Sample Avoids Trouble to Earn 61st NYS Boys' Sub-Junior Amateur Title
HAMILTON, N.Y. -- Luke Sample avoided trouble throughout two rounds to capture the 61st NYS Boys’ Sub-Junior Amateur Championship title by four strokes at Colgate University’s Seven Oaks Golf Club.
He knocked down four birdies in his final round, which countered the three strokes he lost to par on the tough starting holes Nos. 1 and 2. “I four-putted on the first hole and then didn’t really help on the next one,” he confessed. “I told myself to get off to a good start going into today and missed two short putts just on the first hole.”
He regained control on the two front-nine par-5’s, #5 and #7 with birdies, but felt it was his tough 8-footer for par on the sixth that got him back on track mentally. “It was starting to turn back a little bit,” said Sample, referring to his confidence. “That really propelled me the rest of the way.”
The only competitor truly chasing Sample was Shawn Collela, who teed off in the today’s penultimate group after registering a 77 yesterday. Colella, of Marcellus Golf Club, finished with a tournament-low score of 70 (-2) and worked his way up the leaderboard early on with tactical golf that left him 2-under at the turn.
“Yesterday I was fighting the bad holes,” he mentioned about his 7-stroke difference between the two rounds. “I had four birdies in the opening round, so I came out today thinking just play it smart and aggressive.”
He began the day with a nice 15-foot par save on the tough opening hole #1.
Sample caught up to Colella on #10, after a slight back up gave them a few minutes to chat. That’s when Sample found out about Colella’s fiery start, and that he was now only three shots behind.
Sample had chances for birdie along the backside on Nos. 13, 14, 15 and 17 but couldn’t capitalize on any of them, all outside of ten feet.
The 14-year-old closed with an enthralling 20-foot birdie putt on the home hole to finish at 1-under 143 (72-71). “It was the longest of the week and I was happy to finally get something to go. It was definitely a good way to end the day.”
Colella finished runner-up for a second consecutive year after falling short in last year’s championship to Jude Cummings of Locust Hill Country Club. His opening round is what hindered his opportunity to catch up to Sample.
In third place was Seth Conway out of Corning Country, who shot a sub-par round of 71 to finish at 151 (+7).
This was Sample's first New York State amateur appearance and he felt his chances were very good coming into the week. “I was excited to come and play. The course is challenging but can allow for some low numbers.”
Age Group Winners: 12 & under – Jacob Dantonio (Fox Valley CC); 13 years old – Anthony Maglisco (Camillus CC); 14 years old – Seth Conway (Corning CC)