NEW YORK MILLS – Clinton’s Tim Scoones rode a hot putter during Monday’s Section III East Qualifier at Twin Ponds Golf & Country Club.
Scoones, a senior, needed every made putt to edge New Hartford’s Alec Bard by one stroke to win the individual championship. Scoones posted a 1-over 71, while Bard, a Penn State commit, shot 72 to lead New Hartford to the large school championship. New Hartford’s Matt Dreimiller and Central Valley Academy’s Steven Bergin tied for third after shooting 78s.
“My putting and my short game were really good,” Scoones said. “I hit it well, but it was my short game that did it.”
Scoones made two birdies (Nos. 1 and 3) and three bogeys (Nos. 4, 6 and 13) during his round. He was pleased with winning against such a talented field and called it the best win of his high school career.
“It feels pretty good to know I can win and play this well against players like this,” Scoones said.
Bard was one of six Spartans who qualified for the Section III Championships at Seven Oaks Golf Course in Hamilton. The cut was 82 and 22 players qualified to compete in Thursday’s first round of sectionals. The low 20 scores and ties during the first round advance to Saturday’s final round. The top nine after the final round advance to the New York State Championships on June 5-6 at Cornell University’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Course.
New Hartford won its sixth straight sectional qualifier title and Bard has been part of all six. The Spartans scored 390 to win by 21 strokes over second-place Whitesboro, which had two qualifiers (Sean Scarafile and Sam DePasquale). Rome Free Academy finished third with a 428 total and will send Brian Birnie and Marco Pasqualetti to sectionals.
New Hartford head coach Tom Snizek credits the competitive nature of practices with his team’s amazing run.
“We are competitive beginning with tryouts,” Snizek said. “Our practices are just as competitive as our matches. We really challenge each other and you have to win to earn your spot.”
Mike Mandel (79), Scott Mundorff (80), Ryan Zogby (81) and James Holmes (81) will join Bard and Dreimiller at Seven Oaks.
“Dreimiller and Alec made it to states last year,” Snizek said. “We have the talent to get a few more through this year.”
Led by Joe Miga (79), Nick Sullivan (80) and Matt Tennyson (81), Notre Dame claimed its fourth straight small school title. The Jugglers finished at 411, while New York Mills (450) and Cooperstown (486) rounded out the top three small schools.
Notre Dame head coach Gary Grabinski now has won the title in all four of his seasons leading the Jugglers.
“It wasn’t the coaching,” Grabinski said. “It was the players. They’ve been a solid five all year and they are the core of the team.”
Grabinski felt playing at their home course didn’t hurt his players during Monday’s competition.
“It’s a little bit of an advantage,” Grabinski said. “We don’t play the blue tees, so it is a bit of a different course. Some holes are completely different … but a little course knowledge never hurts.”
Scoones has unfinished business and goals to reach this weekend at Seven Oaks. He made it to the final round last year, but finished just short of making it to states.
“I just need to consistently stay under control,” Scoones said. “It will play pretty long and I just have to stay focused because I want to make it to states and have an impact there.”
Section 3 East Area Qualifier
at Twin Ponds, Par 70
Team Results (Top 5 of 6 scores)
Large Schools Team Championship Results: New Hartford 390, Whitesboro 411, Rome Free Academy 428, Clinton 432, Central Valley Academy 441, Little Falls 508, Sherburne-Earlville 516.
Small School Team Championship Results: Notre Dame 411, New York Mills 450, Cooperstown 486, Oriskany 504, Mount Markham 528, Westmoreland 537.
East Area Individual Qualifiers: Tim Scoones (Clinton) 71; Alec Bard (NH) 72; Teddy Trosset (Coop) 73; Matt Dreimiller (NH) 78; Steven Bergin (CVA) 78; Mike Mandel (NH) 79; Sean Scarafile (Wboro) 79; Zane Monaghan (Clinton) 79; Nick Visconti (LF) 79; Joe Miga (ND) 79; Dalton Brown (NYM) 79; Scott Mundorff (NH) 80; Brian Birnie (RFA) 80; Michael Bergin (CVA) 80; Nick Sullivan (ND) 80; Ryan Zogby (NH) 81; Max Britton (SE) 81; Matt Tennyson (ND) 81; James Holmes (NH) 81; Sam DePasquale (Wboro) 82; Marco Pasqualetti (RFA) 82; Ben Stone (CVA) 82.