by: Dan Lucy and Matt Vereen, Ozarks First
Kansas City native Harry Higgs started the championship round of the Price Cutter Charity Championship the same as he started two rounds before: with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
He was hungry for birdies as well, and did so on the first three holes to take sole possession of first place out of the gate at 20-under.
Harry Higgs:”Yea, that was three days in a row of munching a PB and J up to the first tee.”
Back in 1990, Jeff Cook won 20 thousand dollars in the first Price Cutter.B
This year’s winner pocketed six times as much.
Plus 49 children’s charities will receive a check as well.
In that long 30 year history, no golfer has won the Price Cutter twice, but Andrew Svoboda gave it a shot with three birdies in his first five holes.
He proceeded to add a chip-in eagle on the 11th to tie the lead at 20-under.
“Yea, I made a great up and down on ten,” Svoboda said. “And then I knocked in a little chip shot from 25 feet for eagle on 11. And I was playing really well.”
The 2013 winner, however, missed a birdie try on 14 and finished in second place.
“I had a great birdie putt on 14 from like 12 feet and I missed that,” Svoboda said. “It was my really good chance. I had a good chance on the last hole, but I needed a few more to go in.”
Twenty-four year old Grant Hirschman, meanwhile, had a great week in Springfield.
He entered the day tied with Higgs atop the leaderboard and birdied the 11th to regain that status at 21-under.
The two played stroke for stroke through the first 12 holes of the final round.
“We were both playing great golf,” Hirschman said. “And I thought we’d get some separation out there from the field. It kind of slowed up the last six holes.”
“It was kind of nice, just the two of us hitting it back and forth hitting some good shots,” Higgs said. “I think he and I both just kind of relaxed in that. It was kind of nice we sort of cocooned ourselves and didn’t worry about anybody else.”
On the 14th, however, Hirschman found himself in the deep rough and double-bogeyed to fall out of contention.
“It’s tough, you never want to have something like that happen to you on a Sunday,” Hirschman said. “Especially when you’re in contention. But I tried to bounce back. I had the looks but I couldn’t get the putts to fall.”
That left 27-year old Higgs who birdied 11 and 12 to enter cruise control.
On the 18th, he rolled in par to finish at 22-under and win his first career Korn Ferry Tour event.
“I’ve had a few chances throughout the year and I’ve played well,” Higgs said. “But it’s nice to put together four days of it and come out on top for sure. Just relief and satisfaction for sure. “
The victory not only made him $126,000 richer, but also locked up his spot on next year’s regular PGA tour.
“I kind of had my card locked up anyway,” Higgs said. “But just to know that you’ve won at this level and take it to the next level.”