MANCHESTER CENTER — Alone atop the podium.
A year after sharing the state golf crown, North Country senior Austin Giroux claimed the outright victory at the 2021 Vermont state high school championships on Thursday at Manchester Country Club.
Giroux overcame a bogey on the first hole, burned up the front nine and carded a 3-under 69, winning by five strokes to capture his second straight Division I title.
“It feels good,” said the 17-year-old Giroux, who shared the title at Country Club of Barre last fall with St. Johnsbury’s Nelson Eaton. “It’s definitely the way I wanted to finish out the year.”
Spaulding’s Garrett Cameron finished second with a 74 while Nick O’Donnel and Cardan Herrington of Burr and Burton and Sawyer Bond of South Burlington tied for third with 79s.
Giroux bogeyed the first hole on Thursday.
“I hit my drive greenside, then I chunked a chip and three-putted for bogey,” Giroux said.
After the tough start, the Falcon standout carded four birdies to make the turn at 3-under 33.
“The front nine is super gettable,” Giroux said. “If you’re hitting driver good, there are a lot of opportunities to get birdies.”
Giroux then made seven straight pars on the back nine before a birdie and bogey to close out his championship round.
“I hit pretty much every fairway today,” Giroux said. “The back was pretty tight and I managed to play it safe.”
It was another big fall season for Giroux, who also plays attacking midfield for the North Country soccer team. Giroux last week won co-medalist honors in the state qualifier at Stowe (74). Earlier this fall he fired a 6-under 66 to win the Newport Invitational on his home course.
Next up, Giroux will compete in the New England Regional tournament on Nov. 1 at Mohegan Sun Golf in Baltic, Conn.
Giroux was the lone local golfer in either the D-I or D-II tournament.
U-32’s Riley Richards won the D-II event with a 3-over 75.
Burr and Burton (+41) nipped Champlain Valley by a stroke for the D-I team title. Otter Valley rolled to a 22-stroke win over Stowe in D-II.