Genaway Sits Atop a Crowded Leaderboard After the Opening Round of the NYS Junior

July 25, 2017

HAMILTON, N.Y. -- A slew of players finished close to par on a wet and dreary morning at the 76th New York State Junior Amateur, but only one player could break it during Tuesday’s opening round at Colgate University’s Seven Oaks Golf Club.

Related: Full Results 

That player was eighteen-year-old Matt Genaway of Attica Golf Club, who sits alone atop the field after carding a 1-under 71. 

“Coming into today I felt that anywhere below a 76-75 would leave me in decent shape,” answered Genaway. “I feel if I play well, I’m one of the best players in the tournament. I was pretty dialed in from 100 to 130 yards, giving myself chances all day long."

Although Genaway began both sides with bogeys, he capitalized with birdies on holes 3, 7, 12, 13 and 15. His two other bogeys came towards the end on the par-5 fifth and the 192-yard par-3 eighth.

Alex Kyriacou of Spook Rock Golf Club, and Michael Minnehan of Locust Hill CC, trail the leader by just one stroke, each matching par-72.

Five players are tied for fourth at 1-over, including last year’s NYS Boys’ Sub-Junior Amateur champion Jude Cummings of Locust Hill. When asked about what the biggest difference is between this year and last, Cummings said “about a thousand yards,” with a smirk. He stumbled early with a double-bogey on the twelfth hole, a long 219-yard par-3, but quickly recovered by going birdie-birdie on the next two. “It didn’t feel too great, but I knew I had to do something to get back into it so I just grinded it out to shoot a good score,” he said earnestly.

Alongside Cummings at 73 is Nolan Codd (NYSGA eClub – WNY), Christopher Chan (New York, NY), Jeremy Sisson (Skaneateles Country Club) and Justin Lane (Woodstock Golf Club). 

Last year’s champion, Christian Chapman, is not far off the mark after a 3-over 75 opening round.

The defending champ’s putter was working for him today, but his inability to hit fairways and stick it close on the greens left his scorecard with three bogeys and fifteen pars. “I got a new putter yesterday and it’s really helping me out. It saved me a lot today,” he mentioned. 

In the 2016 Championship, Chapman relied on his (old) putter, sinking a 25-footer for birdie on the par-5 18th hole to win by one stroke. In a much different situation this year, he still is confident heading into tomorrow and feels little pressure. “It’s a course that really fits my game. No matter how I’m playing I always feel like I’m going to be able to throw a number down.”

The current leader, Genaway, is confident heading into tomorrow’s final pairing as the man to beat. “There’s going to be nerves...There’s a difference between playing nervous and playing scared. I’ve been in this position in a few other tournaments before, it requires another level of focus and getting it done. I’m looking forward to tomorrow. We’ll see where the chips fall.”

Along with the title on the line is two exemptions, one for the winner and runner-up, into the 95th NYS Men’s Amateur Championship at Bethpage Black.

The Boys' Junior Division will tee off in the afternoon with groups off both #1 and #10. The first groups are set to tee off at 12:45pm.