LEWISTON, N.Y.- He always imagined himself hoisting the Porter Cup and now Michael Boss will get another shot at it on his home course. The Lewiston native grew up playing at the Niagara Falls Country Club, the venue for the 55th annual Porter Cup.
As Boss points out, playing on familiar territory certainly has its advantages, "I just grew up playing here so I know how to play it. I know these greens like the back of my hand," Boss explained.
Boss is not only familiar with the course but the tournament as well. This is his third Porter Cup appearance and he says the experience of the first two years helped him prepare for 2013. "My first year playing I was real nervous and I learned how to deal with the pressure and last year I actually had a couple good rounds. So I know I can play with these guys they're the best in the world and I just got some confidence this year and I think I'm ready," Boss said.
But there can be some pressure that comes along with representing Western New York. Austin Nowak, a Lancaster High School graduate, explains what it would mean for a local player to win the whole tournament. "I think it would be pretty cool. To probably have a lot of people come watch you being a local kid. I think it would just be pretty impressive to put on your resume. There's a lot of strong players in the field," Nowak said
For now, Nowak isn't getting caught up in the hype or pressure of being a local kid. For now, he's just enjoying the moments leading up to game time. "I'm pretty excited I've always wanted to play in it since I was younger playing in my junior days and it was pretty exciting to finally make it this year after my third time trying to qualify," Nowak explained.
Even though some of the best amateur players in the world participate in Porter Cup, there's always an expectation players set for themselves. Sometimes, they want to go beyond just qualifying and making an appearance in the tournament. Austin Nowak points out what outcome he would be most happy with for himself. "I hope to just play as well as I can. Just being here I'm pretty happy but top 25 something like that would be phenomenal for me," Nowak said.
For Michael Boss, leaving the tournament with the Porter Cup as a champion is something he's thought about for a long time. "I picture myself doing that all the time. I walk by it all the time in the clubhouse, sometimes it's in the pro shop. I always like to pretend that my name's on there, picking it up and that would just be a great thing to win the Porter Cup. That would be a lot of fun," Boss said.
Both Boss and Nowak will both be college juniors in the fall; Boss at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida and Nowak at NC State in Raleigh, North Carolina. Tournament play officially starts July 24th with the first round at 8:00 am.
No local golfer has won the Porter Cup since 1965 when Ward Wettlaufer when his second Porter Cup championship.