Harrington Claims Riggs Memorial Champions In Playoff
CHAUTAUQUA — Josh Harrington sat on the patio at Chautauqua Golf Club late Sunday afternoon, an ear-to-ear grin creasing his face.
Part of his happiness was because he was hanging with his friends and fellow competitors following the completion of the Jim Riggs Memorial Champions.
But there was also another reason.
In the 32 years of the event, there haven’t been too many area golfers from the regulation 18- and nine-hole courses in the circulation areas of The Post-Journal, the OBSERVER and the Times Observer who have enjoyed the opportunity to play in the tournament founded by Riggs, the late Post-Journal sports editor, more than Harrington.
And now he’s on the very short list of the most accomplished in its history as well.
The Shorewood Country Club champion made an 8-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to claim the 2022 title, outlasting two-time defending Riggs Memorial Champions winner Scott Crist and Nolan Swanson, who settled for pars.
For Harrington, the championship bowl he received after the round is his third, matching the ones he captured after winning the 2013 and 2014 titles. The list of golfers who have had at least three crowns is decidedly small. The only other names on that list, in fact, are Dick Cole (1996, 1997, 2002 and 2003) and Shelly Grant (1992, 1993 and 2001).
“That’s pretty elite company, if you think about it,” Harrington said.
His welcome-to-the-club moment came after shooting a 37-36-73, 1-over par, which tied him with Crist (35-38-73) and Swanson (37-36-73) after 18 holes. The deadlock meant that the trio had to return to the first tee for the playoff. After they each parred the par 4, 402-yard hole, the tournament was decided on the 333-yard, par 4 No. 2. Harrington put his second shot to 8 feet and he made the putt. Crist and Swanson, who had putts of 25 and 9 feet respectively, weren’t able to knock theirs in, making Harrington the winner.
“It’s a great event when you think about the past people who have won and everybody who has played in it,” said Harrington, whose previous victories came in a playoff with Dave Newton at Cardinal Hills Golf Course in 2013 and a one-shot win over Kevin Kaszuba at Chautauqua GC in 2014.
Harrington’s victory capped a day in which there were multiple players in the 18-man field who were within striking distance of the lead, including Nolan Ditcher and Taylor Beaver at 74; Andrew Gignac, Marcus Lutgen and Jack McCauley at 75; Casey Vincent at 76; and Mike Boticello at 77. John Woodfield (78), Greg Winter (79) and Nick Petrac (79) also broke 80.
“There have been some really talented people who have played in this event,” Harrington said.
Before he left, Harrington was joined by Crist and Swanson for a photograph.
Judging from their smiles, it appeared as if they were all winners.
Chautauqua Golf Club
6,571 yards, par 72
*(Josh Harrington 73
Scott Crist 73
Nolan Swanson 73
Nolan Ditcher 74
Taylor Beaver 74
Andrew Gignac 75
Marcus Lutgen 75
Jack McCauley 75
Casey Vincent 76
Mike Botticello 77
John Woodfield 78
Greg Winter 79
Nick Petraca 79
Jordan Marsh 80
P.J. Gronquist 80
Scott Jagoda 81
Chad Swan 83
Troy Beightol 84
*won on second playoff hole