New York Mid-Amateur: Billy Hanes goes Wire-to-Wire and Back-to-Back
Billy Hanes (New York State Golf Association Photo)
Billy Hanes (New York State Golf Association Photo)

The 39th NYS Men's Mid-Amateur Championship at Crag Burn Golf Club has come to a close, and an all too familiar face has come out on top once again at his home club.

Defending champion Billy Hanes, who was also the leader in all three rounds, claimed his second New York State Mid-Amateur championship and has successfully defended his title in wire-to-wire fashion.

Hanes now becomes just the second player to successfully defend their Mid-Amateur title, and at a place so dear to him (first was Jim Roy of Syracuse in 2001-02). He has been playing golf at Crag Burn since he was 17 years old.

“It's incredible to play a championship-level course like this,” said Hanes. “It was probably the best tournament I have ever played, and I am very proud to be state champion again at my home club.”

Stepping up to the first tee, Hanes had a big lead already to maintain (four strokes), but with birdies on the first two holes, he sent a message to the field early. He would go on to birdie three more holes and shoot a 3-under 69 to finish the tournament at 7-under. He was the only player to finish under par.

“Birdied one, birdied two, and really relieved some nerves,” said Hanes about his hot start. “I felt good about my game, and my body felt great. I’m 37 now, and I feel like I am better now than I ever was at any point of my life.”

The now six-time NYSGA Champion (2022 Mid-Am, 2000 Boys 14U, 2015, 2018, 2023 Men’s Four-Ball) was filled with joy as he was rushed by his family and friends on the 18th green after claiming the title.

“I have my family here, and a lot of my friends, and it is really great to win here at my home club,” said Hanes.

Hanes only had 5 bogeys over the entire tournament and a total of 12 birdies, including 5 birdies in both his opening and final round.

Finishing in second place is Sean Paul Owen, who was playing in his very first Amateur championship.

A very solid week finished with an even par round of 72 in the final grouping to give him the solo second position. With 5 birdies on his scorecard in the final round, he ended his championship at even par.

“Both my parents have supported me through all my sports,” said Owen, having his dad on the bag. “We had a blast out here this weekend.”

With this finish, Owen will now look to the future as he qualified for both next year’s Mid-Amateur at a site to be announced, and Men’s Amateur at nearby Wanakah Country Club.

Finishing in third place was Jeff March, and Yaroslav Merkulov. They both finished their championship at 4-over. March made 18 pars in his final round.

Following them in solo fifth place was Andrew Watson. After shooting one of only five scores under par in the championship in round one, he finished at 8-over.

Behind Watson in solo eighth place was Brad Monroe, who finished the tournament at 11-over.

Rounding out the top ten in a four-way tie were Carter Thompson, Anthony Ragusa, David Hanes, and 2023 NYS Men’s Amateur Champion Kyle Downey, who all finished at 12-over.

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ABOUT THE New York State Mid-Amateur

Entries will be limited to male amateur golfers who enjoy membership privileges at Clubs belonging to the New York State Golf Association, or are NYSGA Associate Members. Entrants must have attained their 25th birthday by the date of their regional qualifier.

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