Pierson Duo Falls One Stroke Short at Sebonack

Pierson's Henry Brooks RON ESPOSITO

When Westhampton Beach boys golf head coach Fred Musumeci got word that Southampton had just taken a one-shot lead after 15 holes of the Sebonack Invitational hosted by the private club in Southampton on Friday afternoon, he went straight to one of his players, Cole Federico, to let him know, and gave him some words of encouragement. The senior calmly digested the information, shook his head, and went to work.

Federico sunk a putt to birdie 16 to give him and his teammate, Mackenzie Kim, a two-shot lead over Pierson duo Henry Brooks and Tucker Schiavoni. In possibly one of the closest finishes to the annual golf tournament featuring Southampton Town’s four varsity high school teams, with just one shot separating Westhampton Beach (6-over par), Pierson (7-over par) and Southampton (8-over par) going into the final hole, Kim dropped in a 4-foot putt to bogey 18 to match Pierson’s score and, at the very least, force a playoff. But Federico came up big once again, sinking his putt to finish even par on the hole and give him and Kim the one-shot edge.

It’s the third year in a row a Westhampton Beach pair has won the Sebonack Invitational, the second straight year that Federico and Kim have won it. Kim won the Hurricanes first-ever Sebonack Invitational three years ago with Thatcher Cord, and he is the only player in the 10-year history of the tournament to have won it three times — Southampton’s Scott Ricca, Andrew Wesnofske and Christian Oakley all had won it twice.

Kim didn’t want to take any of the personal accolades for winning the event a record three times.

“It’s more about the school,” he said. “Now the school has three wins, and it just feels really good.

“I think coming into the day, we were pretty confident. Not in a cocky way, but, we felt like we can get this done today,” Kim added. “A lot of credit to the other teams, they played well. I think we just played a little bit better than them.”

Federico said once he heard his team was trailing Southampton by a shot, he just wanted to get his team back into it. The Westhampton Beach duo got off to a rough start for the day, bogeying the first three holes and finding themselves in the bunkers in the first five holes or so. But they turned things on to finish one shot behind Pierson’s Brooks and Schiavoni (2-3) after the first nine. Southampton’s Jack Blackmore and Chris Kreymborg were 5-over par after nine and played the final nine with Hampton Bays pair David Catena and Evan Kuffner, who finished 10-over par.

“I went over the read with Mackenize and his read lined up perfectly with mine, so that gave me a little bit more confidence,” Federico said about his final putt. “Mostly, I just had to try and envision the putt going in the hole already, narrow down and focus in.
“It means a lot to me [to win] two years, but for Mackenzie it’s a big three years,” he added. “I’m just happy to win it with the same partner twice, especially with the great competition.”

Conference Champ ’Canes Share League Title With Mariners

Southampton and Pierson finished what was a suspended match between the two on October 15. The Mariners won, 7-2, only by three shots in total team score, allowing them to tie Westhampton Beach for the League VIII title. Both teams finished with identical 9-1 records and handed each other its only losses.

All League VII and League VIII teams convened at Rock Hill Golf and Country Club in Manorville on Thursday, October 17, for the Conference IV Championships, which the ’Canes won with a total team score of 424, six shots ahead of its league rival Southampton. Mattituck, which shared the League VII title with Riverhead, finished third at 432. It was the third year in a row that Westhampton Beach won the conference and the fourth time in the past five years.

“We were kind of up and down all year, [but] I think we’re hitting our stride now as a team. We won the league title, we won the conference championship yesterday, we pulled this off,” Musumeci said on Friday after the Sebonack Invitational. “We’ve got the county dual meet tournament and the county individual tournament and the boys are really starting to peak and play well together.

“I’ve said all along we want to win a county championship and every one of these steps along the way is key,” he added.

Individually within the conference, Pierson’s Henry Brooks tied for first place with Southampton’s Jack McDonnell and Jack Breutsch of Center Moriches. All three shot a 79. The conference championships also act as a qualifier for the Section XI, or Suffolk County, Individual Championships, which are October 28 and 30, back at Rock Hill. The top 40 golfers in the conference, or those who shot a 98 or lower, qualified for counties.

Coady Sumwalt (81), Mackenzie Kim (81), Cole Federico (82), Matt Meyer (84) and Bennett Parli (96) all qualified for Westhampton Beach. Whalers joining Brooks at counties will be Tucker Schiavoni (91), Reed Kelsey (91) and Harry Ambrose (94), and Gavin Gilbride (98) did not make the cut, but is the first alternate in case one of the other golfers in the conference can’t make it. McDonnell will have his teammates, Jack Blackmore (86), Steven Kraszewski (87), Daniel Silverberg (88) and Chris Kreymborg (90) joining him. Brian Emmons (99) did not make the cut, but is the third alternate. Aiden Kamp (97) will be the lone representative at counties for Hampton Bays. East Hampton’s James Bradley and Trevor Stachecki both shot an 88 and will be playing at counties along with fellow Bonackers J.P. Amaden (94), Aiden Cooper (94), Charles Goldsmith (95) and Nico Horan-Puglia (96).

“All six kids who got in will all be coming back next year. There are no seniors. That’s huge,” East Hampton head coach Rich King said of his players. “I think a few of them are capable of playing well at the county tournament and advancing to the second round and possibly qualifying for states. If nothing else, it gives them all an opportunity to play competitive golf in tournament format. It’s a win-win.”

County Dual Meet Championships Are Set

The county’s first ever dual meet championship began on Monday. Prior to this year, the county team champions were played out at the individual county tournament, but having an actual dual meet tournament lines up with other sports that have it, such as tennis. The top two teams in the county’s eight leagues earned automatic bids into the tournament, and two at-large bids were up for grabs at each of the four conference championships, depending on where the teams placed.

Pierson and East Hampton both won the at-large bids at the Conference IV Championships and will join Westhampton Beach and Southampton in the tournament. Seeding for the tournament followed a formula that included a team’s success throughout the regular season, plus its slope rating from its home course. Westhampton Beach was the only one of the four South Fork teams that was seeded in the top eight and given a first-round bye. It hosted the winner of No. 13 Islip and No. 20 East Hampton on Tuesday, but due to its home course, Westhampton Country Club, having maintenance done, it will be hosting its matches at Indian Island Golf Club in Riverhead for the time being. Pierson was seeded 11th and hosted No. 22 Half Hollow Hills West at Noyac Golf Club on Monday. If the Whalers win that match they play at No. 6 Smithtown West on Tuesday. Southampton was seeded 12th and hosted No. 21 Bay Shore on Monday. If the Mariners won that match they played at No. 5 Deer Park on Tuesday.

The finals of the tournament are currently scheduled for this Saturday, October 26, at a time and location that was yet to be determined.