Albany Times Union
Lock takes top honors
Glens Falls sophomore earns medalist spot, berth in state tourney
Medalist honors clearly was on the mind of Glens Falls golf standout Brayden Lock as he entered the final round of the Section II state qualifier, yet the slender sophomore was not going to get too adventurous trying to maintain his firstround advantage in windy and chilly conditions at Fairways of Halfmoon.
“I was just trying to better my score from the first round,” Lock said.
On a day when only five of the 20 players advancing from play Saturday to the final round shot a round under 80, Lock methodically worked his way around the course to produce a three-over 75 to earn medalist honors and be part of a nine-player contingent set to compete at the state tournament June 5 at Elmira’s Mark Twain Golf Course.
A standout in junior golf who also won a Drive, Chip and Putt regional for the chance to compete at Augusta National where the Masters is held, Lock never allowed his lead entering play Sunday to alter his game plan. He joked around with playing partners Trey Smith (Greenville), Kellen Dean (Saratoga Springs) and Carter Sica (Saratoga Springs) all day.
Possessing a fluid swing, quality iron play and solid putting skills, Lock managed to post the day’s second-best round, one shot above the 74 both Smith and Dean posted.
“My ball-striking wasn’t very good,” said Lock, who also posted the top round during the Class B sectionals Tuesday. “I was just making my way around the course.”
While some of his fellow competitors playing ahead found trouble trying to move closer to the cut line, Lock’s steady approach served him well.
“Swinging smooth and putting the ball in the fairway is a
lot more important than pounding it and hitting it into the rough,” Lock said.
All four members of the final group to tee off qualified for the state tournament. Smith, who helped lead Greenville to the Class C/D team title Tuesday, shot five shots better Sunday than the 79 he posted on Saturday.
“Today, I was just trying to make pars,” Smith said.
As a sophomore, Smith missed at a chance to compete in the state tournament when he lost in a playoff for the final qualifying spot. There was no state tournament play in any sport during the 202021 scholastic year because of the coronavirus pandemic. After he completed his round and signed his card Sunday, Smith found it difficult to stop smiling.
“This was my last chance. I cashed in on it,” Smith said.
Like so many players, Smith said the wind made shot-making extremely difficult. He felt navigating the course and avoiding trouble was paramount to securing an appearance at his first state tournament.
Dean came in third overall with a two-day total of 154 (10-over). He shot 80 on Saturday.
Sica, a freshman, managed to endure some upand-down moments to finish fifth overall after carding an 80 Sunday.
When asked if he was aware of where he stood among the other competitors as he approached the conclusion of his round, Sica said, “I was trying not to look.”
Niskayuna junior Vincent Liquori, who earned medalist honors Thursday at the Class A sectionals, rebounded from a round of 82 Saturday to shoot a 77 Sunday to secure fourth place.
The rest of the players who advanced are Ryan Komp (Shenendehowa), David Mooradian (Averill Park), Tanner Fearman (Queensbury) and Travis Taylor (Columbia). Mooradian finished seventh as he shot a 78 Sunday after posting a round of 85 Saturday.