Harry Higgs says his shirtless celebration will ‘never happen again’

Harry Higgs was the most popular man at Riviera Country Club on Tuesday, and at the conclusion we caught up with him for a Q&A.

Getty Images

PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. — No one was more popular at Riviera Country Club on Tuesday than Harry Higgs. Fresh off his viral, half-naked celebration on Sunday, Higgs was the main attraction when he stepped on property for this week’s Genesis Invitational — at least among fellow Tour pros.

The 30-year-old spent much of a blustery day at Riv’ grinding on the range in preparation for his second career start here, but he waded through plenty of interruptions. Everyone from swing instructors to gear reps approached Higgs to chat about his antics in the desert. And even some fellow pros got in on the action.

As defending Masters champ Hideki Matsuyama readied to hit balls next to Higgs, he turned and lifted his shirt in jest.

“You know it’s bad when Hideki comes up to you on the range and lifts his shirt,” Higgs said. It was that kind of day at the course for the hefty cult hero, but as we found out, Higgs’ celebration is bound to be a one and done.

Zephyr Melton: What’s been your favorite moment on the PGA Tour so far?

Harry Higgs: That’s a good question. I’ve had probably five or six chances to win over the past three years, and those are always the best. That’s why we practice so hard.

ZM: What’s the biggest difference between a pro and an elite amateur?

HH: That’s a great question. I would say consistency. I know that’s a vague answer, but I think they have a lack of consistency because they don’t have as much certainty and as many plays in their playbook to call when things aren’t going well.

Then I would say belief in your ability. I think the glaring difference between us and somebody that’s trying to get here is that they don’t play enough good “bad” golf. That kind of boils down to belief. And it comes back to the number of plays in your playbook. If you keep missing it left on every shot and you show up on 16 and there’s water left, how are you not going to hit it in that water.

ZM: How did you start believing in yourself?

HH: I wish I had a better answer for that, but I just kinda did. I just looked up at the guys I was playing mini tour and development tour golf with and at some point I said, “No offense to those guys, but I’m better than them. I believe that I’m better and I’m gonna work and think and do everything I can to be better than them, so I can show myself that I was correct there. I am better.”

ZM: What’s it take to win out here? I know you haven’t gotten there yet, but what will it take?

HH: It takes 27 to 36 holes of good “bad” golf, even if you win a 72-hole event, almost half of it is gonna be a little scrappy. And then it takes nine, 12, 15 holes of no thought, you hit it right where you’re looking every time and you hole a couple putts. And then you just manage all the hoopla. You keep your thoughts as present as you can, which is impossible, but you do your best to stay as present as you can. You’re there for a reason. Keep hitting good golf shots and add them up at the end.

ZM: I saw you reached out to Nelly [Korda] there as she was walking past. What do you admire about her and her game?

HH: She’s really good at what she does, and it seems like she does a good job of keeping things simple and believing in herself and her abilities. She’s obviously had a great last couple years and I’m a big fan. She’s the best at what she does and I’d like to be the best at what I do. Never a bad thing to acknowledge someone who’s great at what they do.

ZM: Did you expect all your fellow players to be talking about your little celebration so much?

HH: Yeah, definitely. There’s a lot of regret in what I did for that exact reason. But I can use it as a motivating factor. If I play good golf this week and the next few weeks, people will hopefully forget — I know they won’t, but hopefully they will.

ZM: So, safe to say never again with that celebration?

HH: That will never ever happen again. It shouldn’t have happened in the first place, but it certainly will never happen again.

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF.com, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf.