Jack Bellardini was the ninth and final golfer to earn his spot on Section III’s team for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association tournament in Ithaca.
Taking full advantage of this, Bellardini would step up and, with two solid rounds at Cornell University’s highly-regarded Robert Trent Jones course, help the Section III team win their portion of the state championship.
Though conditions at Cornell were not nearly as difficult as they were on the final days of the state qualifier at Seven Oaks, the course still took its toll on the field, and by the end of the 36-hole tournament, no one had broken par.
Bellardini posted an 80 in Sunday's opening round, putting him in a tie for 33rd place in the 99-player field. Nyack’s Alex Ferrante took the lead with a 71 as New Hartford’s brother tandem of Derek Bard (the 2012 state champion) led the local contingent with opening rounds of 74.
In cooler, windier conditions during Monday's final round, Bellardini maintained his pace from the day before, shooting an 81, but that moved him up a bit, to a tie for 31st.
Combined with Bellardini’s eight teammates, that put Section III on top of the team standings with 1,098, which was seven shots better than Section V’s total of 1,105. The Long Island sections, XI (1,107) and VIII (1,108), plus Section VI (1,112), were close behind.
Alec Bard finished second among individuals with a 150, three shots behind Shaker’s Davis Jensen, the individual state champion. Derek Bard, with a 152, tied for fifth. Just behind them, another New Hartford golfer, Tom Mandel, shared 15th place with Utica-Notre Dame’s Mike Kalil, each shooting 158.
West Genesee’s John Clare and Liverpool’s Karl Deuble posted matching scores of 160, one shot ahead of Bellardini’s 161. Canastota’s Ian Campbell (165) and Cicero-North Syracuse’s Joey Petrin (167) were close behind, all finishing at or near the top half of the field.