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GOLF: Wiggins wins title after Edwards' mistake

by on August 04, 2014 10:40 AM

With a chance to extend his sudden-death playoff with returning champion Colton Wiggins, four-time club champ Chris Edwards made a mistake that most players at Meadow Lane Golf Course will never see him make again.

Edwards missed a putt for par from roughly a foot from the pin in sudden death, a momentary lapse that propelled Wiggins to his fourth career win in the course’s annual club championship Sunday.

Wiggins, who won his first club title at Meadow Lane at 13 years old, posted a 76 in the opening round and a 75 in the second and final round to notch a 151.

In sudden death, Wiggins parred No. 1, a 346-yard par 4, to outlast second-place finishers Edwards and Ray Blystone, who each bogeyed the hole.

Paula Witherow matched her first-round total of 81 to finish with a 162, coasting to a win in the ladies’ championship. Kevin Jack carded a 159 to win the junior championship, and Mike Rieg shot a 153 to take the senior championship.

Other flight winners were Dean Tozer (156), first; Brad Malenich (162), second; Chris Frank (168), third; and Bob Colgan (176), fourth.

“It’s a nice early gift,” said Wiggins, who will celebrate his 20th birthday next Monday. “You work all summer for a tournament, and when you do well, it’s nice. … Just like my birthday, this is another good day to celebrate.”

Blystone ultimately settled for bogey after driving his tee shot out of play in sudden death. In the meantime, Wiggins and Edwards each made impressive chip shots to set up similarly routine putts for par.

After watching Wiggins bury his ensuing putt, Edwards briefly eyed up the slight break on the green before pulling his shot inches to the left of the hole to end the playoff in shocking fashion.

“I hit a great chip shot, but then I just pulled it. It was a dead miss,” said Stewart. “That was the first one all week, too. I said yesterday that I haven’t been putting all that great, but I did this weekend, up until that hole.

“I’ve been playing golf long enough to know that everyone misses them. I just picked a bad time to do it.”

Wiggins said it felt bittersweet to see Edwards falter with his fifth club title on the line.

“It was definitely a surprise. You never want to see a guy lose like that,” said Wiggins. “I would have enjoyed another hole, but I guess it was fortunate for me. I just didn’t want to see it end that way.”

Wiggins bounced back from a trying front nine that included two double bogeys and two bogeys to record a 35 on the back nine. Wiggins notched seven pars, a birdie and a bogey on the back nine.

Edwards, Rieg and Blystone ended the opening round in a three-way tie for first place. Heading to No. 16, Blystone had a three-stroke lead over Edwards and a two-stroke lead over Wiggins.

Blystone, however, doubled-bogeyed No. 16 and bogeyed No. 17 to squander his lead and enter No. 18 in a three-way tie for first place with Edwards and Wiggins. He then drilled a 7-foot putt for par on No. 18 to join Wiggins and Edwards, who also both parred No. 18, in the playoff.

Using a 5-wood, Blystone pulled his tee shot in sudden death into the woods, a crippling error that cost him a penalty stroke.

“I just overcooked it a little bit and pulled it to the left,” said Blystone. “I knew I needed to make a 4 just to have a chance, and I got on with the chance to make a 15-footer. But I didn’t make the putt, and Colton made it in 4, so he deserved to win it.”

Witherow shot a 40 on the front nine and a 41 on the back to run away with the ladies’ championship, finishing 21 strokes ahead of second-place finisher Kathy Whitesel. On Day 2, Witherow parred nine holes and birdied No. 5, a 95-yard par 3.

Jack shot an 83 to place first in the junior championship with a 159. Jordan Riddle, who led the junior championship after Day 1 with a 78, placed second with a 169.

Rieg and Rick Adair sat in a tie for first place for the senior championship heading into the back nine. Rieg shot a 37 on the back, and Adair had a 38.


AT CHESTNUT RIDGE: Chris Matava posted a 74 and pulled away from Scott Stuchal to win the Chestnut Ridge Club Championship.

Matava, who matched Stuchal on the opening day with a tournament-low 72, finished with a 146. Stuchal totaled an 81 and finished with a 153. Jason Csanyi and Bob Hicks each shot a 154 to finish in a tie for third place.

Other flight winners were Cody Trabert (159), first; Jim Racchini (164), second; Nihar Ghate (178), third; and Joe Tocci (191), fourth.

Dustin Filloy is a sports writer for The Indiana Gazette.
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