VALATIE, N.Y. - First-year Matt Johnson (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury Regional) was one stroke off the leader during the second round of the Northeast-10 Conference Championship on Monday at the Olde Kinderhook Golf Course while coming within three shots of the Saint Michael's College men's golf program record.
Johnson's two-under 70 is believed to be a program first-year record, and only trails scores recorded by Steve Gretkowski '90 (67) on Sept. 12, 1989; Mark Mitchell '11 (68) on Sept. 12, 2010; and Walt Sharis '64 (69) during the 1961-62 season. Johnson came within four strokes of the NE-10 Championship single-round record, as his score is the best ever fired by a Purple Knight in 29 years of competing at the league meet. For the tournament, Johnson fired a 10-over 154 to tie for 18th, the best by a Saint Michael's first-year at the NE-10 Championship since Mark Mitchell '11 tied for 13th in 2007. His 24-place improvement from day one to his final placement was the best in the tournament, while his eagle on Monday, on the 13th hole, was one of just four turned in by any competitor in the championship.
First-year Tim Donnelly (Lynn, Mass./Malden Catholic) placed 37th with 162 shots for the tournament, while sophomore Colin Gaunt (Queensbury, N.Y./Queensbury) was one stroke back, tying for 38th at 163. Classmate David Boardman (Pelham, N.H./Pelham) took 45th at 167, and sophomore captain Tucker Buteau (Gorham, Maine/Tilton School) finished at 170 strokes thanks to a final-round 79.
As a team, the Purple Knights placed ninth out of 10 schools with 639 strokes, coming within nine of eighth-place Saint Anselm College and clearing 10th-place Adelphi University by 32 shots, after being predicted to place last in the pre-meet coaches' poll. They had the fourth-best average on par-five holes (4.95), while Johnson tied for second on par fives (4.38), as his team's 318 shots on Monday were good for eighth among all schools.
Saint Michael's is back in action on Friday and Saturday at The College of Saint Rose Fall Shootout.