Standing in rough that ran above his feet Sunday, Todd Napikoski wasn’t in an ideal position for his second shot on the first playoff hole against Michael Harrington.
He managed to punch a shot that set up a par on the hole. Harrington bogeyed and Napikoski, 21, won Valley Hi’s Ferguson Pontiac GMC Springer Championship on his first try. “The shot came out exactly the way I pictured it,” Napikoski said. “I couldn’t have hit it any better.” Napikoski is a 2003 graduate of Coronado High School who won the Metro League title. He will be a junior at New Mexico State in the fall. He had a two-stroke lead heading into the final day. Harrington, who was five strokes behind Napikoski, made sure Napikoski would work for the win. After his fourth consecutive birdie on hole No. 13, Harrington was 7-under on the day and had jumped ahead of Napikoski by two strokes. “I pretty much felt like I could do whatever I wanted with the golf ball at that point,” said Harrington, a twotime Springer champion. “I love the (final day) pressure.” Not everyone could handle it, however. David Cosel, a 2004 Lewis-Palmer graduate, was in second place, two strokes behind Napikoski before Sunday. But on No. 15, according to Napikoski, he ripped three shots out of bounds. Without finishing the hole or saying a word to his foursome, Cosel quit. “It was sad,” Napikoski said. “He was a cool guy.” Cosel’s exit afforded the remaining three players in the group some laughs. “If someone missed a putt we’d say, ‘Are you going to walk off the course?’” Napikoski said. “I was pretty loose after that. I started playing real well.” Napikoski was a stroke under on his final four holes. Steve Ivan, a six-time Springer champion, shot a 73 to place third. The 44-year-old didn’t wear his bright-orange polo shirt by chance. “I’ve got to make a statement,” Ivan said. “You get old and start looking for ways to be young, to stay with the young kids. I still believe I can play with them. I still want to be that old guy they’re chasing.” Other division winners were David Snavely (first flight), Ray Phelps (second), Trip Frasca (third), John Duarte (Walsh), Mark Coppolella (Senior Gross) and Charles Scott (Senior Net).