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Semenetz Is Sweet and Sour

By Frank Rizzo
LIBERTY — May 30, 2000 -- Once you’ve been to the state golf scholastic championship, there’s a crushing letdown in not getting back there.
Jeff-Youngsville junior golfer Gregg Semenetz, the Western Sullivan League’s MVP, had a taste of elite play in 1999, when he finished third at the Section IX golf championship.
His teammate, Jared Kubenik, had won the sectional title, becoming the first WSL player to do so.
The top nine golfers in the Section IX tourney advance to the state competition.
With Kubenik lost to graduation, Semenetz became the Trojans’ top golfer this season, leading J-Y to its second straight WSL title and an undefeated league season.
He then proceeded to win the WSL individual championship and had to be considered a favorite when he began the two-round Section IX golf tournament last Tuesday.
His 84 on Kingston’s Wiltwyck Course last Tuesday placed Semenetz 18th, nine strokes behind leader Tom Cirucci of Minisink Valley. The top 20 advanced to the second round.
J-Y coach Rick Ellison called Wiltwyck, “a good test for the kids. The course had character. The rough was thick, the fairways were narrow, and the greens were fast.”
Semenetz’s score, according to Ellison, “meant that he did not have a lot of margin for error.”
On Thursday the tourney moved to the “Big G” at Grossinger’s in Liberty, where Semenetz had practiced 18 holes the weekend before and five holes — until the storms came — on Wednesday night.
“I was playing well until the last six holes, then I lost it,” Semenetz said, noting he did horribly on the par-3 fifth hole (the golfers started on the 10th hole).
“I had one bad shot [on the fifth] and then I lost it,” Semenetz said. “I had been four- or five-over until that point. I was two back of ninth place, and I didn’t get it done.”
Semenetz finished with an 86 for a two-day total of 170. The ninth-place finisher and last state qualifier, John Stoltz of Minisink valley, had a 163.
Matt DeMaro of Valley Central won in a playoff after finishing with a 157.
“It was a disappointment, especially after getting a taste of [state competition],” Ellison said. “I think it’s much more challenging the second time around. Last year he wasn’t expected to make it [to states].”
Semenetz said he’ll take a break from competitive golf for a while, then probably play in the Catskill Junior Tour after the school year ends.
“I reminded Gregg that he had a very good season,” Ellison related. “His biggest strength was consistency. His worst round was six over, while his best was one under.”
Semenetz led the WSL with a stroke-over-par average of 3.68 for the season.
“I’m sure he’ll go back and work on his game,” Ellison noted. “He’ll be back with a vengeance. He’s a model student-athlete and I love coaching him.”

According to Williams, “this was a weird spring, what with the weather and the late spring break. We usually play 18 matches and we only had 12. Next year I hope we can schedule more non-conference matches.”

“I’m impressed with what Tyler did, considering there was no one on the team to push him, like Jon Bloom last year,” commented Williams. “He played at a high level the entire season.”
White is the son of the longtime Concord Hotel tennis pro, Steve White.



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