Though he may not have taken a starring role, West Genesee boys golf star John Clare was vital in helping Section III win the team portion of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association tournament.
This was the third time that Clare made his way to Cornell University’s Robert Trent Jones course vying for state honors. He tied for fifth in the 2012 tournament behind the champion, New Hartford’s Derek Bard, who was here to defend his title.
Yet in the opening round on Sunday, Clare was not quite in top form, shooting a 78, six over par, to tie for 23rd in a 99-player field. Nyack’s Alex Ferrante led with a 71, while Derek Bard and his brother, Alec, both posted 74.
In the final round last Monday, Clare finished with an 82, and his two-day total of 160 meant a tie for 26th place with, among others, Liverpool’s Karl Deuble.
Yet those totals were part of a team effort where Section III, with a team score of 1,098, held off Section V (1,105) by seven shots for the team state championship. The Long Island sections, XI (1,107) and VIII (1,108), plus Section VI (1,112), were close behind.
Alec Bard, with a 150, finished second behind Shaker’s Jensen Davis, while Derek Bard posted a 152 to tie for fifth place. Utica-Notre Dame’s Mike Kalil shared 15th place with New Hartford’s Tom Mandel, each finishing at 158.
CBA’s Jack Bellardini had a 161 to finish a shot behind Clare and Deuble, while Canastota’s Ian Campbell shot 165 and Cicero-North Syracuse’s Joey Petrin gained a 167. All finished at or near the top half of the field.