STREAKS ON TO STATES
Saratoga Springs’ Crowley, Braxton make Section II state golf team
ALTAMONT, N.Y. » A good day of golf on Tuesday put several players in position on Thursday to qualify for the New York State Golf Tournament in June. The top nine Section II golfers made the cut at Orchard Creek Golf Club.
When the scorecards were tallied, Saratoga County can travel to the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course on the Cornell University campus in June with a foursome as Saratoga’s Nolan Crowley, Will Braxton, Shenendehowa’s Paul Goetz and Galway’s Ryan Lovelass all made the state qualifying cut.
Crowley, the Section II Class A medalist was consistent, shooting three-over par 74 on both days of qualifying for a 148, second to three-time state qualifying medalist Austin Fox’s winning score of 145.
“I started out with a double (bogey) on the second (hole) and nothing was really getting going on the front nine and I had my highest nine-hole score of the year with a 40,” Crowley said. “On the back nine I just basically just focused shot by shot and tried to shoot the best score I possibly could.”
His experience last year at Orchard Creek paid off.
“I kept it in my mind that last year in my first round I shot 44 and then a 37,” Crowley said. “I just kept that in my mind; I just knew the front nine isn’t a nine for me and the back nine is here.”
He will be joined by Blue Streak teammate Braxton who battled Orchard Creek over the two days,
shooting a 77-81 158 for the final state team position and his first year on varsity.
“It started this summer where I almost didn’t make the team,” Braxton said. “I shot a 44 my first day of tryouts and Coach (Mike Hall) could have cut me for the same day he made me.
“I had a really good season, had a good day at sectionals, a good first day and a good day today.”
Braxton knew the surrounding scores and needed a birdie on 18 to anticipate any chance of making the cut.
“I played in a AJGA golf tournament where there are college coaches and it was really high pressure and I was kind of used to getting that pressure,” Braxton said. “That’s what I love about golf is getting these scenarios where I have to make birdie on the last (hole). I didn’t hit a great shot in the last, but I ended up getting through.”
Galway’s Ryan Lovelass knew how to close out a state qualifier, hitting an eagle-3 on the 493-yard par five as his fairway shot hit the green, bounced once and then rolled directly into the cup.
“I’ve never had a holeout of that distance,” Ryan Lovelass said. “I’ve chipped in and stuff before, but to have that, especially at this time because I knew I was kind of going to be on the line that kind of made it significant and that it was going to be good.”
He shot a 78 on Tuesday and had a plan for Thursday’s round.
“I felt if I shot the same number or lower as long as I shot a 78 or below I knew I was going to have a good chance. That’s a good way to make sure that you’re in to shoot a couple under what you shot the first day.”
Bethlehem senior Austin Fox became a Section II three-time medalist and state qualifier, eclipsing the mark set by his brother, Victor, with his 73-72 145 this week.
That will be my first call after this probably,” Austin Fox said. “(He) called me last night and said ‘I want you to beat me.’ It gave me confidence, I don’t know if he meant it, but I took it and gave me a lot of confidence.”
Fox shot at two-over par 73 on Tuesday for the first spot heading into Thursday’s final day of qualifying and answered with a one-over par 72.
“It wasn’t my ‘A’ game, but it got the job done. I’m satisfied with it,” Fox said.
Guilderland’s Aidan Seery shot a 153 Hoosick Falls golfer Ryan Bloomer shooting a 155 to make the cut. Greenwich’s Reed Boduch fired a 80-76 156.
SECTION II STATE QUALIFIERS
Austin Fox (BETH) 73-72 145 Nolan Crowley (SARATOGA) 74-74 148 Paul Goetz (SHEN) 75-78 153 Aidan Seery (GUILD) 79-74 153 Ryan Lovelass (GALWAY) 78-76 154 Ryan Bloomer (HOOSICK FALLS) 79-76 155 Adam DeSorbo (FONDA) 81-74 155 Reed Boduch (GREENWICH) 80-76 156 Will Braxton (SARATOGA) 77-81 158
Ryan Davis (BETH) 77-82 159; Tyler Gregory (NISKAYUNA) 77-81 159; A.J. Cavotta (SARATOGA) 80-80 160; Ryan Warnick (ALB ACADEMY) 80-80 160; Matthew Smith (HOOSICK FALLS) 84-77 161; T.J. Trosset (BETH) 79-83 162; Jack Manning (SHEN) 80-82 162; Trevor Wolfe (ICHABOD) 80-83 163; Mike Westfall (SHEN) 79-85 164; Ben Follos (SCHUYLERVILLE) 85-85 169; Dylan Finnegan (SARATOGA) 81-89 170
Saratoga Springs golfer Nolan Crowley fires his shot from the 23 fairway at Orchard Creek Golf Club Thursday afternoon during the Section II NYS qualifier.
Bethlehem Central senior Austin Fox watches his fairway shot at Orchard Creek Golf Club Thursday afternoon during the Section II NYS qualifier.
Galway golfer Ryan Lovelass watches his tee shot from the 10th tee at Orchard Creek Golf Club Thursday afternoon during the Section II NYS qualifier.