SK finishes third in Higgins Memorial

It’s been a long time since Port Angeles has had its name 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.

South Kitsap finished third in the eight-team field.

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.

Sharp was the Wolves’ top finisher this year, with a two-day score of 78. Ryan Aker was the next-highest scorer for the SK squad with an 80.

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 justt 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).

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 Higgins hold 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.

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