OLD WESTBURY – James Nicholas politely refused to pick a favorite all the years he was making headlines in football, hockey and golf.
It will probably never happen.
Nicholas, though, has decided to narrow his focus. The sophomore at Yale is giving up football to concentrate on golf.
He will likely continue to play club hockey on the side.
“It was definitely the hardest decision of my life,” said Nicholas, who collected all-state honors in three sports his senior year at Scarsdale. “I want to be a professional golfer and I wasn’t having a lot of fun playing football. I had a better time with golf. I had to make a decision and do what’s best for me.”
Nicholas played 10 games on special teams last fall.
“I was in tears when I was speaking to coach,” added Nicholas, who plays out of Winged Foot. “It was tough. … I started off wanting to play college hockey, then it was football and now it’s golf. I’ve never really dedicated myself to golf. I was playing three months out of the year. And it’s a harder sport than anything else I’ve played. I like the challenge, I think that’s what it means to me.”
The summer isn’t over yet, so there is work to be done.
Nicholas shot a 5-over 75 on Tuesday at Glen Oaks Club in the second round of the 101st Met Open, narrowly avoiding the cut line at 151.
The course is not giving up a lot of scores.
Mark Brown extended his lead with another 69 on Tuesday in relative calm. The longtime Tam O’Shanter head pro is 2-under heading into the final round. Brown is three shots ahead of Michael Ballo, a mini-tour player from Stamford, Connecticut.
There were only seven rounds in the red.
Kevin Foley, a Web.com Tour member from New Jersey, is solo third at 142. Upper Montclair teaching professional Tyler Hall is in a fourth-place tie with Sleepy Hollow amateur Cameron Young at 3-over.
Unless something unpredicted happens, the greens are only going to get firmer and faster on Wednesday.
“They’re quick, and if you’re in the fairway with a wedge and you’re just a little off, the ball will spin and roll a long way,” said Young, who carded a 73 in Round 2. “It’s hard to control that. The rough is long enough to be tricky and that adds up to this course not being easy. It looks to the eye like you should eat the course alive, but that’s not doable.”
101st Met Open Championship
At Glen Oaks Club
1. Mark Brown, Tam O’Shanter 69-69-138
2. Mike J Ballo, Jr., Woodway 72-69-141
3. Kevin Foley, Neshanic Valley 72-70-142
4. Tyler Hall, Upper Montclair73-70-143
4. (a) Cameron Young Sleepy Hollow 70-73-143
6. Frank Bensel, Century 75-69-144
6. Andrew Carter Farrell, Doral Arrowwood 75-69-144
6. Mark Mielke, Unattached 73-71-144
6. Jimmy Hazen, St. George’s 72-72-144
6. Grant Sturgeon, Winged Foot 71-73-144
11. Mike Miller, Knollwood 77-68-145
11. Sunny Kim, Bethpage State Park 74-71-145
11. Alex Beach, Ridgewood 73-72-145
11. Ryan McCormick, Suburban 73-72-145
11. Patrick Clark, Wee Burn 73-72-145
11. Peter Ballo, Old Oaks 73-72-145
11. Brian Gaffney, Quaker Ridge 72-73-145
11. Andrew Gai, Longshore 71-74-145