Hobika Joins Spitz Atop Leaderboard After Round 2 of the N.Y.S. Mid-Amateur at Wolferts Roost
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Luke Hobika (Cavalry Club) joins opening round leader Tim Spitz (Monroe GC) atop the leaderboard after 36-holes of the 32nd New York State Mid-Amateur Championship at Wolferts Roost Country Club in Albany. Hobika and Spitz are tied at 1-over 141.
Hobika feels little pressure going into tomorrow tied for the lead. When asked about the difference between now and 1998 when he claimed the Mid-Amateur title at Yahnundasis, he said, “ I think I have a lot of pressure taken off of me. This is fun, but it’s not the end all for me.”
Hobika's safe game plan keeps him close to par and away from trouble. “ I shoot away from the hole and aim twenty feet from the flag. I was just trying to get it on the green, two putt and try to make a 25-footer,” he revealed. “I figured if I shot even or picked up a birdie somewhere in there I would be close.”
Spitz couldn't find a rhythm today. His irons were great, leaving a lot of birdie opportunities on the table, but failed to capitalize on quite a few chances within ten feet.
One stroke off the lead is defending champ Jamie Miller (Wanakah CC) at 2-over 142 (69-73). Miller fell into in a similar situation last year at Teugega CC where he trailed Adam Condello (Locust Hill CC) by 1 stroke after two rounds, but ended up winning after an impressive final round 68 on the par-70 layout.
Working their way up the leaderboard and now tied for fourth are Robby Bigley (Pinehaven CC) and Adam Condello. Bigley posted a bogeyless 1-under 69 today. Condello (Locust Hill CC) had the round two low with a score of 2-under 68 after posting a 75 in the first round. Bigley and Condello sit two strokes off the lead at 3-over 143.
Friday's round was Condello’s first time playing the course. He felt he learned a lot in one day. “ I played a lot more aggressively today. Yesterday I probably hit more irons off the tee. Today the swing felt different, it was a new day, everything felt different,” said Condello.
Condello’s revenge came on the par-4 10th and 166-yard par-3 11th where he went bogey-bogey on Friday after a couple poor decisions. Today, he nailed a 20-footer on the 10th and left his tee shot three feet from the flagstick on the 11th for back-to-back birdies.
Bigley had a surprising game plan today for the short layout. “Driver on almost every hole, three 3-woods and call it a day.” His plan paid off. He now threatens the lead after an errorless round of seventeen pars with a lone birdie that came on the par-4 17th after dropping a 50-foot putt.
Nine players are within four strokes of the lead, which will certainly make for an exciting final round on Sunday. Of those nine players, three are past Mid-Amateur champions, including Hobika, Miller and 2005 Mid-Amateur Champion Matt Clarke (NYSGA eClub - Capital District). Clarke posted an even-par 70 today to position himself at 5-over 145.
The cut fell at 11-over 151, leaving 35 players to compete on Sunday. Tee-times will begin at 8:00 a.m.
Dan Thompson, NYSGA Intern