Riggs Memorial Champions set for Sunday

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. — Scott Crist will be seeking a three-peat on Sunday when the 17-man field tees off for the 32nd annual Jim Riggs Memorial Champions on the Lake Course at Chautauqua Golf Club.

The winner of the 2019 and 2021 event — the 2020 tournament was canceled due to COVID-19 — Crist will be among a field of players from the regulation 18- and nine-hole courses in the circulation areas of The Post-Journal, the OBSERVER and the Times Observer. Past champions also received invites.

Following are the participants and tee times: 10:20 p.m., Greg Winter, past champion; P.J. Gronquist, past champion; and Troy Beightol, Breezewood Links; 10:30 a.m., John Woodfield, past champion; Mike Botticello, Cassadaga Country Club; and Jordan Marsh, past champion; 10:40 a.m., Casey Vincent, Cable Hollow Golf Course; Nick Petraca, Jackson Valley Golf Course; and Scott Jagoda, Pinehurst Golf Club; 10:50 a.m., Andrew Gignac, Conewango Valley CC, Marcus Lutgen, Bemus Point Golf Course; Taylor Beaver, Cardinal Hills Golf Course and past champion; and Nolan Swanson, past champion; and 11 p.m., Josh Harrington, past champion and Shorewood CC; Nolan Ditcher, past champion; Jack McCauley, past champion and Chautauqua GC; and Crist, 2019 and 2021 champion.

Designed by the legendary golf architect Donald Ross and completed in 1924, the Lake Course is characterized, according to its website, “by open tee shots and demanding approaches to small, often steeply sloped greens.”

“We’ve removed a few trees this spring just to free up the course a little bit to provide better turf and better approach shots to the green,” said Kirk Stauffer, Chautauqua’s director of golf. “It’s a great test of golf. … Nobody ever tears it up. It always has a little defense, for sure.”

Stauffer said holes 7, 9 and 17 — all par 4s — are the toughest holes on the course. The layout also includes five par 5s and five par 3s.

“I think that’s where you can attack the golf course,” Stauffer said of the par 5s. “They’re reachable for long hitters because they all have pretty flat greens. They’re all accessible to scoring, for sure.”


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