Just before the high school boys golf season gets underway, Baldwinsville’s Christian Nizamis culminated a summer of amateur competition with a strong third-place finish in the junior division of this week’s New York State Boys and Girls Amateur Championship.
Run by the New York State Golf Association, the tournament was played at Ridgemont Country Club in Rochester, a 36-hole stroke-play event. Nizamis was one of many Central New York golfers in the junior division field, along with New Hartford’s Alec Bard and Auburn’s Mike May.
In the opening round, Nizamis, whose home course is Radisson Greens, shot a one-over-par 73 that featured all sorts of turbulence. He birdied the 1st, 5th and 8th holes, but made bogeys on 2, 3 and 4 to turn in even-par 36.
On the back nine, four bogeys in five holes from 10 through 14 threatened to take Nizamis out of contention, but he finished strong with birdies on his last three holes to get back to one over.
That put Nizamis in a tie with Colin Dubnik and Gunnar Doyle for seventh place, three shots back of Andrew Fedele (playing on his home course at Ridgemont) and Even Gaesser, another Rochester native, who both shot two-under-par 70 to share the lead. Three others – James McHugh, Christian Chapman and David Hanes – were at 71, with Jason Schantz at 72.
During the final round, McHugh, Chapman, Hanes and Schantz fell back, none of them shooting better than 76, while Dubnik’s 74 would leave him in a tie for fourth with McHugh, who stumbled to his own 76.
Meanwhile, Nizamis could not make a birdie on his front nine and, with two bogeys, turned in 38. But he made those shots up with birdies on 11 and 17 before a bogey on the par-five 18th left him with a second consecutive 73.
Still, that round moved Nizamis up to solo third, by far the best of the local players, since Bard tied for 13th at 151 and May, with a 153, shared 16th place.
In the race for the championship, Gaesser, after 11 straight pars, made a double bogey on 12 and a bogey on 14. A late birdie on 16 put Gaesser at even par, but Fedele, on his home course, used birdies on 15 and 17 to overtake Gaesser and, with a par on 18, prevailed by one shot with a final total of one-under-par 143.