ALTAMONT – Bethlehem High School senior standout Victor Fox has all the tools and all the shots. That’s why he will go down as one of the best scholastic golfers in Capital Area history.
Fox finished as the Section II state qualifier medalist for the third time in his illustrious career, making him the local high school champion for all intents and purposes, with a final-round 72 (+1) and a two-day total of 145 (+3) Thursday at Orchard Creek Golf Club.
Fox ended up three shots ahead of Saratoga Springs junior Nolan Crowley (74-148) and now has bragging rights over his older brother, Victor, who was the state qualifying medalist twice before graduating and heading on to Maryland.
Joining Fox and Crowley next June 2-4 at Cornell University will be Aidan Seery of Guilderland (74-153), Paul Goetz of Shenendehowa (78-153), Ryan Lovelass of Galway (76-154), Adam Desorbo of Fonda-Fultonville (74-155), Ryan Bloomer of Hoosick Falls (76-156), Reed Boduch of Greenwich (76-156) and Will Braxton of Saratoga Springs (81-158).
Tyler Gregory of Niskayuna and Ryan Davis of Bethlehem each shot a 159, but Gregory won a playoff on the 10th hole to earn the first alternate spot.
FINAL ROUND A BREEZE
Conditions Thursday were much milder than Tuesday’s windy opening round, but scoring wasn’t any easier for the 20-player field.
“The pins were very hard out there,” Fox said. “If it was windy, there was no way you could shoot for the pins today. I watched the scoreboard that they brought out from to time, and I knew where I stood against the field,” he said. “Having a scoreboard helped. But I just played the same type of golf I always play.”
Fox was sharp on the front nine, making the turn with an even-par 36. He birdied both the 12th and short par-4 14th holes to go 2-under-par, but he lost 3 shots to par the rest of the way with a 3-putt bogey on the long par-3 15th hole and a double-bogey on the par-3 17th.
“I lost my focus a little on the back nine,” he admitted. “I was trying to enjoy it. I didn’t have my A game today, but I was close. My goal today was definitely to win medalist honors again.”
Crowley, the Class A tournament medalist, needed to regroup after a tough front nine. “I started out with a double bogey on the second hole, and I ended up with the highest 9-hole round I’ve had all season with a 40,” Crowley said. “The back nine, I focused more.
“There wasn’t any wind, but the pins were definitely a lot tougher today. They were almost unfair. But I buckled down on the back nine and shot a 34. I remember last year I also started out badly with a 44, but I came back with a 37 on the back nine, so I knew I could do it. I’m definitely looking forward to Cornell next June.”
Goetz, a sophomore, had the opposite problem that Crowley had. After shooting a solid 37 on the front nine, he nearly fell apart on the back nine with a 41. “I had to keep my head in the game,” he said. “I was feeling pretty good with that 37, but then on the back, I started out bogey, bogey, double-bogey.
“I liked that scoreboard they had, so I knew where I stood. I knew that after my good round on Tuesday and that 37 on the front, I had some room to spare, but I had to bear down. I’m glad I made the team.”
Lovelass holed out a 9-iron from 140-yards for an eagle on the par-5 18th hole.
145 (+3): Austin Fox (Bethlehem) 73-72
148 (+6): Nolan Crowley (Saratoga Springs) 74-74
153 (+11): Paul Goetz (Shenendehowa) 75-78, Aidan Seery (Guilderland) 79-74
154 (+12): Ryan Lovelass (Galway) 78-76
155 (+13): Adam Desorbo (Fonda-Fultonville) 81-74, Ryan Bloomer (Hoosick Falls) 79-76
156 (+14): Reed Boduch (Greenwich) 80-76
158 (+16): Will Braxton (Saratoga Springs) 77-81
159 (+17): Tyler Gregory (Niskayuna) 77-82, Ryan Davis (Bethlehem) 77-82
Rest of field
160 (+18): Ryan Warnick (Albany Academy) 80-80, AJ Cavotta (Saratoga Springs) 80-80
161 (+19): Matthew Smith (Hoosick Falls) 84-77
162 (+20): Jack Manning (Shenendehowa) 80-82, T.J. Trosset (Bethlehem) 79-83
163 (+21): Trevor Wolfe (Ichabod Crane) 80-83
164 (+22): Mike Westfall (Shenendehowa) 79-85
169 (+27): Ben Follos (Schuylerville) 85-84
170 (+28): Dylan Finnegan (Saratoga Springs) 81-89