Sports

Roughriders win their first Higgins since 1982

Central Kitsap sophomore Sean Finucan was doing alright until he bogeyed holes 17 and 18 to finish with an 8-over-par 79. “I usually get par on them,” said Finucan who had to dig a bad drive off the salal-covered hillside alongside the 18th green. “I would have liked to have done better, but that’s golf.” - Photo by Rogerick Anas
Central Kitsap sophomore Sean Finucan was doing alright until he bogeyed holes 17 and 18 to finish with an 8-over-par 79. “I usually get par on them,” said Finucan who had to dig a bad drive off the salal-covered hillside alongside the 18th green. “I would have liked to have done better, but that’s golf.”
— image credit: Photo by Rogerick Anas

It’s been a long time since Port Angeles has had their school engraved on the Tim Higgins Memorial Tournament trophy.

The last time the Roughriders took the team title at the Kitsap Golf & Country Club was back in 1982, long before any of the team’s underclassmen foursome were born and four years before Mark Mitrovich took over as coach.

They came close last year, tying with South Kitsap before losing in a one-hole shootout.

This time it was the ’Riders turn as they turned in the day’s best team score with a 304. Brett Short led the team with a 73, followed by Mike Rogers at 75, AJ Callis at 77 and Brett Short at 79.

“This coudn’t have happened to a nicer group of kids,” Mitrovich said. “I told them they could go out and do it if they played well.”

Top individual honors went to North Kitsap’s Andy Tolman who tied the tournament record (set by South’s Brady Sharp in 2001) with a 2-under-par 69.

Tolman’s round on his home course included six birdies with four coming down the backstretch at Nos. 11, 15, 16 and 17. He had a chance to break the record until a 15-foot birdie putt just missed draining into the cup.

“Brady told me I could break his record right before my putt,” said Tolman, who played in the same foursome as Sharp (who finished with a 78).

And while Tolman plays at KGCC five times a week during the summer, on the other end of the spectrum was Klahowya senior Jared Ottmar’s first time on the course and his first time playing an 18-hole round.

“This is terrible, absolutely terrible,” said Ottmar when he realized his 106 was the day’s high. KSS coach Geoff Backlund said Ottmar usually shoots in the mid-to-high 40s over nine holes.

Ottmar wasn’t the only one disappointed on the wet course.

“We had some bad breaks when the golf gods weren’t smiling on us,” Bremerton coach Chuck Huhta said.

The Higgins Memorial is the biggest preps-only tournament in the area which still surprises its creators.

“I thought it would only go a couple of years,” said Joe Higgins, who along with his wife Katie and daughter Pam host the popular event that’s been a fixture on most school’s golf calendar since 1965. “We keep talking about how it’s all over every year and then here we go again.”

The Higginses put on the tournament each year in honor of their son Tim, a former golfer at West Bremerton who died of natural causes in 1965.

Numbers were slightly down this year after Port Townsend pulled out to play a Nisqually League match at Vashon, leaving eight schools to compete. Yet the lustre surrounding the event hasn’t tarnished.

“The core schools rave about being here,” said long-time supporter Mike Ogg, who also was the first Higgins medalist.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Jul 18 edition online now. Browse the archives.