Despite playing on a different course than he is accustomed to, Adam Xiao entered Wednesday’s final round of the Nassau boys golf championship trailing by just two strokes, and was in prime position to make history.
“The last three years were at Bethpage, but because of the PGA Championship we played the counties at Eisenhower,” Xiao said. “I felt I had an advantage having played so many tournaments out there (Bethpage). So coming into this year, it was interesting to see what the scores were going to be.”
The scores were higher than usual, but the results remained the same with Xiao on top of the leaderboard.
The Manhasset senior shot a 3-over-par 75 in the final round on Eisenhower Red, following a 9-over 81 on Eisenhower White Tuesday to capture his fourth consecutive county title with a 156 total. Xiao became the first four-time county champion, according to Manhasset coach Chuck Collyer.
Max Van Son of Cold Spring Harbor finished second with a 159 and Saurav Bhasin of Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK was third with a 160.
“I didn’t play my best out there, the conditions were super tough, but I am definitely happy with the way I finished up,” Xiao said. “It was super windy (Tuesday) and the greens were dry as can be. It was like playing on concrete . . . It was a grind, that’s the one word to perfectly describe it.”
Xiao, Van Son and Bhasin each qualified for the state championship that will begin June 2 at Cornell. They will be accompanied by Syosset’s Ryan Millevoi (161), Friends Academy’s Zachary Shallat (161), Sewanhaka’s Jason Velez (161), Syosset’s David Alongi (163), Great Neck South’s Ryan Gresalfi (164) and Bhasin’s brother Sachin (164).
Millevoi and Alongi helped lead the Braves to the Nassau team championship, as they totaled 853 over the two-day tournament. Syosset edged out defending champion Manhasset (868), who finished second ahead of Friends Academy (887).
Xiao, who is also the defending state champion, knows what is needed to repeat.
“I am just going to trying to stick to the same game plan that I have been playing the last two years,” Xiao said. “I know how to play that course. I just have to sharpen up a little bit on the short game and I think I’ll be pretty set.”