New York's top amateur golfers vie for the 94th NYS Amateur

August 08, 2016

Schenectady, NY - The New York State Men's Amateur Championship has a long list of notable past champions, enjoying both amateur and professional success. Etched on the Ganson Depew Cup are U.S. Amateur winners, Walker Cup members, PGA Tour winners, and even a major champion. This week marks the 94th playing of the NYS Amateur at Mohawk Golf Club, a Devereux Emmet design in Schenectady, which also hosted this championship in 1929.

The 2016 field includes many notable players representing NYSGA member clubs from Long Island to Buffalo, from Binghamton to Plattsburgh. Below is a sampling of players with a brief bio.

Art Griffin is going into his Junior year at Lafayette University. In 2016, Griffin placed tied for 2nd at the Patriot League Golf Championship at the Naval Academy Golf Club in Annapolis, MD. Griffin finished 9th at the 2016 Rice Planters Amateur at  and 12th at the Memorial Amateur Championship.

Derek Bard is going into his senior year at the University of Virginia with an impressive amateur and collegiate golf resume. He was the runner up to Bryson Dechambeau the 2015 U.S Amateur. In 2016, he made his debut appearance in the Masters and U.S Open at Oakmont. Bard also competed on the U.S National Team during the Arnold Palmer Cup at Formby Golf Club in England. Bard finished 4th at the 2015 NYS Men’s Amateur and starts this year’s NYS Men’s Amateur as the No. 21 ranked amateur in the world.

John Clare is a decorated senior at Syracuse's Le Moyne College. He had a strong 2015 season, finishing 7th in the 2015 NYS Men’s Amateur and qualifying for his first U.S. Amateur at Olympia Fields. In 2016, Clare finished 8th in the NCAA Division II Championships at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club in Denver, Colorado, T44 at the NYS Open at Bethpage Black, and won the Syracuse District's Amateur Championship at Skaneateles CC.

Andrew Bieber is going into his senior year at Duke University. Bieber placed second in the 2016 Rochester District Championship at Ridgemont CC, 8-strokes behind 2016 NYS Am winner Trevor Sluman.

David May made his return to amateur golf after turning pro in 2009. Recently, May qualified to play in the 2016 U.S Mid-Amateur Champion carding a 67 at Schulyer Meadows in Latham, NY. May graduate from Auburn High School in 2005 as the number one ranked amateur in the world. He continued on to play collegiate golf at Clemson University where he tied for 1st place in the 2009 ACC Golf Championship. Notably, May completed in the 2012 U.S Open at Congressional Country Club and won his first professional event on the eGolf Tour the same year.

Bill Gaffney is a recent graduate of Youngtown State. Gaffney finished 10th in the 2015 NYS Amateur and 5th in 2014. On the collegiate level, Gaffney finished 9th in the 2015 Horizon League Championship. In 2016, Gaffney competed in the Porter Cup at Niagara Falls Country Club and recently won the title at the Buffalo District Golf Association Championship at Transit Valley.

James McHugh is a senior at Rye High. McHugh won the 2016 Section 1 Golf Tournament at Fenway Golf Club. Recently, McHugh placed 6th in the AJGA Philadelphia Junior at Huntingdon Valley Country Club and finished 5th in the 2015 Met Junior as the defending champion. McHugh also placed 4th at the North and South Junior Amateur at Pinehurst Country Club. This will be McHugh’s third year competing at the NYS Men’s Amateur Championship.

Notably missing from this year's field is defending champ Trevor Sluman, who is preparing for next week's U.S. Amateur after playing consecutive weeks at the RDGA championship and Porter Cup.