Fedele Wins Junior Title on Home Turf
Greece, NY - Rochester’s Andrew Fedele began the final round of the N.Y.S. Junior Amateur Championship tied for the lead with Evan Gaesser of Kendall. Both players started the day at 2-under par, one clear of Christian Chapman (Victor), David Hanes (Elma) and James McHugh (Rye). It was Fedele, a member at Ridgemont Country Club, who pulled out the victory on his home turf, relying on local knowledge, the support of his friends and family, and clutch playmaking down the stretch.
Fedele started slowly in the second round, bogeying the first two holes. He birdied five and bogeyed 7 to turn in 2-over 38. Gaesser, the model of consistency on the front side, parred the first nine holes to remain at 2-under par for the tournament and two ahead of Fedele.
On the back nine, Fedele made par on 10, 11, 12 and 13, tying Gaesser after he made a double-bogey six on the par-4 12th. Both players made par on 13 and bogey on 14 to remain tied heading into the home stretch.
On 15, a 357 yard par-4, Fedele stuffed his approach to four feet and made the birdie, while Gaesser made par. After a short wait on the 16th tee, Fedele played his tee shot into the trees on the right. He played a wonderful punch out towards the green, but a poor chip left him 25 feet from the hole. Gaesser made a par, and it looked like he would pick up a shot but Fedele walked in his par putt to boisterous applause from the gallery.
With Fedele now a stroke ahead of Gaessar, both players would find the fairway on 17. Gaesser played first, and played a beautiful approach to the left side of the green. Fedele played next, and his shot found the back of the green and spun back to about two feet from the hole for a near kick-in. Gaesser made his birdie putt of some 15 feet, as did Fedele.
The final group made their way down 18, a 493 yard par-5. Both players played their second shots short of the green and wedged it in. Fedele landed his approach just to the left of the hole, and it settled about six feet above the hole for a tricky down-hill birdie putt. Gaesser’s third shot came up 20 feet short of the back-right hole location and putted first. His birdie attempt didn't fall and now all Fedele had to do was two putt to win the championship. His first attempt was too strong, but the second was dead center in the cup.
Behind Fedele and Gaesser was a contingent of strong players. Christian Nizamis (Baldwinsville) shot two rounds of 73 to finish in third place at 2-over par. Tied for fourth was Christian Chapman (Victor), Colin Dubnik (Rochester), David Hanes (Elma), and James McHugh (Rye), all at 3-over par.
The top-10 finishers from this year’s championship are exempt to play next year at Cedar Lake Club, which will play host to the 2015 N.Y.S. Junior, Boys’ & Girls’ Championships (August 4-5).