By Rob Potter
CALLICOON On Monday afternoon, a total of 52 golfers representing several schools made their way to the Villa Roma Country Club in Callicoon to compete in the first round of the 2011 Section IX Boys’ Golf Championships.
The golfers did their best to battle the course and the weather, which was rainy and cloudy, to advance to the second round of the event. The top 20 golfers qualified for the second round, which was held on Wednesday afternoon at Casperkill Golf Club in Poughkeepsie.
The 52 golfers playing Monday’s first round on the Villa Roma’s par-71 course included five from Sullivan County high schools. They were Fallsburg’s Rich Elliott, who won the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) championship the previous week at Swan Lake Golf & Country Club, Fallsburg’s Mike Scuderi, Sullivan West’s Drew Billard, Tri-Valley’s Jimmy Bernstein and Monticello’s Angelo Niforatos.
Elliott and Scuderi both shot an 8-over par 79 to qualify for Wednesday’s second round. The cut to advance was 84. Billard shot an 85, Bernstein had a 91 and Niforatos carded a 101.
Tom McHugh of Monroe-Woodbury shot a 1-under par 70 to lead all of the qualifiers into the second round.
Elliott and Scuderi were happy to be among the golfers who moved on to Casperkill Golf Course.
“Seventy-nine is good,” said Elliott, a 16-year-old junior. “I’ll take a 79 in these conditions.”
“I was just trying to keep the ball in the fairway,” said Scuderi, a 17-year-old senior.
But the Fallsburg teammates played well enough in the difficult weather and course conditions at the OCIAA championships to reach Monday’s first round of the Section IX tournament. And they were hoping to keep playing well in Wednesday’s second round.
“We want to play at the state tournament,” Elliott said.
“That’s our goal, to reach states,” Scuderi said.
Fallsburg Coach Stephen Janove was pleased to see both Elliott and Scuderi advance to the second round.
“I’m really proud of both of them,” he said. “They did a great job in the weather today and last week at the OCIAA championship.”
Bernstein, who is a junior at T-V, was content with how he played given the competition and dealing with the wet conditions.
“It was just good to hit the ball on the fairway today,” he said. “It was just an off day. You’ll have days like this when playing golf.”
Note: In Wednesday’s second round at Casperkill Golf Course, Elliott shot an 81 for a total score of 160.
Elliott, who also qualified for the state tourney last spring, will join eight other golfers to represent Section IX at the state championship tournament, which will be held on Sunday, June 5 and Monday, June 6 at Cornell University in Ithaca.
Also representing Section IX in Ithaca will be McHugh, who won the Section IX title with a two-round score of 149, Ben DeForest of Rondout Valley, Nick Marotta of Monroe-Woodbury, Eric Seitz of Wallkill, Scott Clark of Monroe-Woodbury, Ethan DeForest of Rondout Valley, Bo Madeo of Rondout Valley and Sal LaRocca of Wallkill.
Scuderi was among those who did not qualify for the state tourney. He shot a 93 on Wednesday for a total score of 172.