One sentimental favorite of the PCCC, a St. Louis native trying to author a Cinderella story just days after Monday-qualifying, had hoped midnight wouldn’t strike early. Unfortunately, it did.
However, golf fans at the PGA Korn Ferry Tour’s Price Cutter Championship presented by Dr Pepper still have a regional connection threatening to win the whole thing on Sunday.
While Highland Springs Country Club proved stubborn for St. Louis’ Nick Arman, Harry Higgs – who grew up in suburban Kansas City – rocketed into a second-place tie after firing a 7-under-par 65 on Saturday at Highland Springs Country Club.
That leaves Higgs with a three-round total of 17-under-par 199, only one stroke behind leader Grant Hirschman and tied with Jonathan Randolph. Andrew Svoboda and 2015 champion Dawie van der Walt also are in the hunt.
“Go Blue Fore Autism” Championship Sunday will tee off at 7 a.m., with the final group starting at 12:30 p.m.
“I always seem to play well in Springfield,” said Higgs, a 2010 graduate of Blue Valley North High School in Overland Park, Kan., (and a Royals fan) who in recent years tried to Monday-qualify into the PCCC at Rivercut Golf Course. “But I probably wasn’t as ready as I am now. And I’ve always enjoyed it. There are a lot of under-the-radar restaurants.”
Years ago, Higgs played in the Korn Ferry Tour’s Kansas City event as a teenager. A year ago, he won the PGA Tour’s Latinoamerica Order of Merit, ensuring his Korn Ferry Tour card.
He entered the tournament at No. 16 in the Korn Ferry Tour standings thanks to four top 10 finishes. Among them was a runner-up at the Kansas City Golf Classic and a tie for third in a recent Colorado event.
Higgs entered Saturday sitting four shots off the lead, but birdied nine holes but bogeyed Nos. 6 and 17.
“I would up getting a lot of good numbers in the fairway. Even if I drove the ball into the rough I was never short side of the flag and could bounce it and run it back to some flags,” Higgs said.
“This is the third week in a row where I’ve played well,” Higgs said, “so I’m just trying to stay out of my own way.”
Higgs acknowledged he was scoreboard-watching.
“I like to look,” Higgs said. “I figured I’d be close. Randolph has been playing some good golf and might distance himself by making birdies. I didn’t move backwards … and I was very fortunate to move forward.”
Meanwhile, Arman certainly was hoping to join one of the last two groups who tee off today. But, in fairness, even that would have been a challenge.
He made his first career tour cut Friday, but the course proved stubborn. In fact, he double-bogeyed two par 4s — No. 5 and No. 9. He entered the day at tied for eighth but is at No. 39. He needs to finish in the top 25 to automatically qualify for next week’s tour event.
“I was definitely a little nervous coming into today,” said Arman, a graduate of DeSmet High School in St. Louis who played at Rockhurst University in Kansas City. “In this round, you can’t throw shots away, and that’s what I did.”
Hirschman had seven birdies, six on the back nine. However, he double-bogeyed the par 4 No. 10.
Conrad Shindler, who entered tied for the lead, fell into a tie for eighth after firing a 70.
GO BLUE FORE AUTISM
Please wear blue for “Go Blue Fore Autism” Championship Sunday as The Arc of the Ozarks raises awareness. The first 100 spectactors to the charity’s tent — near the 18th fairway — will receive a special gift. All families who have been afflicted by autism will be admitted free Sunday.
The Arc of the Ozarks works with children with developmental disabilities and steers its PCCC funds toward its No Limits Summer Camp.
$100 raffle for Mexico resort
For only $100, you could win a seven-night stay at a gated resort in Manzanillo, Mexico. Casa de Castillo features six ocean-facing suites, a chef, staff and a chauffer at this 10,000-square foot home. Only 300 chances are available. Call 417-887-3400.
Honoring Our Heroes
Returning is the Honoring Our Heroes presented by N Route Enterprises in which all retired or current military, law enforcement and first responders – and their immediate families – will be admitted free. Tickets, which also are good for the Jackson Brothers of the South Ozarks (food & beverage) tent, can be picked up at the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.
Honor guards will march the U.S. and Missouri flags to the No. 1 tee box at 7 a.m. each day. Beginning Thursday, it’ll be the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, followed by the Springfield Police Department, the Missouri Highway Patrol and the Army National Guard. A national guardsman will man 18th hole on Sunday.
They range from a $10 daily badge to several four-day passes with grounds access: $100 clubhouse badge ( access to unrestricted areas of clubhouse), $150 Jackson Brothers of the South Ozarks Club badge (food & beverage tent), $250 skybox (skybox seating, Ozarks Club acces, clubhouse), $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket (1-in-8,000 chance of winning either a 2019 Toyota Tundra or $10,000).