Jim Roy let the New York State Men's Mid-Amateur Championship slip away last year at Yahnundasis in Utica. There was no repeat of that final-round collapse in this year's tournament Sunday at the Crag Burn Golf Club in East Aurora.
The 40-year-old Syracuse golfer shot Sunday's best round of the day, 1-under-par 71, and walked away with the State Mid-Am title (for players 25 and over) with a 54-hole total of 213, 3-under par.
Roy, who won the State Amateur at Wanakah in 1979 when he was still in college at the University of South Florida, played the back nine at Crag Burn in 2-under 34. Runner-up Jim Smith of the host club was 4-over on the back nine and finished with a 76, four strokes behind Roy. Bill Moore, who like Roy plays out of Bellevue, was third at 73-219.
Westwood's Bob Rosen shot 73 Sunday for a final 220 and fourth place. Saturday, Rosen had perhaps the shot of the tournament when he holed out from 120 yards with a pitching wedge for an eagle-3 on the 585-yard No. 2 hole, perhaps the toughest on the course.
"It was fun to be there again with a chance to win a tournament. I can't remember the last time I won an individual tournament," Roy said. "I was really disappointed last year. . . . It was my tournament to win and I really played poorly."
Roy owned a four-shot lead going into the final round in Utica, shot an 81 and finished five strokes behind the eventual winner, Luke Hobika of the host club.
"I never got comfortable. I had been out of competition for a long time. I never realized what you miss when you don't play a tournament," said Roy, who turned pro in 1983 but gave up the traveling grind to return home to Syracuse, where he is a financial consultant for Prudential Securities.
Now, Roy feels his competitive edge coming back.
"I don't think you really gain confidence until you hit good shots when you're really nervous, and when you don't play in tournaments you never really get nervous," he said.
Roy was Friday's first-round leader with a 67, but slipped to 75 Saturday when he "got a little bit defensive." Not Sunday, however.
"I had a weird round," Roy said of his final 18. "Normally, putting is one of my stronger suits and I three-putted three holes of the first eight, but I knew I was hitting the ball good. I was hitting the ball solid.
"Then I got a good putt on the ninth hole (from 15 feet) and it changed my frame of mind."
Roy birded the par-4 11th from 2 feet, the par-5 14th from 8 feet and the par-3 17th from about 2 feet.
"For some unknown reason (on No. 18) I started thinking about that guy (Jean Van de Velde) that lost the British Open. There was water on this hole and I decided I'm going to make five or four, not anything higher."
Roy bogeyed 18 with a five but so did playing partners Moore and Smith, so there was no damage.
Smith played the front nine in even-par 36 but had four bogeys and no birdies on the back nine, where his title hopes evaporated.