Darien Swanson Heading To States
Westfield Senior Finishes Second At Section VI Qualifier
CHEEKTOWAGA — Darien Swanson has literally grown up on a golf course, but the Westfield Academy & Central School senior may have never stood taller than he did Monday at the Section VI boys golf championship and state qualifier.
Despite playing in off-and-on rain at Diamond Hawk Golf Course, Swanson led the field after 18 holes with a 7-over 79 and shot a 42 on the final 9 for a 121 total to finish in second place, three shots back of medalist Rocco Randazzo of Lewiston Porter.
Swanson’s effort — which occurred on his 18th birthday — earns him a trip to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Tournament June 5-6 at the Mark Twain Golf Course in Elmira.
Swanson’s 18-hole round, which included 13 pars, three bogeys and two double-bogeys, came a day after shooting an 83 in the practice round. Entering the final nine holes with the lead allowed him to relax, recognizing that he was in the driver’s seat for a state tournament berth.
“I knew I just had to play a decent nine,” Swanson said, “and that’s what I kind of did. It wasn’t anything special, but it did the job.”
And, ultimately, it caps quite an athletic career for the Wolverines’ standout, who also starred in soccer and basketball. In fact, Swanson and his teammates came up one game short of the state Class D hoops Final Four in March.
“It was a nice feeling to get over the hump, especially in a solo sport like golf,” said Swanson, whose family owns and operates Pinehurst Golf Club in Westfield. ” … I was hoping to come in and find a groove … and that’s what I did.”
And what did he do on his trip home to celebrate his birthday AND his state qualifying berth?
Stopped at McDonald’s for a bite to eat.
NOTES: The other state qualifying players include Williamsville East’s Tyler Delisanti (121), Lancaster’s Michael Wolski (123), Frontier’s Alex Schickling (124), Williamsville South’s Julian Mooensen (125), East Aurora’s Peter Jantei (125) and Niagara Wheatfield’s RJ Delisanti (127). Lancaster eighth-grader Cole Jones is the alternate. … Carson Swanson, Darien’s younger brother, finished at 134 and tied for 19th. No one else from the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association made the top 20 and played the extra nine holes. Their 18-hole scores weren’t immediately available at press time.