Worst day golfing still beats class

Olympic’s Jake Atwood found some unfortunate sand on the 11th hole during the 40th Higgins Memorial Golf Tournament Thursday at Kitsap Golf & Country Club. Atwood finished with a 103. - Photo by Jesse Beals
Olympic’s Jake Atwood found some unfortunate sand on the 11th hole during the 40th Higgins Memorial Golf Tournament Thursday at Kitsap Golf & Country Club. Atwood finished with a 103.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

Sure, none of the Central Kitsap, Olympic or Klahowya golfers were incredibly pleased with their performances.

But as the old adage goes, your worst day on the golf course is still better than your best day at the office, or in the classroom in this case.

Under sunshine and warm temperatures, the Higgins Memorial Golf Tournament turned 40 years old Thursday at the Kitsap Golf & Country Club.

“This is an event steeped in tradition,” Olympic coach Jim Rosendale said. “It brings peninsula golfers together to raise our faces to the sun and play some good community golf.”

Bainbridge’s Austin Hurt shot a 3-under 68 to take individual honors while anchoring the Spartans to the team title as well. Bainbridge just edged Port Townsend 305 to 308 to capture the Higgins crown for the fifth time in school history and first since 1981.

Locally, Central Kitsap’s JD Rastovski had the best day, overcoming a thumb splint to shoot an 81. Fellow Coug Kyle Larson shot an 86 to help CK finish seventh in the 12-team tournament.

Rastovski had to wear the splint on his right thumb after slamming it in a car door last Saturday.

“I’ll probably take a little bit of time off after this,” Rastovski said. “I wanted to at least come out and try it. I love this tournament.”

Klahowya, which finished 11th overall, was led by Kyle Spoon and Sam Cathcart’s 91.

Spoon said while the Eagles have improved tremendously since the start of the year, they still have a ways to go.

“I think we’re a lot better,” Spoon said, indicating he still needs to improve as well. “But we haven’t been playing well still. We have way more room to improve.”

Olympic finished 12th, last among the field. Shawn Kelstrup led the Trojans with an uncharacteristically high 93. Caleb Williams shot 96 for Oly.

The tournament began in 1966 as a way for the Higgins family to remember their late son Tim Higgins, who passed away in 1965 at age 17. Inaugural winner Mike Ogg, also a close friend of Tim Higgins, was in attendance to address the golfers.

“I’d just like to thank Joe (father) and Katie (mother) Higgins and their daughter Pam,” Ogg, a West Bremerton graduate, said. “Just everything (volunteers) do to put this on for 40 years.”

In addition to the family and volunteers, Stenson gave thanks to the Kitsap Golf & Country Club as well.

“They jsut do a top quality job here,” Stenson said. “Everyone here is so supportive of high school golf. It’s the support the community gives to put on the Tim Higgins.”

With CK, Oly, Klahowya, Bainbridge, North Kitsap, South Kitsap, Sequim, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Chimacum, Bremerton and North Mason in attendance, the tournament is also a nice warm-up for the nearing postseason.

“I think it’s good for districts and stuff,” Spoon said. “It gives you more course knowledge. It’s a tough course too.”

The tournament did not take place in 1967 as West Bremerton did not field a golf team due to a failed levy.

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