NEW ROCHELLE – It’s unquestionably the biggest win of Kyle Downey’s competitive golf career.
“Actually, it’s the only thing I’ve won,” he said moments after securing the 100th New York State Amateur title at Wykagyl Country Club.
Downey, a 33-year-old former college basketball player at Siena whose bio listed a pitching wedge among the items he’d require to survive alone on a deserted island, closed out with typical tenacity on Wednesday and posted rounds of 69 and 67 in a menacing wind to finish the championship with a 5-under total of 283.
He won by two.
“I play in some Rochester District Golf Association events and I’ve come in second, I think four times,” Downey said. “I’ve won a club championship against us some good players at Locust Hill, but this is the one golf tournament that I have actually won, so it’s been waiting in time.”
There was a cast of talented collegians giving chase, but the Oak Hill member who runs a financial planning firm had the steadier hand.
No other competitors finished in the red this week.
“On the first three holes of the day, I was hitting the ball like crap, kind of all over the place,” Downey said. “Then, right around the 11th hole, 12th hole in the morning, I started swinging really, really well. If you continue to do that, you can get at this place, but if you hit it bad here it’s not going to go well for you.”
Carpenter was leading after 18, 36 and 54 holes.
The 22-year-old GlenArbor member won the Ivy League championship and the Connecticut State Amateur in 2022 so he’s dealt with the pressure before.
“I’ve been playing great all summer,” he said following a final-round 74. “I came in off a tough showing at the Met Am, but I knew I was hitting the ball well and had some good momentum. I played a practice round Sunday with one of my buddies from here, Charlie Berridge, and as soon as I saw the course I knew it fit my game really nicely.”
A two-shot lead was gone four holes into the final round when Carpenter four-putted from the front edge of the green and took a double bogey.
“I hit the first putt way too hard,” he added. “The second putt, I honestly thought I had made it, but it went way by the hole and I missed the comebacker. I didn’t let it affect me. I had a great shot on the next hole made birdie to bounce right back, but, yeah, it was it was tough on the scorecard.”
Carpenter was one shot off the lead until a drive that flirted with the left side trees on the 17th hole forced a layup and then a bogey.
Once he settled in, Downey wasn’t giving anything back and was 8-under over his final 22 holes.
“We played a practice round on Sunday and I did not like the course, it didn’t suit my eye and I thought the greens were really tricky,” he said. “And right now, I could go back out and shoot a 65 because I love the place. You just have to get used to the intricacies of this course and that’s hard to do, but after that you kind of understand what the what the designers intended and what the club is all about.”
100th New York State Amateur
At Wykagyl Country Club
1. Kyle Downey (Oak Hill CC) 77-70-69-67-283
2. Anthony Delisanti (Willowbrook GC) 72-72-70-71-285
2. Ben Carpenter (GlenArbor GC) 67-73-71-74-285
4. Peicheng Chen (Rock Hill G&CC) 73-75-70-68-286
4. Jeremy Sisson (Skaneateles CC) 72-70-72-72-286
6. Thomas Finn (Nassau CC) 73-70-70-76-289
7. Ryan Rittberger (Garden City GC) 70-72-74-74-290
8. Darin Goldstein (Noyac GC) 72-78-71-70-291
9. Aiden Spampinato (Ravenwood GC) 72-78-71-70-291
9. Ben Loomis (Winged Foot) 70-73-70-79-292
This article originally appeared on Rockland/Westchester Journal News: Kyle Downey wins 100th New York State Amateur Championship at Wykagyl