Sullivan County Democrat
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Yaun, Semenetz Struggle
At State Golf Tourney

By Frank Rizzo
ITHACA — June 8, 2001 – Maybe it wasn’t the way they wanted to go out, but Nick Yaun of Liberty and Gregg Semenetz of Jeff-Youngsville got as far they can go in scholastic golf, competing in the state golf tournament this past weekend.
The tourney was held at the par-72 Robert Trent Jones Golf Course at Cornell University.
Yaun shot an 83-85–168 while Semenetz carded an 84-86–170.
Nicholas Poggia of Saratoga Springs shot 73-73–146 for the win. Second was Section IX champ Dan Gabel of Spackenkill (69-78–147).
“I was so excited. It was so cool to be up there,” Yaun said, adding: “The course was the truest test of golf we faced this year — outside of the courses in North Carolina.”
Yaun, along with other teammates and Liberty golf coach Ted Crowley, made a golfing trip during Sullivan County’s rainy spring.
Cornell “had really narrow fairways and the fastest greens I ever played,” Yaun related. “There were more slopes to the greens than I could ever imagine.”
Yaun said he “only made 17 of the 36 greens in regulation. If my iron play was better I could have shot six or seven strokes better.
“I wasn’t happy with my score either day, but my goal was getting there, so this was icing,” he added.
Jeff-Youngsville golf coach Rick Ellison said a lot of scores went up the second day.
“They wanted the course to play harder, and it did,” he said.
Semenetz, according to Ellison, “expected to do better than he did. But when he looks back and compares how he did a couple of years ago, he [improved].”
Semenetz first went to the state tournament as a sophomore.
“I was hoping Gregg would be around a 160, 164,” Ellison said, and called Semenetz’s opening day score “a ‘good’ 84. He was hitting the ball all over the place, but saving pars and bogeys with his short game. The second day he was hitting better, but was having trouble finding his putting stroke.”
The entire Semenetz family — father Gregg Sr., mother Bridget, and siblings Sean and Aileen — were on hand to watch Gregg play.
“It was difficult to part. He’s been a part of this program for six years and I’ll miss him terribly,” said Ellison, who gave the share of the credit to Gregg Sr. for Gregg Jr.’s golf success.
“You have to commend his parents. It’s a strong family, and that makes the coach’s job easier,” Ellison said.

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