Freshman Melanie Green, the Section VI champion, is tied for second place, two strokes off the lead after Saturday’s opening round of the New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association girls golf championship on the Yellow Course at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale.
Green and Jennifer Rosenberg each shot 1-under-par 70s, two strokes behind Lauren Peter of Carmel (Section I, Westchester County) who came in at three-under 68. Rosenberg is from Cold Spring Harbor (Section VIII, Nassau County).
Not far off the pace was Alexis Kim, the 2016 Section VI champion and this’s year runner-up. Kim shot 4 over 75.
Green shot 1-under 34 on the front nine with two birdies and a bogey. A double-bogey six at No. 13 offset her two birdies (No. 12 and 14) on the back nine.
Peter shot 34-34, 68, taking the lead with two birdies and no bogeys on the back nine.
After Kim, the closest to the lead among the nine Section VI golfers was Amanda Gaffney of Williamsville East at 82, 14 strokes off the lead. Elena Lopez of Clarence faded on her back nine with 8-over 44 to end up at 83.
There were six golfers from Section I among the top 12 on the first day of the tournament. The final 18-hole round will be played today.
The girls championship was first held in 2006. The only WNY champion was Cat Peters of Clarence in 2012. Lindsay May of Auburn (Section IV) has won the last three and stands in fourth place with even part 70 in this year’s tournament.
Boys golf starts today
Meanwhile in Ithaca, 99 golfers will tee off today in the first round of the NYSPHSAA Boys Championship at Cornell University’s Robert Trent Jones Course, which has hosted the tournament for since 1980. Kevin Halpern of Williamsville North and Andrew LaCongo of East Aurora/Holland each shot 117 for 27 holes to lead the Section VI tournament last month at Gowanda Country Club. They head the Section VI team of nine golfers.
The last Section VI golfer to win the state boys title was Kevin Crawford of Lockport in 2002.
Besides Halpern and LaCongo, the other members of the Section VI team are Ian Wagner (Medina), Jake Roach (East Aurora/Holland), Ben Spitz (Orchard Park), Mike Wells (Williamsville North), Mitchell Smith (Orchard Park), Matt Pawlak (Niagara Wheatfield) and Matt Jeffe (East Aurora/Holland). Smith tied for 28th with 77-80-157 in last year’s tournament. Pawlak is another holdover from the 2016 sectional team.
Long Islander wins state boys tennis
No. 1 seed Yuval Solomon of Plainview (Section VIII-Nassau County) defeated Sean Wei of Yorktown (Section I) 6-1, 6-2, to win the NYSPHSAA boys tennis singles championship at the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows. On Friday, Wei had defeated Section VI champion Harry Wang, 6-1, 6-4, in the quarterfinals. Wang ended up tied with four others for fifth place in the tournament.
Solomon was the 2016 runner-up.
James Wei and Dylan Glickman of Horace Greeley (Section I) captured the doubles title with a 6-4, 6-4 triumph over Spencer Lowitz and Kenta Togo, also of Horace Greeley, in the finals.