Local women have won more than their share of major New York State Golf Association tournaments, and this week’s 91st annual NYS Women’s Amateur, coupled with the 12th NYS Women’s Mid-Amateur held concurrently at McGregor Links Country Club, does not exception.
Latham’s Bailey Cocca, now Bailey Czub, was the last Capital Region representative to win the NYS Women’s Amateur at Elmira CC in 2016. This was 27 years after Tiffany Maurycy, daughter of legendary longtime pro Mohawk John Maurycy Golf Club, captured this prestigious crown in 1989 at McConnesville GC.
But although the headlines span the long history of this event, the locals are doing extremely well.
Albany’s Peggy Delahant won the 10th NYS Women’s Amateur at Oak Hill CC in 1939 to kick off the local success story. The late Gail Purdy of Glens Falls won two NYS women’s amateur crowns in the span of three years (1961 and 1963) before Dianne Wilde of Amsterdam won three state trophies in 1965, 1971 and 1973. another Amsterdam star, Sara Jane Stuhler, triumphed at Corning CC in 1975.
Mary Jo Kelly, who dominated women’s club titles at Wolferts Roost for 25 years and won numerous other region titles, captured her NYS Women’s Amateur crown in 1980 at Foxfire CC. The following year, Dottie Pepper won this title at Rome CC. She would go on to become the Capital Region’s most successful golfer and arguably her finest period as a golfer, winning the LPGA Tour 17 times.
In recent years, local women have also had tremendous success in the New York State Senior Amateur and Women’s Super Senior Divisions.
Lake George’s Mary Sicard, who is entered in the Mid-Am division for next week’s event, has three NYS senior women’s amateur titles on her resume (2016, 2017 and 2019). Niskayuna’s Sue Kahler, a longtime club champion at Ballston Spa CC, won her NYS senior women’s amateur crown in 2013, a year before Schenectady’s Nancy Kroll triumphed at Kanon Valley CC.
Other locals to win the NYS Women’s Senior Amateur Trophies are Margaret Frank of Albany (1958 to Oneonta CC), Anne Coupe of Loudonville (1965 to Lakeshore CC), and Lois Destalto of Saratoga Springs (1989 to Onondaga G&CC).
Although the NYS Women’s Amateur Super Senior division only started in 2007, the locals own the titles. Brophy won in 2007 and 2008, while Kelly won last year at Pinehaven CC.
STRONG ZONE CONTINGENT
This year, the NYS Women’s Amateur and NYS Women’s Mid-Amateur include over 20 representatives from the Capital Region.
The NYS women’s amateur champ will compete for 54 holes, including 36 on Monday, after which there will be a drawdown of 30 and ties. All players in this field must walk.
The NYS women’s mid-amateur contingent plays just 36 holes, 18 a day. There will be no cup and players in this division will be able to use a cart.
Kennedy Swedick, the 15-year-old Albany Academy star who won this year’s NYSPHSAA Women’s Championship at the same McGregor Links CC layout, will be one of the players to watch, despite her age. She is coming off a big weekend after taking on the pros in the Epson Tour’s Twin Bridges Championship.
Also on the field are Albany Academy teammates Nicole Criscone of Clifton Park and Samantha Van Rohr of Loudonville.
Other locals include Rachel Barlette of Albany, a former NEWGA champion who won this year’s Schenectady Women’s Classic; Maria Jackson of Ballston Spa CC, Former NEWGA Winner Ella Kellogg of Queensbury, Albany’s Kelly, Hayden Knapp of Gansevoort, Grace Kochan of Niskayuna, Michelle Krasodomski of Schenectady, Abigail Laime of Ballston Spa, Lorete Schuyler of East Greenbush, Jillian Rawson from Slingerlands, Abigail Rehfuss from Albany, Samantha Schuffenecker from Troy, Sicard from Lake George, Kimberly Skiba from Rexford, Dannah Smith from Schenectady, Mollie Thomas from Saratoga Springs, Heidi Vittengl from Queensbury and Sienna Wheeler from Schenectady.
