East Hampton freshman James Bradley reigned supreme at the Suffolk County Boys Golf Tournament on Monday and Tuesday, taking home the individual county title after shooting an 81 on the par-76 at Smithtown Landing Country Club on Tuesday.
Bradley maintained the lead he earned after shooting a 1-under 75 on Monday, leading by five or six strokes for most of the final round. A birdie on the 13th hole was helpful in his winning effort.
Bradley is the first Bonacker to win the county individual title since Turner Foster did it as a sophomore in 2016, and is just the third golfer in school history to accomplish the feat, with Ian Lynch being the first to do it in 2012.
The Bonackers, a young team that won the League VIII title with an unblemished 10-0 record, had a good run at counties, finishing third as a team with a combined scored of 444. Only 35 golfers made the cut for the second day, where Bradley was joined by two teammates, sophomore Trevor Stachecki and freshman Nico Horan-Puglia. The top 20 finishers earn All-County status, while the top nine would normally qualify for the state tournament, which was cancelled this year because of COVID. Stachecki finished in the top 20, shooting an 81 on Monday and then an 87 on day two, while Horan-Puglia finished just outside the top 20 by one shot.
East Hampton head coach Rich King said he was impressed with the way his team performed, especially considering the tree-lined style of Smithtown Landing, which is different from the links-style courses they are accustomed to playing.
“James was very excited about the way he played,” King said. “Some of the other guys were disappointed but it was a tough day [on Monday] with the wind and the cold, and it wasn’t a course they were familiar with. If they broke 90, it was kind of a good score. I think under the conditions they played well.”
Southampton, which finished second in League VIII with an 8-2 record, also had a strong showing at the tournament. Six Mariner golfers qualified, with two of them making the cut, which was set at 87. Senior Steven Kraszewski shot 84 on the first day and 89 on the second, while junior Jack Blackmore shot an 86 on the first day and a 79, which helped him finish tied for sixth, earning All-County and state qualifier status. Southampton senior Jack McDonnell missed the cut after day one by just one stroke.
Southampton head coach Tim Schreck said he was happy with his team’s effort in the final outing of the season.
“I had pretty high expectations for this season, returning a bunch of guys after tying for the league title and finishing second in the county as a team,” he said. “We knew East Hampton would be our toughest competition, but didn’t know how quickly they’d be getting this good. We saw them as an up and coming young talented team, and I think they rose even faster than expected.”
“I was really proud that we had six guys make it to the tournament, and our league had more teams there than any other league,” Schreck added. “I was super proud of Steven and Jack being there today.”
Westhampton Beach sent five golfers to counties, with its number one player, seventh-grader Zach Berger, making the cut. He shot 86 on the first day and 87 on the second to finish tied for 24th. Hampton Bays sent three golfers to the tournament, with freshman Erik Sandstrom making the cut with an 87 on the first day and a 95 on the second. Pierson sent six golfers but none made the cut, with Brendan Burke coming closest with a 91 on the first day.