Shane DeVincenzo last competed in a Long Island high school boys golf event seven months ago. On Oct. 31, 2018, the Port Jefferson senior captured his second consecutive Suffolk individual title.
Since that time, he has kept himself busy preparing for the state public school golf tournament, which took place June 2-3.
“In the winter I lifted weights and played in a recreational basketball league to keep myself in shape. I like to take a few months off after the golf season to unwind,” DeVincenzo said. “I began golfing again four to five times a week in March when the Port Jefferson Country Club opened for the season.”
On Sunday at Robert Trent Jones Golf Course at Cornell University, DeVincenzo shot a 2-over-par 73 in the first round of the tournament and added a 4-over 75 in Monday’s round for a two-day total of 148, finishing tied for second with Section IV’s Evan Sitts and Section I’s Alex Kyriacou.
Defending state champion Adam Xiao (Manhasset) finished fifth with a 149, Max Van Son (Cold Spring Harbor) tied for seventh with a 151 and Turner Foster (East Hampton) placed 14th with a 153.
DeVincenzo birdied the first, fifth and eighth holes Sunday and was 1-under heading to the back nine. At the conclusion of the round, he was in a three-way tie for fourth, just two shots off the lead.
“I talked to my coach and parents and said I’m going to let it all out tomorrow [Monday]. It was either go big or go home," DeVincenzo said. “I was 2-under for the day after the first five holes on Monday and was tied for the lead for a short time.”
DeVincenzo, who was making his fourth straight appearance at the state tournament, improved his score by five strokes from last season, when he shot a 153 on the same course and finished 13th.
“Last year was tough, I had coaches following me and was talking to a bunch of colleges trying to decide where I wanted to play my college golf. I was playing as if I needed to impress," he said. "In October I committed to Fairfield and after that I felt a lot more relaxed."
A week before the state championship, DeVincenzo headed to Florida to compete in the AJGA Junior Open at Saddle Brook in Tampa, three rounds that began May 25.
“It was my first time competing in a tournament like this. There were 13-to-18-year-old kids from some of the top golf academies in the United States and other countries,” he said. “I wanted to prepare myself for states by competing against the best golfers to make it feel a little easier.”
DeVincenzo will have one last hurrah when he plays in the Federation tournament Sunday, June 9 at Bethpage Black.
“I am looking to have fun and play my best,” DeVincenzo said. “Of course, I would like to win, but this is like the cherry on top of the cake. The states were really important to me and I was very pleased and excited where I finished and how I performed.”