Albany Academy for Girls’ Von Rohr celebrates birthday with a 71 and medalist honors in Section II golf individual championship

Albany Academy for Girls junior Kennedy Swedick, the two-time defending Section II individual champion and reigning state titlist, follows through on a shot while finishing second in the girls sectionals Monday at The Edison Club. Inset: Teammate and medalist Samantha Von Rohr. (Bob Weiner)


REXFORD It was absolutely no surprise that the strong Albany Academy for Girls contingent dominated the Section II Girls Individual Championship & State Qualifier Monday at The Edison Club.

But the order of finish was not expected.

Celebrating her birthday, sophomore Samantha Von Rohr carded a career-best 1-under-par 71 to secure medalist honors and lead two of her more experienced teammates in a 1-2-3 Albany Academy finish.

Two-time Section II champion and defending NYSPHSAA Championship titlist Kennedy Swedick, a junior who enjoyed a sensational summer that included the NYS Women’s Amateur crown among many exploits on the links, finished second with a 2-over-par 74, while senior Nicole Criscone, the NENY PGA Junior Tour Player of the Year in her division, was third with a 75.

Seventh-grader Hayden Knapp of South Glens Falls, Jillian Rawson of Albany Academy for Girls and Zorah Williams of Emma Willard tied for fourth with an 80. Rounding out the qualifiers were Tekla Fine-Lease of Queensbury (81), Maria Jackson of Saratoga Springs (83) and Sienna Wheeler of Colonie (83).

Von Rohr, who began her round on the 18th hole because of the shotgun start, stumbled early with a pair of bogeys, but she quickly found her game in the cool and damp conditions with birdies on two of her next three holes. She finished with five birdies and four bogeys.

“It was freezing out there during my first couple of holes,” said Von Rohr. “My face was cold. It was a little tough, but I loosened up a bit and got better from there. On my third hole, which was hole No. 2, I sunk about a 10-footer for birdie, and then I tried to take it shot by shot. I got a few putts to drop.

“It was my 16th birthday, so I just wanted to have fun on the course,” she added. “This made it a good a birthday. I like this course. They keep it in such great condition. It’s a good challenge. It was pretty soggy out there, and the rough was tough, but we are very fortunate to play here. The greens were in great shape, and if you kept it in the fairway you could have a good day.”

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Like Von Rohr, the top-seeded Swedick got off to a rough start. She suffered a double bogey on the second hole when she lost her tee shot into the woods on the right, and then she made two more quick bogeys to drop to 4-over-par after just five holes.

“My game just wasn’t there today, but that’s OK. That’s golf,” said Swedick, who competed in numerous regional and national USGA events as well as the Epson Tour’s Twin Bridges Championship at Pinehaven CC. “My first couple of drives weren’t there, but I knew I had it in me, and I hoped I could get it back at some point,” she said.

“I was able to stay patient, but I just couldn’t get anything going.”

Swedick made an outstanding up-and-down par on the 16th hole when her tee shot landed in what was ruled to be just inside the penalty area. The muddy area near the creek in front of the green wasn’t sprayed with red paint, but there were some red stakes off to the left. After the ruling, Swedick nailed her approach shot to within 10 feet and made the par.

“I was hoping to get a ruling there, and it was quite a turnaround. It could have been much worse,” she noted. “Making that putt was really big. I wanted to hang in there, move on to the next hole and keep grinding.”

Swedick nearly pitched in for eagle on the par-5 17th hole, but she then missed the short birdie putt and showed a little frustration. Fortunately, she ended her round with a birdie.

Criscone, who registered three birdies, held the lead for a brief time during her round and was happy she kept her composure.

“It was freezing when I started playing, and my drives kept going to the right,” Criscone said. “My putting could have been a little better, but overall I was hitting the ball a lot better than I have been recently. I’m happy with the way I played.”

Criscone said she is currently trying to make her choice on which college to attend next year. She has several in mind and has made one trip so far.

She said she is looking forward to playing in Sunday’s Sectional Team Championship back here, but she doesn’t want to think about the fact that it will be her last time playing with her Albany Academy for Girls teammates.


(Par 72)
Qualifiers – Samantha Von Rohr (Albany Academy) 71, Kennedy Swedick (Albany Academy) 74, Nicole Criscone (Albany Academy) 75, Hayden Knapp (South Glens Falls) 80, Jillian Rawson (Albany Academy for Girls) 80, Zorah Williams (Emma Willard) 80, Tekla Fine-Lease (Queensbury) 81, Sienna Wheeler (Colonie) 83, Maria Jackson (Saratoga Springs) 83.

Other scores – Cambell Kennedy (Shenendehowa) 91, Dannah Smith (Schalmont) 91, Mollie Kortz (Johnstown) 92, Hanna Mitchell (Guilderland) 92, Megna Naidu (Guilderland) 93, Jane Fanning (Guilderland) 95, Sophia Jackson (Saratoga Springs) 95, Peyton Hoblock (Shaker) 97, Clare Cunningham (Shaker) 98, Ella Cotter (Greenville) 99, Bayley Duffy (Queensbury) 100, Lizzie Ryan (Albany Academy) 101, Lillie Junco (Voorheesville) 101, Skylar Yeo (Shenendehowa) 102, Lilla Zeevalk (Shenendehowa) 105, Lily Gray (Bethlehem) 15, Colleen Carey (Academy of Holy Names) 106, Chloe Galvin (Duanesburg) 106, Sarah Byun (Shaker) 106, Mya Young (Bethlehem) 106, Hailey Drinon (Schoharie) 106, Sierra Borden (Saratoga Springs) 107, Morgan Hayden (Tamarac) 107, Taylor VanWie (Chatham) 109, Emily Landau (Saratoga Springs) 110, Mairead Marsden (Broadalbin-Perth) 110, Elle Lyda (Bethlehem) 111, Emma Duval (Ballston Spa) 112, Isabella Petrocci (Mohonasen) 113, Sofia Heiser (Canajoharie) 115, Alexis Palmeri (Fort Plain) 116, Allie Zieker (Saratoga Springs) 117, Emily Shim (Niskayuna-Schenectady) 119, Giayna Abel (Broadalbin-Perth) 129, Aubrey Nethaway (Amsterdam) 134.
Reach Bob Weiner at [email protected]

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