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Somers Soccer Star Strikes Gold in the Holy Land

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slater_articlepicSLATER’S SLANT
BY CHUCK SLATER

Shoshanah Bedrosian recently made it to Israel, something she had wanted to do for a long time.  She went to participate in the Maccabiah Games, the Jewish Olympics, for over two weeks in July and earned a gold medal with the dominant U.S. junior women’s soccer team.  But that wasn’t the thing foremost in her mind when she returned to Somers in the beginning of August.

“The big thing,” she said, “was going into Jerusalem and seeing all the different religions get along so well.  So peaceful, such a holy place.”

She also saw the famed Masada of Jewish lore (“beautiful”) and the Dead Sea (“awesome”).  And, late in July, she celebrated her 16th birthday in the Holy Land, complete with a card from her teammates and a cake plus a hug from her father, Geoff Bedrosian.

“My dad came for a week,” Shoshanah said.  “It was great to see him.  He’s my biggest fan in soccer.”

Shoshanna Bedrosian

“I’m my own harshest critic,” says rising junior soccer player Shoshanah Bedrosian, “but I do have confidence.” Photo courtesy Shoshana Bedrosian

Speaking of soccer, well, that was pretty special, too.  Her American team handled the rest of the Maccabi juniors with relative ease.  In seven games, including the championship, it not only went undefeated but outscored the opposition by 22-0.  Bedrosian, a defense-minded left midfielder, not only played an important role in the shutout performance but also scored two goals of her own.

Her U.S. Juniors played Israel – represented by that nation’s junior national team — three times in pre-season, round-robin and title games — and won each contest by 1-0. (more…)

August 14, 2013 |

U.S. Amateur Golf Championship: Brewster’s Miller Advances, Young of Scarborough Exits

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BY CHUCK SLATER
SPECIAL TO TOWNLINK NEWS + VIEWS

Golfer Mike Miller, with his second straight below-par round, established himself as one of the favorites in the U.S. Amateur at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., as 64 survivors from a field of 312 moved from stroke play to match play.  The 21-year-old from Brewster equaled his opening-round one-under 69 on Aug. 13 to share sixth place among the qualifiers.

Miller pronounced himself “very, very happy” with his game and score. But the other local standout competing for a spot among the 64, Cameron Young, suffered a sad result.

The 16-year-old from Scarborough fell one stroke short of qualification as he followed an even-par 70 with a five-over 75 for 145.  All those at 144 lived to play another day.

“The course played tough today,” Young told TownLink News + Views.  “It bit me a couple of times.”

Miller, meanwhile, took a bite out of par again while keeping alive his outside chance of making the Walker Cup team.  “I’ve made it to match play and I’m looking forward to it,” he said.  “I’m hitting the ball well and today my putter was very, very good.”

August 14, 2013 |

Young, Miller Shine at Start of National Amateur Golf Tourney

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BY CHUCK SLATER
SPECIAL TO TOWNLINK NEWS + VIEWS

The area’s two standout young male amateur golfers both turned in standout opening rounds at the U.S. Amateur Aug. 12 at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.

Mike Miller, 21, of Brewster turned in a one-under par 69 to share 12th place in a field of 312, hoping to be among the 64 moving on to match play after the second stroke-play 18 holes the next day.

Cameron Young, 16, from Scarborough, was an even-par 70 to share 19th place.   Barring an uncharacteristic collapse, both will be among the 64 advancing.

“I had a nice round,” Miller said simply.  “My short game was working well.”

Miller’s golfing future is entwined with this tournament.  His goal this season has been to make the U.S. Walker Cup team of amateurs who will face Great Britain and Ireland Sept. 7-8 but a triple-bogey at the Western Open and an ear infection, which kept him out of the Players Amateur, have hurt his chances.

Five U.S. players have been chosen and Miller, now the 35th ranked U.S. amateur, will have to finish exceptionally high in the event to get one of the remaining five spots.

If he fails to do so, he plans to turn professional in time for the Met Open Aug. 20-22.  “But the Walker Cup is my focus,” he has said repeatedly.

Young actually was two-under par on the front nine but settled for a still-impressive par round.

“I played pretty well,” Young said.  “I just got penalized by a couple of shots which weren’t bad but ended up in bad places.”

