Huntington’s Joe Saladino shakes hands with Sleepy Hollow’s Cameron Young following their first round finish of the Mittelmark Invitational at Fenway Golf Club in White Plains June 28, 2012. ( Matthew Brown / The Journal News )
To view a gallery of photos from the event, click here.
By Mike Dougherty
SCARSDALE — Cameron Young was getting used to winning, so he wasn’t in a great mood after missing the cut earlier this week at the Ike Championship.
The 15-year-old made good use of his unplanned free time.
Young was hitting balls on the range and stroking putts on the practice green before he left Atlantic Golf Club on Tuesday. He logged several more hours of practice back at Sleepy Hollow Country Club on Wednesday.
And on Thursday, Young posed with another trophy.
He closed with three consecutive birdies to put an exclamation point on a ridiculous back nine, and captured the Mittelmark Invitational at Fenway Golf Club with a 3-under total of 137. The newest piece of crystal won’t clash with the other hardware Young has picked up in the last two weeks. He won the Hochster at Quaker Ridge, and then finished atop the leaderboard at the Brae Burn Invitational.
Joe Saladino of Huntington Country Club took second place with a 1-over total of 141. Luke Feehan of Mahopac Golf Club was third with a 5-over total of 145.
“I hit a lot of putts the last two days,” said Young, who shot a 4-under 66 in the afternoon. “I putted for a good two hours yesterday, so it wasn’t a nice day off. I was pretty mad.”
He’s been rolling the ball well during a stretch that also includes a runner-up finish at the Westchester Am, but there have been a lot of near misses. It’s kind of a scary thought, what might happen when the putts start dropping on a more regular basis.
The putter wasn’t completely cooperating in the morning.
“He was hitting a lot of good putts earlier in the day that just didn’t go in,” Saladino said. “I was able to stay in front of him until I made two boneheaded mistakes at 10 and 11, then I struggled with the putter. Cameron played real steady golf, and then rolled in a few at the end. He shot a 30 on the back nine, which is just incredible golf.”
It was another head-shaking moment.
The playing partners were tied with three holes to go, but Young started his impressive closing run on the 16th hole with a birdie from 15 feet away. It came after Saladino nearly holed out from the rough on the left side of the green.
“It was right edge, so there wasn’t too much break to it,” said Young, who’s almost unflappable down the stretch. “I do like the moment. I’ve played a lot so I’ve learned how to react in certain situations. I just think it’s fun.”
Young followed up by draining a slippery birdie from 12 foot above the hole on the 17th, and Saladino took a bogey.
Game. Set. Match.
Young logged significant cart time with Saladino, which is a good thing. He’s been around some very good players at these invitationals and is already benefiting from their experience.
“I’ll talk to them, ask different things, but mostly I just watch them play,” he said.
Feehan, a Carmel resident who’s going to be a senior at Boston College, was in contention most of the day until he ran into trouble on the greens. It’s not uncommon to hear golfers recount a string of three-putts after the Mittelmark.
“I came into this one hoping to simplify my swing thoughts,” he said. “I’ve been going through some swing changes, which haven’t been working out too well, but I found something on the range. I knew where the ball was going and gave myself some opportunities. All of my trouble was on the greens, which is a problem that’s legendary at Fenway.”
At Fenway Golf Club
1. Cameron Young, Sleepy Hollow71-66-137
2. Joe Saladino, Huntington70-71-141
3. Luke Feehan, Mahopac 72-73-145
4. Kirk Kashevaroff, Tuxedo 77-70-147
4. Pat Wilson, High Pointe 73-74-147
4. Dylan Crowley, Glen Cove75-72-147
7. Eric LeFante, Hominy Hill 75-73-148
7. Matthew Lowe, Colonial Springs 77-71-148
9. Stu Kaufman, Elon74-75-149
9. Dylan Newman, Bonnie Briar 78-71-149
9. Dave Segot,Nassau Players 78-71-149
12. Rob Christie, Winged Foot 75-75-150
12. Michael Karger, Century 72-78-150
14. Ryan Chin, Marine Park 80-71-151
14. Jason Monroe, Fenway 74-77-151
14. Charlie Edler, Rumson 74-77-151
14. Mike Reardon, Tuxedo 75-76-151