Healy and Groppuso Lead at 4-under After Rd 1 of 99th NYS Men's Am
FAYETTEVILLE, N.Y. -- The New York State Golf Association hosted 151 of the best Empire State amateur golfers at Onondaga Golf & Country Club on Tuesday.
The players travelled from across the state to compete in the 99th New York State Men’s Amateur Championship. Tee-times for the first 18 holes began at 7:30 a.m. and ran through 2:30 p.m.
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The round saw some players shoot as low as 4-under in the wet opening round conditions, while others had very different fortunes.
Leading the pack at the end of the day were two players. Donte Groppuso, of Wiltwyck Golf Club, and Huntington Country Club’s Patrick Healy fired matching 67s to head into round two tied for the lead.
Groppuso, who began his round on the back nine, came out of the gates hot with birdies on no. 10 and no. 12. He added two more in his first nine holes to go to four-under before the turn.
After four straight pars, he canned another birdie on no. 5 but dropped a stroke on the par-3 eighth for his only bogey of the day.
“I’ve been grinding down on my wedge game a lot,” Groppuso said. “It really paid off today. I left everything inside five or 10 feet, which is what I wanted, and the putter did me well today.”
Healy saw similar early success in his round, but most of his birdies came on the front side.
He tallied three birdies in his first nine, kicking the day off with a birdie on no. 1, and added another on no. 10. Like Groppuso, Healy only surrendered one bogey on the day. His misfortune came on the par-4 12th.
Another birdie on no. 17 pulled him even with Groppuso and he entered the clubhouse with a share of the lead.
“My game has been feeling good the whole summer,” Healy said. “Coming into today, I knew that if I made some putts, especially within 10 feet I knew I could go low … That’s what I did today.
Two players are just one stroke off the lead heading into round two. Yahnundasis Golf Club product Jack Angelucci and River Oaks Golf Club’s James Blackwell both entered the clubhouse at 3-under.
Angelucci sat at even par through 15 but birdied his last three holes to pull closer to the lead.
Former NYS Boys’ Junior champion Blackwell only bogeyed two holes in his opening round. Five birdies, including one on the difficult par-3 14th, propelled him into a tie for second place.
Rounding out the top five were two-time NYS Boys' 14U champion Alec Bard, of Cedar Lake Club, and Tyler Gerbavsits, of Huntington Crescent Club. Both players fired rounds of 2-under 69.
Seven other players finished under par in their opening rounds at the Walter Travis layout.
2021 champion James Allen of Scarsdale Golf Club opened his title defense with even par.
The course played at 6,644 yards and to a par or 71.
On Wednesday, the field will play their second round of 18 holes. Afterwards, the field will be cut to the low 40 players and ties, and anyone within 10 strokes of the lead.