Assistant Sports Editor
HOOSICK, N.Y. -- When Hoosick Falls Central School junior Eric Bloomer takes the course at Orchard Creek Golf Club on Tuesday, he will be the first Panther since Taylor Bellemare in 2009 to participate in the New York State Qualifiers in golf.
Bloomer will travel out to Altamont, N.Y. tomorrow after having a stellar regular season and an even better Sectional showing.
Last week, Bloomer shot an 82 to tie for second place in the Section II Class C/D sectional, booking him his ticket to the State qualifier.
"It was absolutely a surprise," coach Pam Hatfield said of Bloomer’s day at Sectionals, which was played at Ballston Spa Country Club. "Ballston Spa was a very tough course. The greens were very fast. He had to strategize how he was going to play his game and get up on the green."
"After the first hole, he knew that to survive this, he had to guarantee a par," Hatfield said. "What he was doing was not taking any risks. That is how he played the fantastic round that he did."
During the regular season, Bloomer was 7-5-2 for the Panthers as the number one golfer. But even in matches Bloomer lost, he still hit qualifying scores for Sectionals. Of the 14 matches he played on the year, Bloomer hit the requisite 40-strokes or lower 13 times. In order to qualify for sectionals, a golfer has to hit the Sectional score five times, including twice on an away course. Bloomer did it in his first five matches.
Last season, Bloomer missed out on Sectionals by one qualifying score.
"This year he came in stronger than ever," Hatfield said. "He played a lot during the summer with his dad [Tom] and his brother Ryan."
His lowest score on the year was a 37, which he shot twice, on his home course at Hoosick Falls Country Club.
Over the season, Bloomer averaged a 40. The season prior, Bloomer had averaged a 46.
Bloomer was able to practice at Orchard Creek twice since he qualified, heading out to the course last Friday and on Sunday. The practice time will help Bloomer figure out how to approach the course on Tuesday.
"When you are getting ready to compete, you are trying to learn the course," Hatfield said. "Where to place the ball when you are getting ready for your shot, what kind of green is it, is it sloped. Then, you put together your strategy."
The event is set for 10 a.m. with a shotgun start.