ITHACA — Four local seniors are competing in the 99-player field for the state’s highest honor at Robert Trent Jones Golf Course at Cornell University.
New Harford’s Mike Mandel and Jack Angelucci, Notre Dame’s Joe Miga and Whitesboro’s Jake Domagal lead a contingent of nine Section 3 golfers at the New York State Boys Public High School Golf Championships.
Angelucci led the way for Section 3, shooting a 5-over 76 on the 6,854-yard layout to finish the first round six strokes behind leader Matt Ferrari of Section 1 entering Monday’s final round. Ferrari holds a three-stroke lead over Section 6’s Aidan Shaw.
Mandel was second among the local players, carding an 80. Miga and Domagal finished with 82 and 85, respectively.
Angelucci made three birdies (Nos. 4, 6 and 17) and held it together after opening his round with consecutive bogeys to currently sits tied for eighth with 18 holes to play. The New Hartford star will tee off his final round at 9:14 a.m. off the first tee.
Mandel, started his championship on No. 10, began his day with a bogey, but moved to 1-under after back-to-back birdies on Nos. 11 and 12. Mandel was still right there at 1-over through his first seven holes, but double bogeys on Nos. 17, 1 and 4 hurt his chances of contending.
Miga also started his round on the back side and shot matching 41s on each nine. The Jugglers’ star was just 5-over after birdieing the par-3 third hole, but struggled with three bogeys and a double-bogey six on the par-4 sixth to close with an 81.
Domagal got off to a rough start, playing the opening six holes at 7-over par. He steadied his play and remained at 7-over through 10 holes, but had a doubles on Nos. 11 and 15 en route to his 84.
While winning the championship will be a difficult task for Angelucci, a strong consolation prize awaits as the top-6 finishers earn a berth to next weekend’s Federation Tournament at famed Bethpage Black. He is just one stroke off the pace as five players are tied for fourth at 4-over par.
Shawn Colella (+6), Nick Bove (+9), John Gruninger (+11), Kyle Gilroy (+12) and Carter Austin (+17) round out the Section 3 scores after the opening 18 holes.