Kyle Downey (NYS Golf Association)
The final round of the 100th New York State Men’s Amateur Championship finished with a come-from-behind win.
First-time winner Kyle Downey, of Oak Hill Country Club broke through after tying the low score of the tournament with a 5-under 67 final round.
Downey entered the final 36 holes at Wykagyl Country Club at 3-over, seven shots back of the leader Ben Carpenter of GlenArbor Golf Club. Downey kept clawing his way up the leaderboard and was able to shoot a combined 8-under for his two rounds on Wednesday.
After an opening round of 77 on Monday, all Downey was looking to do was try to make the cut and keep himself in contention.
After navigating the classic layout at 5-over in his first round, something clicked for Downey, and the next three rounds he was able to shoot 10-under and finally win his first New York State title. He finished with a four-round total of 5-under 283 (77-70-69-67).
“I have really never won anything. I have always come in second,” said Downey reflecting on his win at Wykagyl. “It feels really good to just get over the hump and winning is fun. You can't replace that feeling.”
Downey is a competitor at heart, formerly a college basketball player for Siena College, and nowadays plays in Rochester District events, USGA qualifiers, and the NYS Men’s Am and Mid-Am championships each season. He finished runner-up in last year's NYS Men’s Mid-Am Championship, and also led during the first two rounds at the 2021 NYS Men’s Am at Schuyler Meadows Club. In July, he finished as runner-up to Jason Lohwater (2022 NYS Men’s Am runner-up) in the Rochester District Stroke Play Championship. He built off those experiences, and finally capitalize on the opportunity this week.
“My caddy today was fantastic. He was so good at pumping me up and just being positive,” said Downey on his great chemistry he had with his caddy. “Most of the time by myself, sometimes I always think about the negatives, but today we were on the same page and we were fantastic.”
Following him was a two-way tie for runner-up as Round 1, 2, and 3 leader Ben Carpenter of GlenArbor Golf Club and 2021 NYS Boys’ 18U Junior Amateur champ Anthony Delisanti of Willowbrook Golf Course both finished at 3-under for the tournament.
After two solid rounds from Carpenter and holding the lead for almost the entire tournament, The Yale University player fell just short with two fatal bogeys on the back nine of his final round (No. 11 and 17) dropped him down one spot.
“Overall for this tournament, I just have to build on all the positives and there were a lot of them, not a lot of negatives,” said Carpenter reflecting on his rounds at the championship. “I played great all week just down the stretch, didn't have what it took to win the tournament.” Carpenter was the 2022 Connecticut State Amateur champion.
Next to him was Delisanti, who after his first two rounds of even par, looked more like himself during Wednesday’s rounds as he shot 3-under for his two rounds. He carded 4 birdies and an eagle to jolt his way to second place.
“This place was awesome,” said Delisanti about playing at Wykagyl Country Club for the Men’s Am. “The greens were absolutely perfect all week, even with the amount of rain we got. Can’t thank this place enough.”
To round out the top five was 2023 NYS Open champion Peicheng Chen of Rock Hill Golf & Country Club who was on pace for a record round. He drained five birdies on the front nine and shot a 31 thru nine holes (after a bogey on No. 9). But with an even-par back, he was able to secure the top 5 position. He finished at 2-under 286.
Alongside him was Jeremy Sisson of Skaneateles Country Club who made a push in the morning round and stayed in contention for most of the day. But with an unfortunate double-bogey on the difficult 9th hole, the Nebraska Cornhusker stayed at 2-under.
Thomas Finn of Nassau Country Club finished in solo sixth at 1-over. Behind him was Ryan Rittberger of Garden City (2-over), Darin Goldstein of Noyac Golf Club (3-over), Aiden Spampinato of Ravenwood Golf Club along with Ben Loomis of Winged Foot Golf Club at 4-over.
The low 20 golfers and ties earn an exemption to next year’s 101st NYS Men’s Amateur Championship which will head to Wanakah Country Club in Hamburg.
ABOUT THE New York State Amateur
This championship is a three-day 72-hole stroke
competition. The field will be cut after 36 holes to
the low 40
players and ties. Entries will be limited to male
enjoy membership privileges at Clubs belonging
the New York State Golf Association, or are
NYSGA Associate Members.
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