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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, October 13, 2011

Three Voorheesville players in championship round
Perfect day for golf at Orchard Creek as Blackbirds take Class C/D title

By Jordan J. Michael

ALTAMONT –– The 39 golfers at Orchard Creek Golf Club on Tuesday were rewarded with bright sun and a temperature of 75 degrees as they played their sectional championship round. An 18-hole score that matched the temperature would be enough to move on.

After landing his second shot under a tree on the par-five 16th, Voorheesville’s Matt Parrottino faced a debacle. He cut a low shot from under the tree and the ball landed on the green, 20 feet from the hole. Parrottino almost made his birdie putt, meaning a score of one under par, but was proud to save par.

“It actually worked,” Parrottino said of the shot on 16 after shooting a sixth-place round of 76. He’s one of 16 players that will vie for a spot on the Section II team at Orchard Creek today. “I was just pumped to get out of there,” said Parrottino, who parred the final two holes.

Parrottino, who has been feeling a little ill over the past week, double bogeyed the eighth hole, meaning he scored two over par, but bounced back to birdie the 12th after punching a shot out of some weeds.

“I did pretty well, but it got ugly for a while,” Parrottino said. “I was nervous after the eighth hole, kind of scrambling. Just have to take one hole at a time.”

The Blackbirds had two other golfers make Tuesday’s round after the team won its third straight Class C/D title this season. David Malfetano shot an 85 and Grace Ziamandanis finished with an 86.

Neither will move on, but Malfetano quickly pointed out to Ziamandanis that he beat her by one stroke as they greeted each other afterwards. Ziamandanis shrugged off the joke, but she was unhappy with her round.

“Everything was off,” said Ziamandanis, who plays the same distance as the boys. “Things went up and down. You just try to do better on the next hole, I guess.”

Malfetano was satisfied with his putting and tee shots, but told The Enterprise that he made “dumb mistakes” throughout the day. He tried to go over some trees on the second hole, but hit the ball right into the trees.

“I killed my score,” said Malfetano. “My approach was off, but we couldn’t have had better weather. It’s better than being at school.”

Ziamandanis said she “dubbed” her tee shot into tall grass on the sixth hole, resulting in a triple-bogey. She wanted a birdie on the seventh, but came away with a par. “It’s all mental,” she said. “I don’t think about the last shot or the next shot. I think in the now.”

Swinging clubs since she was seven, Ziamandanis, now 16, is thinking of playing golf in college. She won her age group in the Doral Publix Junior Sectional Qualifier at Firefly Golf Club in Seekonk, Mass. in the first weekend of October. Ziamandanis now advances to the Doral Publix National tournament in December at Doral Resort in Miami, Fla.

“I love competition and the individuality of the sport,” Ziamandanis said. “I like doing my own thing.”

Voorheesville Head Coach Tom Gladd said that all three golfers play out of season and get assistance from professionals. Parrottino, Ziamandanis, and Malfetano have been playing golf for the Blackbirds since being in middle school.

“They’ve really put the time in and made their way up,” Gladd said. “They’re used to the pressure and they’re ready to face it. They’re solid golfers.”

Gladd, a decent golfer himself, strives to be an optimistic coach because golf is such a mental game. He’s read a lot about the psychology of the sport. On Tuesday, he was checking in on his son, Dylan, who shot a 74 for Columbia High School.

“I try to relay all the suggestions along,” said Gladd. “The rules, the etiquette, course management, and the opportunity to be successful.”

On Tuesday, Orchard Creek was the perfect scene for thriving young golfers.

“It’s very peaceful,” Parrottino said.

Players advance

Here are the 14 other players who advanced:

–– Jeff Palmerino, Bethlehem, 70;

–– Victor Fox, Bethlehem, 71;

–– Austin Teal, Albany Academy, 74;

–– Jimmy Greg, Shenendehowa, 75;

–– Davis Jensen, Shaker, 76;

–– Alex Kinkaid, Shenendehowa, 77;

–– D.J. Tozier, Shenendehowa, 78;

–– Tim LaSarso, Queensbury, 78;

–– Calvin Beckwith, Saratoga, 79;

–– Cody Purcell, Catholic Central, 79;

–– Christian Flemming, Saratoga, 79;

–– Jacob Rounds, Broadalbin-Perth, 80;

–– Bobby McCarthy, Shenendehowa, 80; and

–– Ryan Lynch, Schalmont, 80.

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