand Slam events. The 15th-ranked Matsuyama tied for third in the 2019 Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, his only top-10 result in the San Diego-area event.

10-B. Phil Mickelson, United States – Claimed his 45th PGA Tour victory and sixth major title last month in the PGA Championship and will make his seventh attempt to complete the Career Grand Slam this week. Mickelson won what is now the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in 1993, 2000 and 2001, and finished second in 2011.

OTHER PLAYERS TO WATCH: Viktor Hovland, Norway; Webb Simpson, United States; Tyrrell Hatton, England; Daniel Berger, United States; Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa; Patrick Reed, United States; Justin Rose, England; Tony Finau, United States; Shane Lowry, Ireland; Cameron Smith, Australia; Jordan Spieth, United States.

SLEEPERS:

1. Joaquin Niemann, Chile – Eight-time winner as a pro, including at the Greenbrier in 2019, was T-23 in first U.S. Open last year at Winged Foot. Has two seconds this year.

2. Sam Burns, United States – Won the Valspar and was second in AT&T Byron Nelson last month. Finished T-29 in 2019 PGA, his only major, and T-18 in Farmers this year.

3. Christiaan Bezuidenhout, South Africa – Seven-time winner as a pro, including four last year, was T-30 in the PGA last month. Solo seventh in Arnold Palmer Invitational.

4. Lanto Griffin, United States – Winner of 2017 New Sentinel Open on Korn Ferry Tour was T-5 in Players among eight T-25s this season. T-3 at Torrey Pines in 2019.

5. Erik van Rooyen, South Africa – Three-time winner as a pro was T-10 in Palmetto last week, T-9 in WGC-Match Play this year. T-8 in 2019 PGA, T-17 in 2018 Open.

For first-round tee times, visit https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html

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