Despite the large and talented local group, this year’s NYS women’s amateur and mid-amateur title rosters could very well come from outsiders. Kyra Cox of South Salem is the defending champion and also won in 2015 and 2018. In the Mid-Amateur division, defending champion Christy Schultz of Rochester has two NYS Women’s Am victories under her belt, and she won the crown Mid-Am three times. . Syracuse’s Teresa Cleland is also a three-time Mid-Am winner.
LI ALWAYS FORWARD IN THE TWIN BRIDGES
California native Lucy Li, the tour’s top earner, backed her first-round 66 with a 68 on Saturday and leads the Epson Tour’s Twin Bridges Championship with an 8-under-par 134 at Pinehaven Country Club.
Li had five birdies against two birdies. She is ahead of Sweden’s Linnea Strom (66-137), second on the money list and two-time Epson Tour champion, by three strokes before Sunday’s final round.
The leaders are completed by Nishtha Madan (69-138), Maggie Ashmore (68-139), Grace Kim (70-139) and Milagros Chaves (79-139).
The busy Swedick shot a 76 for a two-day total of 153 and missed the cut for the top 60 and ties. The winner wins $30,000 out of a total purse of $200,000.
WELCH EXPANDS CV
Jim Welch of Olde Kinderhook, a graduate of Skidmore College whose resume already included an NYS Mid-Amateur Championship, multiple Troy Invitational titles, Capital Region Amateur Golf Association Stroke Play and Tri-County Match Play, won his first county amateur title of Saratoga last week at Eagle Crest Golf Club and Saratoga Spa State Park Golf Course, respectively.
The 20th annual event dropped its Saratoga County residency requirement for the first time this season. Welch connected for five birdies in a final round 69 for a two-day total of 141, edging three-time Schenectady Classic winner Ben Bates (71-74—145) and Saratoga National’s Travis Koch (72-73— 145) by four blows. Former champ AJ Cavotta (74-72—146) and Josh Hilderbrand (70-78—148) round out the top five.
Eight-time Schenectady Classic winner Jim Mueller captured his first Saratoga County Men’s Senior Amateur title with a 67-71—138, to beat Tim Bean (72-76—148) and Dave Smith (75-76— 151). Doug Roche (77-76—153) and multiple former champion Bill Paulsen Jr. (77-78—155) rounded out the leaders.
Saratoga Springs High School graduate Anthony Cavotta shot a 3-under-par 69 to earn medalist honors in the local NYS Men’s Amateur Golf Championship qualifier this week at G&CC Colony. The Men’s State Am will be held August 9-11 at Onondaga G&CC.
Rounding out the qualifiers are Tom McGinn (Wolferts Roost CC), 70; Nolan Crowley (Saratoga G&P) 71; Ryan Miller (NYSGA eClub-Capital District) 73; Max Klein (MGA eClub-New York) 73; Kellen Dean (McGregor Links CC) 74; Austin Teal (Schuyler Meadows) 74; Brandon Teclor (Saratoga National) 74; David Ioele (Saratoga National) 74; Will Braxton (McGregor Links CC) 74; Clarkie Carroll (Glens Falls CC) 74; Louis Walsh (Ballston Spa CC) 75; Richard Christman (Shaker Ridge CC) 75; Thomas Kenneally (The Edison Club) 75; Ben Swartz (Kingsbury National) 75; Andrew Weise (City of Colony) 75; Aidan Fitzgerald (Capital Hills to Albany) 75. The Edison Club’s Paul Goetz also qualified as the Utica/Rome local qualifier medalist.
The local Northeastern New York PGA club pros compete in their Pro Classic No. 4 on Monday at Waubeeka Golf Links.
