While Adam Xiao came just short of earning yet another piece of hardware Sunday afternoon, he still can add a second-place finish at the state Federation golf tournament to his long list of accomplishments this season.
Xiao took second in the 24-player event after coming up short on the second sudden-victory playoff hole at Bethpage Black. The Manhasset junior and Erik Stauderman of Poughkeepsie-Spackenkill both shot a 3-over-par 74 after 18 holes and both parred the par-4 first hole in the playoff.
On the second playoff hole, the par-3 17th, Stauderman made a three and Xiao bogeyed after his par attempt narrowly missed the cup.
“I just hit a bad tee shot on the second playoff hole and that was pretty much it,” Xiao said. He qualified for the Federation tournament after becoming the first Long Island player to win the state public school tournament in 22 years last week at Cornell. Before that, he won his third consecutive Nassau individual title by posting the fourth-best score in tournament history. He also led Manhasset to the Long Island team title.
The top players from the public school association, Catholic league, PSAL and NYSAIS tournaments qualified for Sunday’s event. Friends Academy’s Cristian Del Vecchio took seventh with an 80, and Chaminade teammates Angelo Bonvino and Matt Helsin shot 83 and 86, respectively.
“I drove it well today. I just wasn’t putting how I was at Cornell,” said Xiao, who shot a 37 on both the front and back nines. Stauderman was the leader through nine holes after shooting a 36, but needed to make a short-range putt to make par on the par-4 18th to force the playoff.
Throughout the long day of golf, Xiao had the support of the biggest fan section of the day, as a number of current and former teammates attended the event.
“It was awesome,” he said. “I got a surprise from the guys who I didn’t know would show up. It’s really an honor to have them come out and watch me when they could be doing something else on a Sunday.”
Their support was fitting, as — for all his individual success and accolades — Xiao said the wins on the team level were his favorite parts of the season.
“I’m going to remember the two team wins the most,” he said. “It’s really about the team and not about me. To win our second county championship in three years and the team’s first-ever Long Island Championship is huge for me and coach [Chuck] Collyer and all the guys.”