HALFMOON — Niskayuna’s Vince Liguori had no idea where he stood in the battle for medalist honors, but he knew he was in excellent position to make the Section II team for next spring’s NYSPHSAA Boys’ Golf Championship. And that’s all that mattered.
Liguori never looked at the leaderboard — especially after the wheels came off on his back nine — but he played just well enough to lead the field with a two-day total of 5-over-par 149 Sunday in the Section II state qualifier Sunday at Fairways of Halfmoon.
Liguori, who shot 77 after an even-par in the first round Saturday, held off Niskayuna teammate Connor Desjardins (73-151) and Henry Parobeck of Saratoga Springs (76-151) for the top spot on the nine-player team.
Also qualifying for the Section II contingent at the state tournament held at Mark Twain Golf Ccurse in Elmira next June were Shenendehowa’s Eric Spoth (76-152), Charlie Greiner of Saratoga Springs (74-154), Noah Tyler of Hudson Falls (75-154), Kellen Dean of Saratoga Springs (74-155), Class A Tournament medalist Carter Sica (79-155) and former Section II medalist Brayden Dock of Glens Falls (80-156), who had to roll in a four-foot par putt after blasting out from a bunker on the final hole to secure his spot by one stroke over Adam DeGregory of Schuylerville (76-157) and Kieran Cummins of Shaker (78-157).
At one point, Liguori had a six-stroke lead over the field after making the turn at 2-under-par, but he struggled on the back nine with bogeys on the 12th, 14th and 16th holes, as well as a quadruple bogey 9 on the par-5 15th after he hit a pair of shots out of bounds. He regrouped with pars on the 17th and 18th holes, however, to hold onto medalist honors.
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“Yeah, it was kind of strange how things worked out. That par-5 was tough,” Liguori said. “Honestly, I didn’t count up the score or look at the leaderboard, but I figured I was pretty safe for going to states, and that’s all that I really wanted to do. We had a great time last year, and I really wanted to get back.”
Liguori said that the Fairways of Halfmoon layout fit his game because it was fairly wide open. “Sometimes my driver isn’t that straight,” he said.
Desjardins also played well on the front nine and stayed in contention for medalist honors despite his own problems on the back.
“It was an interesting round,” he said. “I finished strong on the front, so my mindset was kind of like match play against the course,” he said “It was survival mode. I wasn’t really thinking about winning the tournament or setting a course record, because this was a qualifier. The important thing is that I qualified. I’m so happy that we’ve got a couple of teammates going to states again. Vincent and I have been playing on the team together since seventh grade.”
Parobeck, who rolled in three birdies, was the most consistent player in the final foursome, and he had an excellent chance to secure medalist honors after Liquori’s quadruple bogey on No. 15. But Parobeck faltered late with bogeys on the final two holes.
“I was just trying to play the course and have a good time,” Parobeck said. “I just stayed within myself. I was very happy with the way I played. This is the first time I’ve qualified for states. I did know that I was tied for first at one point, but it’s all about qualifying for the state tournament, and that’s what I did,” he said.
State qualifiers – Vincent Liguori (Niskayuna) 77-149, Connor Desjardins (Niskayuna) 73-151, Henry Parobeck (Saratoga Springs) 76-151, Eric Spoth (Shenendehowa) 76-152, Charlie Greiner (Saratoga Springs) 74-154, Noah Tyler (Hudson Falls) 75-154, Kellen Dean (Saratoga Springs) 74-155, Carter Sica (Saratoga Springs) 79-155, Brayden Dock (Glens Falls) 80-156.
Other scores – Adam DeGregory (Schuylerville) 760-157, Kieran Cummins (Shaker) 78-157, Zach Bruno (Lake George) 76-159, Tanner Fearman (Queensbury) 79-159, Cooper LaBarge (Cobleskill-Richmondville) 80-159, Chris Desmond (Ballston Spa) 78-160, Sean Roddy (Guilderland) 78-160, Tanner LaTorre (Ichabod Crane) 81-161, Charlie Blake (Saratoga Springs) 80-163, Diego Clark (Bethlehem) 85-184, Timmy Esmay (Guilderland) 82-165.
Reach Bob Weiner at [email protected]
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