Warm, dry summer weather did not mean that Baldwinsville boys golf senior Christian Nizamis faced easy conditions when he teed off Sunday at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship tournament in Ithaca.
All told, 99 golfers got underway at Cornell Unviersity’s Robert Trent Jones-designed course, which has served as the state tournament host for years.
And none of them would break par 71 in a sunny, windy opening round as Nizamis, posting a steady 79, found himself in a time for 23rd place going to the final round.
Starting his round on no. 10, Nizamis was four over par through four holes, but recovered with birdies on 16 and 17 to turn in 38. But double bogeys on 4 and 8 proved costly as he played the front nine in 41 shots.
At the top, with a two-over-par 73, were four players – Pittsford Mendon teammates Will Thomson and Gunnar Doyle, along with Pittsford Sutherland’s Jack Gianniny and Shenendehowa’s Kyle Mathews.
Including Nizamis, Cicero-North Syracuse’s Joe Petrin (75), CBA’s Jack Bellardini (76), New Hartford’s Tom Mandel (78) and Frankfort-Schuyler’s Dante Migliore (also a 79), 30 players were crowded within six shots of the lead going into last Monday’s final round.
A double bogey on his opening hole of that final round derailed Nizamis a bit. He turned in 39, four over, and made five bogeys on the back nine to manage an 80 and finish at 159, landing in a tie for 29th place.
Bellardini, with a 152, tied for 12th and had the best finish among Section III golfer as Petrin, shooting a second-round 79, ended up at 154, in a tie for 16th, with Mandel (153, alone in 15th place) in between them.
Meanwhile, West Canada Valley’s Bobby Davenport shot a 157, followed on the Section III side by Nizamis, Auburn’s Mike May (161), Migliore (163) and Fayetteville-Manlius teammates Mike Lee (164) and Jack Santaro (169). Section III, as a team, finished fourth after winning team honors in the 2013 state tournament.
And the individual title went to Gianinny, who put together a two-under-par 69 that included three straight birdies on the front nine and seven birdies all. His even-par 142 beat Matthews by three shots.