Pierson Golfers Are Off To Slow Start, Will Play Sebonack This Friday

Pierson's Reed Kelsey gets set to send a drive. RON ESPOSITO

The East Hampton boys golf team defeated Westhampton Beach, 6-3, at Westhampton Country Club on September 29, paving the way for the Bonackers to repeat as League VIII champions, although they still had three matches to be played as of Tuesday morning.

As the 6-3 score indicated, the Hurricanes (6-2 League VIII) didn’t make things easy for the Bonackers to win the match, as expected. But the Bonackers (6-0 League VIII) shot a 196 team total on Westhampton’s notoriously tough course, a feat that impressed Hurricanes head coach Fred Musumeci. The ’Canes, to their credit, shot a 210, which would typically win most matches.

“No one has come to our place and shot that in 15 years,” said Musumeci, who has been head coach for that long. “I give them a lot of credit. I think they are the best team, if not one of the best teams in the county.”

East Hampton head coach Rich King said things are going well for his team. As it finishes up its league slate it will start to turn its attention to the conference tournament and then counties.

“I think that the boys have been steadily showing progress in their individual play,” he said. “We’ll start to focus on the conference tournament and qualifying all of our guys for the county tournament. When one day of golf determines who goes to the county tournament, you never know how any individual kid will perform. It does not involve any averages of your top six where all of our guys would definitely qualify. You have to play well that day in order to qualify, so my hope as a coach is that everyone has a good day and they can focus and there are no major catastrophes out on the golf course, which could happen. Just going to hope for some lucky breaks, lucky bounces, and, of course, that they play well.”

Westhampton Beach turned around the very next day on September 30 and shot a 199 to defeat Center Moriches, 8.5-0.5. Musumeci said this is the best the team has been playing since it lost a bevy of seniors two years ago.

“We’re close. Our kids are playing well, they’re working hard. They’re starting to figure things out,” he said. “This group has amazing work ethic. They have such productive practices. When we work on something they apply it out there on the course. Things are starting to click.

“There’s a lot of golf left even though we only have two more league matches left,” Musumeci explained. “We have the conference tournament and then counties. Hopefully we’ll be in the mix for the county. I think we’re a top five team. We’re definitely a top 10 team with the numbers that we’re putting up. We just have to keep working and keep getting better.”

With Southampton Golf Club becoming more available later in the season, Southampton will be finishing off the better part of its schedule the next two weeks. The Mariners are 4-2 in league play after winning back-to-back matches over William Floyd, both by scores of 9-0. Jack Blackmore and Jack Brown are leading the team in scores, head coach Tim Schreck said. Liam Blackmore just had his best match of the seasonon Friday against Floyd, Schreck said.

Carter Kleinsmith drives a ball off the green for Pierson. RON ESPOSITO

Pierson/Bridgehampton (0-4 League VIII) is off to its slowest start in recent memory. Whalers head coach Clint Schulman said the 5-4 loss to Center Moriches on September 29 was a tough one. Typically, the Whalers have beaten the Red Devils rather handily, but Schulman said he was missing two players due to COVID-19 protocols and Center Moriches number one Jack Breutsch, who was a county runner-up last season, won his match by 13 strokes. Even though Pierson won the head-to-head, 4-2, Breutch’s score pushed the Red Devils to victory.

A positive for the Whalers came on September 28, when Brenden Burke defeated East Hampton’s number one and reigning county champion James Bradley head-to-head, 42-43, at the Bonacker’s home club South Fork. It’s thought to be Bradley’s first league match play loss in two years.

Hampton Bays, which had gotten off to a great start, has slowed down a bit after playing the top two teams in League VII, Riverhead and Mattituck. But the Baymen are playing well, head coach Pete Meehan said, led by their number one Erik Sandstrom, who is averaging 40 this season. Aidan Kamp and Michael Poremba have been playing well and consistent as well, Meehan said.

Sebonack Challenge To Be Played This Friday

The Southampton Town Sebonack Challenge returns this Friday, October 8, after having been canceled last year due to the pandemic. The two-some, best ball format match that is played at the iconic Sebonack Golf Club, features pairings from the four schools in Southampton Town, Pierson/Bridgehampton, Southampton, Hampton Bays and Westhampton Beach, the latter of which has won the challenge three years running.

The reigning champ ’Canes will have a different look to them this season as they’ve graduated many of their players since the last time the challenge took place in 2019. Barring any changes in averages earlier in the week, Zach Berger, an eighth-grader, and junior Ryan Springer will be representing Westhampton Beach. Both are playing the challenge for the first time.

Pierson’s Vincent Cavaniola gets set to take a tee shot. RON ESPOSITO

Southampton will be represented by Jack Blackmore and Jack Brown; Blackmore is one of the only golfers who will have played the challenge on multiple occasions, possibly giving the Mariners the upper hand. Brenden Burke and, most likely, Nathan Dee will represent Pierson, although Vincent Cavaniola could find his way into the pairing with a few good rounds of golf this week. Erik Sandstrom and Aidan Kamp will both represent Hampton Bays. Sandstrom and Kamp have not actually played in the challenge, but they’ve both been on the bag for their teammates in previous years.

After a hearty brunch provided by the club, tee time is expected to be 1 p.m.