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Locals struggle at state golf

ELMIRA — Maple Grove junior Evan Steffen sits tied for sixth place after the opening day of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association boys golf championships held Sunday at Mark Twain Golf Course.

Steffen shot even-par 72 to tie Friends Academy senior Jack Estrella and Saratoga Springs junior Carter Sica.

Steffen, playing with The Wheatley School senior Joseph Dolezal and Peru junior Nick Palmer, in the third group of the day to tee off, started on the front nine. He played even-par through three holes before a birdie at the par-3 No. 4. After another four pars, he made birdie at the par-4 No. 9 to finish his front nine at 2-under.

Following a bogey at No. 10, Steffen made another birdie at the par-3 No. 11 to get back to 2-under before consecutive bogeys at Nos. 12 and 13. He stayed at even par until the par-4 No. 16, which he bogeyed to move to 1-over for the day. Steffen got back to even with a birdie 4 at the par-5 No. 17 and finished his round with the 10th par of his day.

Dunkirk senior Robert Kozlowski is tied for 51st at plus-7 79. Kozlowski started on the back nine with back-to-back bogeys before a par. Another bogey before his lone birdie of the day at the par-4 No. 13 moved him to 2-over before he finished the back nine with four straight pars.

But Kozlowski made bogey on five holes on the front nine, including No. 8, before a par at No. 9 ended his day at 7-over.

Dolezal is first at 4-under 68, while Newburgh Free Academy sophomore Josh Yan and Clarence junior David Brooks are tied for second at 2-under 70. Horace Greeley freshman Ken Fernandes and Williamsville East senior Tyler Delisanti are tied for fourth at 1-under 71.

Section VI is currently second as a team at plus-20, just three shots back of Section VIII, which shot a seven-man score of 521. Section I is third at plus-21, followed by Section V (plus-24) and Section II (plus-27).

The field will complete the championship with another 18 holes today, beginning at 7:30 a.m.

Steffen will tee off in the third-to-last group at 9:36 a.m. with Estrella and Glens Falls senior Brayden Dock.

GIRLS SHOOT IN 90S

REXFORD — A trio of local girls struggled to keep pace with the leaders on the opening day of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association girls golf championships Sunday at The Edison Club.

Cassadaga Valley freshman Jocelyn Wintersteen is tied for 55th, Fredonia sophomore Sydnee Hoffman is tied for 60th and Fredonia senior Juli Spacciapolli is tied for 68th in suburban Albany.

Wintersteen teed off at No. 1 with a 7 before bogeys at Nos. 2 and 3. She made par at Nos. 4 and 5 before her lone birdie of the day at the par-4 No. 6. She went out in 46 and came in with a 44 for her 90.

Hoffman started her round at No. 10 with a 6 and went out in 49, highlighted by a birdie at the par-5 No. 17. She made par at Nos. 2, 8 and 9 on the front nine for a 43 to finish with a 92.

Spacciapolli also started at No. 1 with a 7 before back-to-back bogeys, but made another 7 at No. 4. She made par at No. 5 and went out in 49. Another par at No. 15 allowed her to shoot 46 on the back nine for a 95 on the day.

Scarsdale junior Emma Lee leads the field after shooting a 3-under 69, while The Albany Academies senior Kennedy Swedick — the tournament’s back-to-back champion — is second at 2-under 70. John Glenn junior Palwasha Ali is third at even-par 72.

Section VI is currently last in the nine-team field at plus-120. Section II is first at plus-19, followed by Section I at plus-25. The remaining sections are at least 45 strokes behind, paced by third-place Section VIII.

Competition will begin at 9 a.m. today.

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