POTSDAM - From the white tees, the Potsdam Town and Country Club offers 6132 yards of golf and countless scenic vistas of an area where the St. Lawrence River Valley merges with the foothills of the Adirondacks.
On Friday and Saturday, the challenging geography of the course yielded a precious few birdies for the field of the 2014 Section 10 Golf Championships.
Brushton-Moira junior Devin Delisle created a series of birdie chances in Saturdays Medalist Round, converted three on the front nine and used a three-under par 33 as the impetus for a pull-away to his second Brandon Dunlavey Memorial Medalist Award in three years.
Delisle, the NAC Division I MVP, started the day with a one-stroke lead (79-80) over OFA senior Conor Hannan and widened it to 13 after the front nine.
He took control immediately birdieing the first and second holes, added his third birdie on nine, finished with a one-under par 71 and suffered only one major hiccup when he drove the ball out of bounds on the 16th hole long after the issue had been decided.
He finished with a 33-38-71-79-150 and a 16-stroke margin over Hannan (45-41-86-80-166). Third place went to Tupper Lake sophomore and NAC Division II MVP Riley Amell (44-42-86-85-171) and fourth place went to 2013 champion Hunter Francis of Massena (44-41-85-87-172).
Francis experienced an ultimate low and ultimate high in the space of two days.
On Friday, he saw his chances of defending his title evaporate when he suffered an 11 with a seven-putt on diabolic straight uphill 358-yard par four on the 12th hole. On Saturday, he eagled the 406-yard par four 15th hole when he holed a 149-yard shot from the fairway.
Delisle, the NAC Division I MVP, will be making his fourth trip to the New York State Championships which will be held on Saturday, June 1 and Sunday June 2 at Cornell University.
He looks to better his very creditable 15th place finish from a year ago at the Robert Trent Jones Course.
I hope to contend and it would be really nice to make the top eight and make the federation (New York State Federation of High Schools) tournament, said Delisle who went on to say that his mindset didnt change after he birdied the first two holes.
I didnt change anything. I was just looking to play the shots where ever they needed to be. I really didnt putt well either day but I had some different putts today.
Delisle is a member of the Highland Greens Country Club in Dickinson Center and the Malone Country Club and said he learned the game from his father, Jeff Delisle, at an early age and still plays most of his golf with his dad who is a four handicap.
Devin is just so steady. Nothing ever bothers him, said B-M Coach Randy Todd.
As the runner-up Hannan will be making his third trip to the state tournament and will be joined by three teammates from OFAs two-time NAC Division I and Section 10 Overall Championship team.
Senior Rudy Binion (46-40-86-86) tied for fifth, junior Tristan Moore (49-42-91-84-175) took seventh and senior Jed McRoberts forged the second best round of the day (42-40-82) to move from a 17th place at 96 on Friday to the ninth and final spot.
Madrid-Waddington senior Jeff Mott (45-42-87-85-172) tied for fifth place to earn a return trip to the states in Cornell. Kendrick Swamp of Massena (45-45-90-87-177) filled the eighth spot and Davis Sprague of Malone (44-44-88-95-183) placed 10th as the state meet alternate.
To have four players make the states in a real honor. That is the most I have heard of except for the year Potsdam had five players qualify, said OFA Coach Joe Lynch.
I am really proud of the guys. It is a two-day tournament and they went out and battled for two days. Jed McRoberts is a great example, he shoots the second best round today and makes the states.
Teammate Matt Piercey and Madrid-Waddingtons Alex Hammond also enjoyed 14-stroke improvement, 100 to 86.