AMSTERDAM – COVID-19 restrictions affected the entire fall sports season – from postponed start dates, to mask regulations during play, to some sports seasons delayed until next March.
This year’s Foothills Council South golf tournament was much different, too – but in a fun way.
Instead of the traditional round of 18 holes with individual and team titles on the line, Wednesday’s competition was a combination of three different types of tournaments into a single round at Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course.
Players competed the first six holes in a scramble format; the next six utilized a best-ball format; and, the final six used Ryder Cup-style, match-play scoring. In all, 32 players competed from Amsterdam, Broadalbin-Perth, Gloversville, Johnstown, and Scotia-Glenville, and they were divided amongst a “Team A” and a “Team B.” At the end of the day, “Team A” earned bragging rights with a 33-stroke victory.
“Knowing that [the tournament] was going to be late in the year, knowing that the weather is going to be what it is, we just wanted to keep everyone interested in playing and that each golfer was going to have a part in deciding the match,” Amsterdam coach Tim Jones said.
While the Foothills Council’s “South” squads competed in Amsterdam, the “North” teams – Hudson Falls, Queensbury, Glens Falls, South Glens Falls and Schuylerville – competed in their own tournament at Kingsbury National Golf Club in Hudson Falls.
“It’s a little different this year, but it was exciting,” Amsterdam senior C.J. Durinick said. “After the first six, I was 1-over par and I played really well in the last two sets – best ball and match play.”
Broadalbin-Perth senior Connor Canale made the most of his final high school round.
“It was me versus C.J. [Durinick], it was fun,” Canale said. “It’s always me and him, so it was fun to play with him for the last round.”
Canale also birdied the 18th hole, sending his fairway shot just 18 inches from the pin to set up his final putt.
“It’s a great ending hole,” Canale said. “I didn’t expect to have a two-foot putt for birdie to end my senior year, but I’ll take it.”
Competing for a few weeks and playing an end-of-season tournament was a win seniors won’t forget after restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic wiped away the close of the 2019-20 winter sports season and all of the 2020 spring sports season.
“This year is my first year playing. So, as a senior, it was good to be able to play,” Broadalbin-Perth’s Ryan Hertik said. “I play soccer, too – can’t play that [because the Foothills season was moved to next March] so I wanted to get out here and play.”
Fall Section II championships and state championships were eliminated as part of pandemic-related fall sports restrictions, leaving a hole in Durinick’s hopes for 2020.
“I was third the past three years for [Foothills tournament] medalist,” Durinick said. “I really wanted to get it this year. Especially here at our home course, I had a great chance to do it.”
“It was a great time today,” Durinick said. “So I can’t complain.”
Amsterdam and Broadalbin-Perth shared league co-champion titles, splitting their matches during the regular season.
FOOTHILLS NORTH TOURNAMENT
Ben Swartz of Hudson Falls earned medalist honors at the Foothills Council North tournament, firing a 2-over par 73.
Hudson Falls won the team title with four golfers combining for a 325 followed by Queensbury at 337, South Glens Falls 352, Glens Falls 360 and Schuylerville 377.
FOOTHILLS COUNCIL GIRLS TOURNAMENT
Queensbury captured the inaugural Foothills Council girls golf championship last week at Fox Run Golf Club in Johnstown.
Geena Burkich of Queensbury earned medalist honors with a 42, and teammate Adriana Della Bella carded a 48. Mairead Marsden of Broadalbin-Perth took third in the individual scoring with a 50 during the nine-hole competition.
Queensbury prevailed with a 90, followed by Broadalbin-Perth with a 107, Johnstown with a 113 and Gloversville with a 139.