Once more, Baldwinsville girls golfer Katie Walsh made her way to SUNY-Delhi to take another shot at top honors during last weekend’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship tournament.
And while Walsh didn’t herself get to the top of the individual standings, those that did, including Auburn eighth-grader Lindsay May, helped Section III’s team earn its first-ever state championship.
There were 81 golfers in the field, including nine from Section III, and Walsh hoped that her experience in this tournament, and playing on the Delhi course, would help her improve on a tie for 21st that she had in 2013.
Having waited nearly four weeks since qualifying for this event in the sectional tournament at Kanon Valley back on May 20, Walsh was eager to go.
Teeing off on the 10th hole in Saturday’s opening round, Walsh parred the first three holes, but went five over par the rest of her opening nine, turning in 41. Things got more difficult on the front line, which led to Walsh producing a 44.
With her 85, Walsh was tied for 33rd, well off the pace set by co-leaders Chelsea Dantonio (Section VI) and Emily Doyle (Section IV), who led with two-over-par 74. Auburn’s Larissa Carter, the two-time Section III individual champion, was one shot off the lead following a first-round 75, with Carter’s Maroons teammate, Lindsay May, three shots back at 77.
In Sunday’s final round, Walsh, as part of a shotgun start, teed off on the 7th hole, and started out quite well, going one over par through her first six holes before a nine on the par-four 14th. She made it through the next nine holes in two over par, and finished with an 83, improving by two shots over her Saturday showing.
Finishing with a two-day total of 158, Walsh tied for 30th place, and they all ended up chasing May, who was two over through four holes (she started on the 2nd hole), but then played the remaining 14 holes in five under part with four birdies, an eagle on the par-five 9th and just one bogey.
Shooting a three-under-par 69 (a course and Section III record for the tournament), May finished at 146, two over par, three shots ahead of Dantonio, to earn the state individual title.
Combined, Walsh and May helped push Section III to the top team score as well. Carter shared eighth place, with 156, with New Hartford seventh-grader Sydney Bard tied for 14th (160), Jamesville-DeWitt’s Molly Hair tied for 16th (163), J-D’s Junghye Kim tied for 25th (165) and Cicero-North Syracuse’s Brianna Sovring tied for 44th (178), followed by two more Auburn players, Kaitlyn Hlywa (185) and Alayna Slayton (189).