ITHACA - After nearly seven months, the wait is over for Gloversville senior golfer Josh Fonda.
This weekend, Fonda will travel to Ithaca to compete in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Golf Championship at Cornell University's Robert Trent Jones Golf Course.
It will be the second straight trip to the state tourney for Fonda, who made it in as an alternate last year.
Gloversville senior Josh Fonda will compete in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Golf Championship at Cornell University’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Course this weekend. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
"Just the experience of being there will help me," Fonda said. "Last year, I got to learn the course. The greens there are pretty tough."
Gloversville coach Mark LeFever also said he expects last year's experience to help Fonda in his return to states.
"I think his experience last year will benefit him. He's definitely matured and grown tremendously the last couple of years," he said. "I expect him to do well.I think his approach will be different. I think he'll be very aggressive."
Fonda qualified for the state tournament at the Section II Class ABCD qualifier nearly seven months ago, on Oct. 10 at Orchard Creek Golf Club in Altamont.
"It definitely hurts the golfers from Section II," LeFever said of the gap between qualifying for states and competing in states. "Several of the other sections have been golfing all spring and their hitting their peaks."
Fonda finished the Section II qualifier with a two-day total of 153 to finish third overall after round of 76 and 77 on the par-71 course.
Shenendehowa's Kyle Matthews took home medalist honors with a round of 73 to bring his two-day total to 151. Runner-up honors went to Shaker's Tanner Donovan who had a two-day total of 152.
Fonda is part of a group of nine players who will represent Section II at the state tournament.
Also qualifying for states were Saratoga Springs' Chris Thompson, Glens Falls' Alex Gibson, Shaker's Hunter Donovan, Bethlehem's Matt Mastrianni, Hudson Falls' Wyatt Gorham and Saratoga Springs' Dan Shepherd.
Last year, Fonda was added to the Section II state team after another player withdrew. He finished tied for 59th, posting a two-day total of 170. Fonda carded an 81 to finish the first round tied for 43rd and posted an 89 in the final round.
"He's been looking forward to the opportunity to play in the state tournament again," LeFever said. "He's certainly the best golfer I've had a chance to work with, for sure."
Shaker's Davis Jensen won the individual title by three shots last year with a five-over-par total of 147 over New Hartford's Alec Bard.
Jensen had the low round of the day with a two-over-par 73 in the final round.
Section III won the sectional championship with a two-day total of 1,098, which includes the best seven-out-of-nine scores from both rounds. They finished seven shots ahead of second-place Section V and nine shots ahead of third-place Section XI. Section II finished eighth with a total of 1,169.
In addition to qualifying for states, Fonda had a solid senior season for the Huskies, earning Foothills Council all-star honors. He finished second at the Foothills Council Tournament at Glens Falls Country Club and fifth at the Section II Class B Tournament at Ballston Spa Country Club with a 73.
Fonda, who will play golf at Florida Tech in Melbourne, Fla., next fall, has been preparing for the state tourney since October.
"Since the courses have opened around here, I've been playing as much as I can," he said. "I also worked hard over the winter and I practiced inside every day."
After a practice round today, the first round of the state tournament will take place Sunday with the final round set for Monday.
Fonda is scheduled for a 10:52 a.m. first-round tee time Sunday.