August 13, 2013 |

South Salem’s Morales Ousted in National Golf Tourney

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BY CHUCK SLATER
SPECIAL TO TOWNLINK NEWS + VIEWS

      The Round of 32 has not been kind to Nicole Morales lately.

      The 17-year-old golf star from South Salem recently scored well in stroke qualifying at the U.S. Junior Girls championship, then won her Round of 64 match easily, only to lose by the narrowest of margins, 1 up, in the Round of 32, though playing under par.

      In the current week’s U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at the Country Club  of Charleston, her second-round 68 gave her a high finish in stroke play.  She then won a taut Round of 64 match, 2 and 1, only to lose by the same score on Aug. 8 to Californian Casie Cathrea in the Round of 32.

      “My driver was off but my iron shots were excellent,” Morales said after the match.  “Missing a few short putts was the difference.”

      A day earlier, Morales had ousted New Zealander Liz Cheng in a see-saw match.  “I hit the ball super-well in that one,” said Morales, whose birdie putt on 16 clinched the victory.

      Morales refused to be discouraged by the loss.  “I’m looking forward to the Junior Solheim Cup next weekend,” she said.  There, Cathrea will be a teammate.

 

August 9, 2013 |

South Salem Golf Phenom Morales Hopes to Shine in Florida

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SLATER’S SLANT
BY CHUCK SLATER

As a sophomore, Nicole Morales of South Salem left the John Jay Cross River High School’s boys golf team to pursue her future as one of the elite junior woman golfers in the country.  Now, as a senior, she is dropping out of John Jay entirely, and for the same reason.

Morales, the only high schooler ranked among the top five junior girls in the nation, is currently playing in the U.S. Women’s Amateur in Charleston, S.C. after advancing to match play in the U.S. Girls Amateur Juniors in Fort Wayne, Ind., in late July.

In her final high school year, before embarking on a full scholarship to Alabama, and then, if all goes according to plan, a professional golf career, she will not return to her Cross River campus.

Nicole Morales, a John Jay Cross River student, is spending her senior year in Florida, for intensive golf coaching at Mike Bender Academy, before heading to a full ride at the University of Alabama. Photo courtesy Nicole Morales

She will move to Lake Mary, Fla., and finish her coursework at Lake Mary Prep.  There, she will work intensely with Cheryl Anderson, who has been her stroke coach since Morales was 8, and is part of the nearby Mike Bender Academy.

“This,” Morales said, “is the final chance to work closely with her on my skills and have my coach with me before I go to Alabama.”

The move has been planned as carefully as Morales lines up a 12-foot putt.  “The long-term plan was to make the Lake Mary area near her coach the home base,” said her father, Miguel Morales.

(more…)

August 8, 2013 |

Big Round For Morales

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By Chuck Slater

“I didn’t miss a fairway all day,” said a happy Nicole Morales after firing a three-under par 68 — equal to the second best round of the day — as on Aug. 6 she qualified for the match play section of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at the Country Club of Charleston (S.C.).

With 64 women qualifying, Morales, the 17-year-old from South Salem, stood only 38th after her 4-over 75 the day before.  But her two-round total of 143 put her in a tie for 13th and with a favorable draw for her first head-to-head match the next morning.

“Winds were 30 miles an hour that first day,” Morales said.  “Today it was just a cooling breeze.”

Morales’ key shot was a clutch 15-foot par putt from the green’s fringe on No. 6.  Thus heartened, she birdied No. 7 plus three of the next seven holes.  “My putter was really working,” she said.

August 7, 2013 |

Young, of Scarborough, Finishes Strong in PGA Junior Championship

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By Chuck Slater

Sixteen-year-old Cameron Young continued his summer of superior golf  last week. He closed with a four-under-par 67 — equal to the day’s best-round – on Aug. 1 to climb up to a share of fifth place in the PGA Junior Championship at Trump National Golf Club in Washington, D.C.

The long-driving Scarborough youngster, who plays out of Sleepy Hollow where his father David is the head pro, finished with a 277 for four rounds, seven under par and three strokes behind the winner.  He also had a two-under 69 in the third round.

“I hit the ball really well all week,” Young said.  “I struggled on the greens the first few rounds but was able to hit my putts in the final round.”

Young’s next major competition is an even tougher one.  On Monday, Aug. 12, he will begin participating in the stroke play of the United States Men’s Amateur at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., hoping to advance to medal play.

August 5, 2013 |
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