Jake Higginbottom / Getty Images BMW NZ Open Champion Jake Higginbottom has suddenly decided to progress from Amateur status to Professional following his amazing win at the Clearwater Resort in Christchurch on Sunday. Jake, who could not collect the first prize of $A80,000 on Sunday, originally said he would not rush into professional golf, and would probably turn Pro at the end of next year. I guess his 67 in the final round, withstanding all the pressure from the professionals trying to chase him down, and the lure of all the money available for him to play for has grabbed his attention. Jake's victory has earned him a two-year exemption on OneAsia Tour and also the PGA Tour of Australia, he also gets automatic entry into the second round of the 2013 US PGA and European PGA Tour qualification schools. The possibilities for him, if he plays well are endless, Jake said he felt comfortable with the move to the professional ranks; "I've discussed this with my team and we're all very comfortable with the move. I feel that the time is right as I now have playing opportunities in the professional ranks. It's exciting and I'm looking forward to starting my pro career." Jake will play his first event as a professional at the NSW PGA Championship this week at Mt Broughton Golf and Country Club. Golf Australia director Brad James is pleased that their performance program has produced such a talent; "This is great news for Jake and exactly what Golf Australia and the State Associations strive to achieve in taking players to the next level. Jake has worked hard over the last 12 months and we're pleased to see him make the next step in his career." We wish Jake well in his career as a professional golfer.