Tonawanda News — In Devin Donohue's first season as a member of the North Tonawanda golf team, as a seventh grader in 2011, the Lumberjacks didn't win a single match.
Three years later, the Jacks turned in a 10-win season and Donohue became the first NT golfer in at least seven years to play at sectionals.
Donohue, only a sophomore, competed on May 20 at Diamond Hawk Golf Course in the 2013 Section VI boys qualifier tournament and held his own, finishing with an 88, 10 strokes back of Nolan Ditcher from Randolph who was the final qualifier for states.
Despite the solid performance, NT golf coach Paul Becigneul said Donohue is his own biggest critic, and the sophomore said his putting doomed him on Monday.
"Once we got past the first hole the nerves were kind of gone and I just tried to play my game," he said. "My putting is what really let me down, … I was doing well over the tee and in the fairways. I just couldn't putt to save my life, honestly."
Donohue has been playing golf ever since he can remember, picking up the sport from his father. He said he'd go out with his dad, even before he was good enough to play, just to be on the course. His determination to be the best is what has allowed him to become one of the most dominant golfers in the Niagara Frontier League.
Becigneul said the scary part about Donohue is that he still has two more years left to get better.
"He expects himself to play well every time he goes out there," Becigneul said. "He's harder on himself than I can even ever be. I told him to take sectionals as a learning experience because he's a 10th grader and he still has two more years to qualify for states. (With) his drive and competitiveness … I have no doubt he will qualify either next year or when he's a senior just because of his work ethic."