HOLLAND PATENT — Jacob Olearczyk, a first-year golfer for Holland Patent, had a string of strong results on the links.
On Monday, Olearczyk — who was part of the varsity golf team last year — shot a 79 to the medal in the Men’s Golf Section III North Division Qualifier held Monday at the McConnellsville golf course.
He followed this Wednesday with a 78 at Skenandoa Golf Course in Clinton in a field among Section III golfers seeking to qualify for the state tournament. He is one of 22 vying for 10 spots to qualify for the state tournament in early June.
Last July, at age 13, he won the New York State 14U Junior Amateur Championship. This year he finished first in the 14U division at the New York State PGA Junior Championship at the Leatherstocking Golf Course in Cooperstown.
Olearczyk, who also plays basketball and soccer, said he has improved his golf game greatly since last year’s one-day sectional tournament when he shot an 84 at Barker Brook Golf Club.
Here are five questions he answered for the Daily Sentinel:
How did you come to golf?
When Olearczyk was five, his father, Mark, walked past the Beacon Golf Center in Marcy. He thought it sounded interesting.
Olearczyk said he started swinging right-handed before someone at the range suggested he switch to left-handed.
“I got into it pretty quickly. I went to summer camp at Hidden Valley (golf club in Whitesboro) when I was younger and kind of took it from there,” Olearczyk said. “I played in CNY PGA and progressed. When I was younger I played in Junior PGA to try and get my name out there. I’m trying to look for college scholarship somewhere .
He also plays in a league in the summer and in various tournaments, he said.
What is your goal for the rest of the golf season?
“With the high school season, I hope to be able to shoot well to make the state championships and have a good finish. points, get my name out there, and compete in invites and championships.
While in the early stages of his high school career, he tries to build a portfolio of stats and tournament wins to help him achieve his goal of playing at the next level.
What is the most difficult course you have played? What course did you enjoy playing the most?
“Probably the toughest course I’ve played is Kaluhyat (Turning Stone Resort Casino golf course),” he said.
He said there are many places where you can put a large number.
“You have to play with your head and use strategy,” he said.
His favorite course is Lakeshore Country Club in Cicero.
“I always seem to play well there. It seems to suit my game pretty well,” he said.
What is the important part of your game that you have worked to improve in recent years?
“It’s definitely my short game with chipping and putting. This is where I believe tournaments are won. Everyone has a saying: Drive for show, putt for dough,” he said.
Who is an athlete in any sport you admire? What do they represent for you?
It is PGA Tour golfer Patrick Cantlay, he said.
“Just because he was in a tournament (in 2016) and his caddy, as they were crossing the road, was hit by a car (and killed). Patrick was really devastated about this. He’s been off tour for a while. He had to pull himself together. He became a great golfer,” Olearczyk said. “I think that story is really powerful and a lesson to be learned there.”