Jackson Gaynor taming Bethpage Black during Federation play
Rye Country Day Boys’ Golf
Jackson Gaynor Cards 79 for Top-Four Finish in Federation Tourney
By Mitch Silver
Playing the same Bethpage Black course Brooks Koepka and the other touring pros walked a month ago, Rye Country Day junior Jackson Gaynor shot a 79 to finish two strokes behind the winner this past weekend at the New York State Federation High School Championship.
The one-day, 18-hole tournament caps the scholastic golf season by bringing together the best players from the state’s public, private, and parochial schools. Gaynor punched his ticket two weeks ago by shooting a 75 while leading the Wildcats to the NYSAIS (New York State Association of Independent Schools) championship.
Luke Sample of Trevor Day School shot a 6-over-par 77 Sunday. Shane Broad of St. Joseph’s was second with a 78, and Max Van Son of Cold Spring Harbor and Gaynor both finished with 79s. A tie-breaker using the scores on designated holes placed the Rye Country Day entrant fourth.
Gaynor said afterwards, “I really enjoyed playing a tough course like Bethpage Black. The conditions were challenging but I learned a lot from the experience.”
His coach, Leif Halverson, remarked, “Jackson has a very natural, fluid stroke. We’ve had our golfers play in the Federation match three of the four seasons I’ve been the coach here, and our previous high-water mark was a sixth- and seventh-place finish one year. So, Jackson’s achievement is really terrific.”