BY MICHAEL KELLY
ALTAMONT — He had hoped for a better finish to his stay at the Section II golf state qualifier, but Niskayuna’s Nick Rumsey could hardly complain with his final round.
After all, he had made it to the final day of the Section II fall season — as a sophomore with no postseason experience before this year.
Rumsey finished 20th at the two-day state qualifier at Orchard Creek Golf Club, which was conducted Oct. 13 and 15. Between 36 holes of golf at the par-71 course, Rumsey shot rounds of 76 and 92.
Rumsey was the lone Niskayuna golfer to advance to the state qualifier, and golfed well enough with his first round to make the cut for the second day.
Forty-seven golfers started the tournament, while only 20 finished it. Nine golfers qualified for next June’s state championships, plus two alternates, from the tournament.
Rumsey had entered the Section II golf postseason as the No. 3 golfer for Niskayuna. With his postseason rounds, though, Niskayuna head coach Ben Smith said Rumsey finished with the team’s best average.
Your Niskayuna caught up with Rumsey after his final round.
Q: Before this season started, did you imagine you’d end your season at the state qualifier?
A: I didn’t expect to be here; last year, I didn’t even make it to sectionals. To be here with all these guys, it was a great experience. Everyone was so nice and nobody was ever rooting against you.
Q: Most golfers seemed to find the course tougher for the second round of the qualifier. Why was that?
A: The course was definitely playing longer. The wind was a big factor, and pins were in tough places … so you definitely were playing different clubs than you’d normally play.
Q: Will you get the chance to golf again this year on your own?
A: I’ll be out some more. I’ll play with my uncle, some friends, guys from the team. This [the state qualifier] was a learning experience for me, and I’m definitely going to come back next year hoping to make it further.
Q: So, this experience leaves you hungry for more?
A: It definitely did. There wasn’t a lot of pressure on me this year since I was a sophomore and have a lot more time left with high school golf. But, next year, I’ve got to get back here — and hopefully we’ll have more guys make it, too.