The Hales Mills Country Club 2-Person Dash for the Cash Tournament will take place on July 30 with a 12:30 p.m. start. The format will be nine best-ball holes and nine scrambling holes. There will be gross and net prizes, but teams cannot win both. All players must have an established GHIN Handicap Index. The first prize will be $500. The entry fee is $150 per team and includes hot dogs and burgers on the lap. Call 518-736-4622 for more information.
UAlbany’s Claudia Blochliger, Mariel Tee, Amber Thornton and Madison Walker earned All-American Scholar honors from the Women’s Golf Coaches Association. Isabella Diaz, Emily Nash, Margot Osterman, Manoela Barcellos and Jillian Barend earned the same honors from Siena College.
The McGregor Links Invitational is scheduled for July 29-30. There will be three scratch divisions and will be limited to the first 54 teams that register. Entry fee is $350 per team and includes golf, cart and prize money. The Championship Division will play from the Gold Markers, the Senior Division will play from the White Tees and the Legends Division will play from the White/Green Tees. The first prize will be $900 for all three divisions. For more information, contact McGregor Links CC Chief Pro Michael Decker at 518-584-6664 or [email protected].
The Debbie Fawcett Memorial, benefiting the Empire Youth Open and local bursaries for young bowlers, will be held August 6 at 9 a.m. at the Cobleskill G&CC. It will be a four-way race. The entrance fee is $125 per person and includes lunch at the round and a buffet dinner after the golf. For reservations, contact Chris Fawcett at 518-852-9372.
The Schenectady Municipal Golf Course will host the 14th Annual Schenectady City School District Athletic Hall of Fame Golf Tournament on September 18. The format will be a modified four-person race. The registration fee is $420 per foursome and includes golf, cart, buffet and prizes. This event is named after SCSD Hall of Famer Pete Famiano. Call Bob Pezzano at 518-346-9297 for more information.
The second annual 9 & Dine Golf Scramble, benefiting To Love a Child, Inc., will take place July 22 at the Fairways of Halfmoon Golf Club. Registration will take place at 3:15 p.m., followed by a 4 p.m. departure. Admission is $85 and includes nine holes of golf with cart, prizes, Italian buffet dinner and cocktail. There will also be a themed basket auction and 50/50 raffle. For more information, contact To Love a Child, PO Box 165, Clifton Park, NY 12065, or call 518-859-4424. Proceeds will go to Food Forests & Clean Water in Zimbabwe and Thyme to Thrive Educational Programs in the Capital Region.
The 28th Annual RPI Men’s Hockey Golf Tournament will be held August 8 at Shaker Ridge CC. The tournament will begin at 10 a.m. Golf, cart, drinks and snacks on the course, lunch and a raffle/live auction are included in the registration fee. For more information, go to the registration page on rpiathletics.com.
HOLES IN ONE
John Quattrocchi, former men’s basketball coach at Skidmore College and athletic director of SUNY Adirondack, is having a successful summer at his home course, McGregor Links CC. Quattrocchi recorded his second career ace with an 8-iron on the 13 for 135 yardse hole and also completed the par-4 390-yard 10e hole by hitting his second shot with a 6 iron.
Rotterdam’s Tom Heffernon hit the 481-yard par-5 fifth hole at Eagle Crest Golf Club.
At Schenectady Municipal Golf Course, Paul Quivey and Lee Quivey both nailed the same par-5 12th hole while playing in the same group.
Rich Duda hit the par-5 13th hole at Mechanicville Golf Club with a driver, 9-iron and a 5 hybrid. Also at Mechanicville Golf Club, PJ Riley hit the 460-yard par-5 fourth hole with a driver, a wood 3 and a wedge.
At Airway Meadows, Tricia Lockwood recorded an eagle-2 on the seventh hole.
Jack Schanz hit the par-5 15th hole at Briar Creek.
Anne Van Buren and Lynn Burke both hit the par-4 10th hole on back-to-back shots Tuesday at Wyantenuck CC.
Contact Bob Weiner at [email protected].
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