Takes advantage of chance to beat field at famed course
FARMINGDALE — What a difference a few days make.Last Monday at the New York State Public High School Championships, New Hartford senior star Derek Bard was trying to shake off what was one of
the more disappointing days of his storied career.
Bard was in position to repeat as state champ, but carded a 44 on the back nine and made uncharacteristic mistakes that put him in a tie for fifth and seemed to knock him out of the Federation Tournament.
But after state champ, Davis Jensen dropped out of the tournament, Bard received a much needed reprieve and took full advantage of the opportunity, shooting 3-over 75 Sunday to win at the New York State Federation High School Tournament at Bethpage Black Golf Course in Farmingdale.
Bard finished two strokes ahead of Cameron Young, who shot 77.”There really isn’t a better way to go
out,” said Bard, who was in Farmingdale preparing to watch his brother Alec, who placed second at
“I thought I was done. I came here treating it like a vacation and got call from the coordinator yesterday and he asked if I would play. It was weird coming here not expecting anything and getting in and making the most of it. To end on this note, I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
While Derek was experiencing his third Federation competition – he finished third in 2011 and 2012, Alec, just a freshman, was competing at the famed course for the first time and finished fifth with an 82.
Alec, who was second at the state tournament last week, struggled a bit with his ball striking on the back nine, but really enjoyed the competition.
“The experience was great,” Alec Bard said. “Just to be there as a freshman is great. The course is ridiculous and I hope to get chances to play here the next three years.
“We didn’t play all the way back, but it was pretty close. I wasn’t hitting it well and put too much stress on my short game. I was in good position after shooting 39 on the front, but didn’t give myself a chance on the back.”
Derek has been struggling with his swing the last few weeks, but found his form Sunday.
“I hit it a lot better,” Derek Bard said. “Obviously, I have been struggling. I hit greens and made it easy on myself. A lot of those 10-footers for par that I’ve been having lately, were now for birdies. I didn’t make a lot of putts, but I can’t complain, because I hit it a lot better.”