Weekly Feature

2017-05-17 / Sports

North’s Halpern wins playoff hole to win boys golf section title

Sports Reporter

It’s not a surprise to Williamsville North boys golf coach John Burns that Kevin Halpern won Monday’s Section VI championship at Gowanda Country Club.

The Williamsville North junior bogeyed on the first playoff hole to beat East Aurora/Holland’s Andrew LaCongo to earn medalist honors and qualify for the state meet for the first time. It’s the third year in a row a North golfer has won the section and the sixth straight year the Spartans have qualified a golfer for the state meet. Ben Reichert, a 2016 North grad who plays at East Tennessee State, took the title in 2015 and 2016.

“Kevin has been a good golfer for us,” Burns said. “He was fourth in stroke average last year with a 40 and has been on the verge of competing and winning tournaments at a high level. He’s matured into a really complete player going into his senior year. The opportunity presented itself, and he played really well.”

Halpern shot 34 on the front nine and 43 on the back nine for a 77 and shot a 40 in the final nine to record a score of 117.

On the playoff hole, Burns said Halpern hit a drive down the right side of the fairway, used a wedge and hit a shot into the green that rolled off the back. He said Halpern chipped back onto the green within about 8 feet and hit a two-putt for bogey.

LaCongo was in a similar position but chipped the ball off the green and finished with a six on the hole.

Also qualifying is senior Mike Wells, who tied for sixth with a 121. He shot 40 in the front nine and 39 in the back nine, and added 42 in the final nine. Wells was a state qualifier in 2015.

“That was a big goal of his,” Burns said.

North senior Tyler Durfee shot 87 and missed the initial 18-hole cut by one stroke, placing 24th. Sweet Home junior Tyler Edholm finished 19th with a 130. Sweet Home junior Alex Farkas fired a 96 and took 53rd.

The state meet is June 2-5 at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course at Cornell University.

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