Fox wins state golf qualifier
ALTAMONT Victor Fox sat in a chair at Orchard Creek Thursday with his right leg elevated on an ice pack.
Although he turned an ankle picking up a divot on the par-5 16th hole and was trying to limit the swelling, neither the injury — nor the cool, windy conditions — slowed him down one bit.
Once again, the Bethlehem senior earned medalist honors with a three-under-par, two-day total of 139 to lead a group of nine Section II qualifiers into next spring’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association Golf Championship at Cornell University.
“The wind was the biggest problem today,” said Fox. “This course is so open because there are no tall trees in the fairways. The wind howled all morning. Judging distances were hard, and the pins were in some more ridiculous places.”
Despite his ankle injury and the weather, Fox finished strong with an eagle on the 18th hole. He will lead a strong contingent that includes Matt Parrottino of Voorheesville (73-145), Calvin Beckwith of Saratoga Springs (74-150), Davis Jensen of Shaker (77-151), Gazette Newspaper in Education Capital District Junior champion Aaron Simone of Niskayuna (80-152), David Renko of Scotia-Glenville (75-155), Tom Keanneally of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (77-155), Alex Gibson of Glens Falls (81-156) and Bobby Canniff of Shaker (83-158), who parred the first playoff hole to beat Corey Purcell of Catholic Central (84-158) and Luke Goldstock of Niskayuna (84-158) for the final spot.
“I think my 70 today was even steadier than the 69 I had [in Tuesday’s Class ABCD playoff],” said Fox, who will attend Maryland next year on a full scholarship. “I hit the ball very well on both days. I missed four putts from inside five feet again today, but I played well.
“Last year was my first year on the state team, and being the medalist on this year’s team feels good. We’ve got some more exper-ience now heading into the states, and that’s good, because there are a lot of doglegs at Cornell, and experience on that course will help us.”
Parrottino, the Class C-D tournament medalist last week at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course, agreed that the conditions were much tougher than Tuesday.
“It was very tough today,” he said. “It was very windy and cold, especially in the morning. I struggled on the front nine. I was wearing two or three shirts, plus a hat, to stay warm. The good thing was that it was drier today, and we were playing lift, clean and place. That helped because there was still quite a bit of mud on the ball.
“All in all, I have no complaints.”
He birdied the first and third holes and had all pars on the back.
Renko used the momentum he gained from his chip-in birdie on the first playoff hole on Tuesday to earn a spot on the state team.
“I took advantage of a hot putter today,” he said. “I missed the state team last year, and I didn’t play very well at all in the qualifier.”
Canniff, a sophomore, didn’t think his 83 would be good enough to get into a playoff, but he made the best of his opportunity.
“First of all, I didn’t think I was going to make it, but then on the first playoff hole, all I wanted to do was make sure I didn’t hit my driver to the right, into the hazard,” Canniff said. “So I hooked it left. After that, all I wanted to do was get on the green and two-putt.”
That’s exactly what he did, as his par was good enough to beat bogeys by Purcell and Goldstock.
About the only problem the Section II team will have this spring will be to keep their games sharp. None of the players will have any tournament competition before next June.
Qualifiers — Victor Fox (Bethlehem) 70-139, Matt Parrottino (Voorheesville) 73-145, Calvin Beckwith (Saratoga Springs) 74-150, Davis Jensen (Shaker) 77-151, Aaron Simone (Niskayuna) 80-152, David Renko (Scotia-Glenville) 75-155, Tom Kenneally (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) 77-155, Alex Gibson (Glens Falls) 81-156, x-Bobby Canniff (Shaker) 83-158.
Other scores — Luke Goldstock (Niskayuna) 84-158, Corey Purcell (Catholic Central) 84-158, Josh Fonda (Gloversville) 83-162, Thomas Cassidy (Albany Academy) 84-164, Matt Mastrianni (Bethlehem) 87-167, Mike Dwyer (Scotia-Glenville) 89-169, Brian Daley (Niskayuna) 91-170.
x-won playoff for final spot.