SARATOGA SPRINGS — While many recent high school graduates are working summer jobs or hanging out with their friends before leaving for college, Saratoga Springs native and Siena College incoming freshman Nolan Crowley has been busy preparing for the 2019 Boys Junior PGA Championship.
Crowley will be competing in the four-day event that starts Tuesday at Keney Park Golf Course in Hartford, Connecticut, after the Saratoga Springs High School graduate recently shot a one-under-par 71 at the Northeastern New York PGA Junior Qualifying Event at the Town of Colonie Golf Course
“There were a lot of great players at the qualifier,” Crowley said. “I was just happy to make it.”
Crowley tied for seventh place at this year’s high school golf state championships. Last fall, he shared medalist honors at the Section II Class A golf championship and finished atop the field at Section II’s state qualifier.
Support from family and friends has been crucial for Crowley.
“They’re all really proud,” Crowley said. “A huge part of my success comes from their help and support.”
Crowley has played golf for years, but said he didn’t get serious with the sport until early in high school.
“I started playing golf when I was 4, but I started to really get serious about it at 13,” Crowley said. “I noticed I was pretty good when I made the varsity team at Saratoga as a freshman.”
Crowley added: “I take lessons all the time. My three coaches are Anders Mattson, Bobby Cain and Kevin Hughes.”
Crowley said he is excited to continue to improve during his collegiate career.
“I always wanted to go to Siena. I know a lot of people that went there and loved it,” Crowley said. “I know the coach ... I just want to improve my skills a lot. Really, I’m working on my physical skills. They have a great practice facility. I just want to shoot great scores and help the team.”
Improving the physical aspects of his game will go a long way toward helping Crowley mirror the game of some of his favorite golfers.
“Rory Mcllroy, Shane Lowry — I really just like all the Irish golfers,” Crowley said. “Rory plays aggressive. He hits the ball hard and he always finds a way to be clutch and win at the end. That’s definitely something I want to do.”
Crowley delivered that last line with a laugh, but is serious about wanting to make some noise at this week’s event in Connecticut.
“It’s the biggest junior event around,” Crowley said. “If I can just have a good showing or even win, it’ll do good for my resume. I just want to represent Saratoga and Siena really well.”
Tyrell Feaster is an intern at The Daily Gazette. Feaster, a junior at the University at Albany, is majoring in journalism.