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MPH’s Gruninger, F-M’s Gilroy earn spots in state golf finals

May 27, 2018 Eagle Bulletin,

In the fall, Fayeteville-Manlius boys golfer Kyle Gilroy blazed his way to an individual Section III championships. In the spring, Manlius-Pebble Hill’s Johnny Gruninger did the same, never losing a match.

Now Gruninger and Gilroy would lead the area’s best into the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships at Cornell University’s Robert Trent Jones course, both of them carrying high expectations.

It didn’t take long for them to get to the top of the standings when the sectional state qualifying tournament got underway Thursday at Seven Oaks in Hamilton.

Even though he didn’t make a birdie in his opening round, Gruninger avoided anything worse than a bogey and, with 14 pars, finished with a four-over-par 76 to take the early lead.

Right behind him, Gilroy was steady, too, his 78 giving him a tie for second place with Thousand Islands’ Matt Barton as they both easily advanced to the final round.

There was drama for local fans on the other side of the bracket, too, as East Syracuse Minoa’s Ian Rivers, by shooting an 85, grabbed the 20th and final qualifying spot by a single shot over a group of golfers.

The group that missed the cut included MPH’s Grant Lewis, who with an 86 just missed advancing. F-M’s Sean Arthur had a 90, while the Spartans’ Justin Seltzer had a 97 and MPH’s George Bruno had a 100.

Christian Brothers Academy’s David Gross did not advance, shooting a 101, but later that same day he returned to the Brothers baseball team that won its sectional Class A quarterfinal over New Hartford.

In the final round Saturday, Gruninger tried to hold his lead, but a final-round 77 left him vulnerable to a charge from New Hartford’s Jack Angelucci, whose 73 put him at 152, ultimately one stroke better than Gruninger for the individual title.

Gilroy fell back a bit, but with an 81, his two-round total of 159 still put him in fifth place, easily qualifying for the state tournament. Rivers improved from his first round and shot a 79 that left him at 164, just two strokes from the top nine.

On the state tournament team, Gruninger, Gilroy and Angelucci will be joined by Nick Bove (West Genesee), Jake Domagal (Whitesboro), Shawn Colella, Carter Austin (both from Marcellus), Joe Miga (Utica-Notre Dame) and Mike Mandel (New Hartford).

MPH’s Gruninger, F-M’s Gilroy earn spots in state golf finals