Last week, the New York State Women’s Golf Amateur Championship took place in Elmira, New York, and a Capital Region player took home the title.

Twenty-two-year-old Bailey Cocca battled it out for three days and after a sudden-death playoff was announced the 2016 state champion.

Growing up, I had the pleasure of playing alongside Bailey and watching her game continuously grow and flourish all the way through high school. After starting a college career playing for UAlbany, Cocca transferred to Coastal Carolina where she successfully competed for her remaining three years of college. Although she has won the Girl’s State Championship in past years, this was her first win at the Women’s.

I was lucky enough to get an interview with Bailey and get some inside info on her most recent win.

Q: Okay first off, how does it feel to be the 2016 state champion?

A: It feels awesome to come back home and win the state tournament. It was a fight though.

Q: What were your thoughts after Day 1? You shot 79 and left yourself in the middle of the pack.

A: I was [in] seventh after the first day and I was seven shots back. I didn’t think I had a chance to win.

Q: So what was your game plan going into the next day?

A: Just play my game and stay calm, and if it’s meant to be, then it will happen.

(which it obviously was meant to be since she won!)

Q: Talk me through the playoff.

A: I was nervous, but I had to tell myself that it was a new round so I could calm myself down. I hit two great [first] shots but then left my birdie putt short. I watched her miss her four foot putt and of course I felt bad because I know that feeling too, but a weight was lifted off my shoulders and I felt good.

Q: So you’re a recent college graduate and now, a state champion. What’s next?

A: Just keep practicing and work my way to a professional golf career if that’s what I’m supposed to do. If not, then I’ll look for something in journalism within the next year.

You can see full tournament results here. Keep an eye on local champion Bailey Cocca— you never know what’s next!

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