OLEAN — His name had mostly been missing from the Penn-York Junior Golf League leaderboard.
Anthony Gullo participated in the first leg, tying for second at Elkdale over one month earlier, but missed the next three weeks for a New York State Amateur event and a pair of Buffalo District Golf Association tournaments.
The recent Jamestown High School graduate made an impressive return for the fifth and final round of the 49th annual Penn-York Monday at Bartlett Country Club.
On a day that played long due to wet grounds, Gullo fashioned a 1-over-par round of 71, topping Pioneer’s Sam Hyman by six strokes for medalist honors in boys Division I (ages 16-18) and giving the top division five different winners in five weeks of play.
Gullo averaged a 72.5 across two courses, but was ineligible for the tour’s top honor due to his three absences. That achievement went to Smethport’s Connor Alfieri, who finished third Monday and edged Hyman by three-quarters of a stroke (77.25 to 78.0) for the John Forrest Memorial Award as the Most Outstanding Golfer for lowest average.
Still, when other golfers were tempered by rainy conditions, Gullo produced the summer’s top individual score.
“Just driving the ball long and good chipping,” said Gullo, who will continue his career at Jamestown Community College. “I was chipping the ball pretty well.”
Alfieri, a rising junior at Smethport, was one of the tour’s five winners, taking first at Pennhills in Bradford, Pa., in Week 2. Among the regular participants, he was also the most consistent, adding a pair of third-place finishes and two fourths.
“I played good all five weeks,” said Alfieri, who took third in the District 9 tournament this spring. “I missed putts in a couple weeks. I’ve worked (on that), and I’ve actually started doing better. You spend all that time practicing, it’s nice to get something back once in a while.”
Alfieri had a 1.66-stroke lead over Hyman for lowest average heading into the final leg, where they played together in the first group. Even though Hyman was two strokes better Monday, Alfieri had enough of a lead for the Forrest Award and the overall divisional crown.
“Usually the best part of my game is my iron shots,” Alfieri said. “My driver is kind of wayward off the tee. It’s the irons that usually get me back to where I need to be. So I’m usually around the green, and as long as I can hit a good shot from there, your scores will be where you want them.”
Kamdyn McClain carded an 81 — the fifth-best score of the day — to earn his fourth win of the tour and the overall Division II (14-15) title. The Olean native was one of 10 Penn-York golfers to qualify for this week’s Southwestern New York-Northwestern Pennsylvania Men’s Amateur at the same course, and the only one from the younger age division to finish in the top 10 in scoring.
“I started off not very well,” he said, “but I kind of rebounded, so I did alright.”
In total, 13 Penn-York golfers will participate in the Men’s Am — 10 by way of scoring and three by sponsorship. They are: Alfieri, Hyman, Jacob Goodenow, Bryce Burton, McClain, Ethan Beaver, Zach Zameroski, Branson Morrison, Matthew Lonto, Spencer Cornelius, Joe Frigo, Michael Davis and Sean Campbell.
McClain is looking forward to playing in his first Men’s Am as one of the tournament’s youngest competitors.
“It feels cool just to be able to have the experience of playing with all the older guys and stuff,” he said.
Elyse Godding (Pine Acres) shot a 93 to finish a first-place sweep of all five legs and capture the overall title for girls Division I (14-17). It was the first time in Penn-York history that the eldest girls played 18 holes, due in part to Godding’s request. Olivia Schott (Coudersport), who recorded a 72 over nine holes, and Emma Edwards (Olean), with a 60 on the modified tees, both won for the fourth time this summer and were the overall winners for girls Division III (12-13) and IV (11-and-under), respectively.
Drew Brokaw (Olean) carded a 46 over nine to earn his first triumph of the year in boys Division III (12-13), but the overall divisional winner was Curtis Hannon (Jamestown), who finished second at Bartlett.
In boys Division IV (11-and-under), Tyler Salvaggio (St. Bonaventure) totaled a 45 on the modified tees for both his second individual win of the summer and the overall divisional title. In total, 79 of 113 registered names took part in Penn-York’s final stop.