Ken Cohen | Democrat
Sullivan West’s Drew Billard has something to smile about after finishing tied for fourth in sectionals and qualifying for the state championship.
Billard qualifies for state golf tourney
Story by Ken Cohen
POUGHKEEPSIE May 24, 2013 Sullivan West senior Drew Billard finished tied for fourth at the Section IX championship, easily qualifying for his first trip to the state championship.
The 36-hole sectional tournament was played Monday and Wednesday at Mansion Ridge and Casperkill.
Billard fired rounds of 80 (Mansion Ridge) and 76 (Casperkill) for a total of 156. His 76 was the second low round of the day at Casperkill. The top nine players from the sectional tournament advance to the state championship June 2-3 at Cornell University.
“It feels good to finally make it,” said Billard, who missed advancing to the state tournament by one stroke last year. “It would have been kind of depressing to never had made states.”
Billard’s chances were never really in doubt. Even after shooting 80 in the first round and putting himself on the bubble, he played a solid round at Casperkill. His only real hiccup came on the par three eighth where he made double after hitting in the water. But he finished strong with a one-over par back nine to secure his spot.
“It took a lot of pressure off him to make it,” said Sullivan West coach Bob Fife. “I think he’ll do well at Cornell. The course up there is his type of course not too long with fast greens.”
Billard, who come August will be attending Methodist University’s Golf Management program, is the fourth Sullivan West golfer since 2005 to qualify for the state tournament, joining Sean Semenetz, Ben Kleiner and Justin Armstrong. He also joins a rare group of Section IX athletes who have made the state tournament in two individual sports in the same year. In February, Billard won the Section IX alpine ski championship, earning a spot in the state meet, where he finished 14th.
Eldred’s David Powers, who last week won the OCIAA championship, missed the cut of 163 after shooting 84-85.