EAST MOUNTAIN -Darrick Pettigrew is finally a champion After nine years of trying.
The 40-year-old Valley resident laid claim to the Mountain Golf and Country Club men's club championship Sunday, sealing the 36-hole deal with 5-over-par 76 to give him a five-stroke cushion.
"It feels great," Pettigrew said. "It's been a long time coming and I had to work hard for it."
He certainly did. Pettigrew was dogged by the rest of the field sharing the lead after 18 holes with Dennis McCarthy, after both carded 80, while Roland Russell, Josh Kennedy and Nick Trites were nipping at their heels just one stroke back.
Luke Chisholm (161), who shot 82 Saturday, recovered with 79 Sunday to finish in second spot while Donnie Lynds (83-80) and Russell (81-82) tied for third at 163. McCarthy (80-84) rounded out the top five.
Lynds won the senior division while John McCabe (167) topped the first flight and Jason Hoyt (178) won the second division.
But the 6,116-yard layout also presented its challenges and didn't go down without a fight. After cruising for most of the final round, Pettigrew found his ball teetering on the edge of a gully on the 18th hole well to the left of the green after pulling his tee shot, which then hit something before bouncing into danger.
"I think I just got a little revved up and pulled it," Pettigrew said. "I heard a loud smack and then that's where it ended up. When I found it I was just thinking 'Make the play and take an unplayable and move on.'"
But Pettigrew recovered nicely, taking a drop and chipping the ball from the edge of the cart path onto the green, where he two-putted to clinch with a double bogey.
Pettigrew said staying calm in those types of situations was the key to winning the tournament.
"I just had to focus in on my shots and make some good plays," he said. "I just had to make some good shots off the tee and make some good putts."