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KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – Max Homa’s caddie Joe Greiner wasn’t the only PGA Tour looper to qualify for the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Chambers Bay. So did Alex Higgs, sidekick for his brother Harry Higgs, who made birdie on the final two holes at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Resort on Friday to comfortably make the 36-hole cut with his 1-under 143.
That means Alex Higgs’s partner, Park Ulrich, a financial advisor and the 2020 Kansas Amateur champion, is going to have to play solo on Saturday in the two-man team event when 36-hole stroke-play qualifying gets underway.
“We love you, Park, and hopefully you play your tail off and qualify for match play so then we can get Al all the way across the country to play some matches on Monday,” Harry Higgs said.
While Greiner was given the week off by his boss, Alex Higgs opted to work for his brother and booked a Friday night flight to Seattle, where the championship is being held, that was scheduled to depart at 6:45 p.m., just in case his brother failed to make cut.
“Made it a while ago, and I think I told him about it in some way, shape or form,” Alex Higgs said. “The wave that we got obviously kind of made that tough with all the traffic getting back to the airport, and obviously it’s not exactly close to here in Seattle. But it was a win-win going into the week for me.”
Harry Higgs and brother Alex Riggs talk to the media on Friday at the PGA Championship. (Golfweek photo)
Alex has been on the bag for his big brother the last few years and Harry gave an example of how helpful it is to have his brother around this week.
“He did a good job on 13,” Harry said. “He said, ‘Harry, I think you should tee your driver up high and hit it as hard as you can over that bunker.’ He kind of knows, that’s why he is great for me.”
On the treacherous water-laden 17th, Alex stepped in and told his brother, “if you hit this ball in the bunkers, I’ll make you a cocktail tonight, because anything left there is fine.” Harry followed directions, keeping it dry to the left and made it from off the green from 59 feet for birdie. That earned Harry a Tito’s and water. And Alex should make it a double given that his brother rolled in a 64-foot birdie on 18 for good measure.
Asked how he felt about missing out on the competition, Alex said, “I love Park to death, but I think I probably would have picked this outcome over the other one. We can always qualify next year.”
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The grandstand on No. 18 at The Ocean Course offers great views for spectators and a bail-out area for players