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Eye on the Ball: Gardiner’s Bay course record broken

Last Saturday afternoon, June 26, I called Rick Southwick in Florida to give him the news. His long-standing Gardiner’s Bay Country Club (GBCC) course record of shooting 62 was finally broken.

As expected, a highly respectful response was Rick’s first thought. His next line was, “Records are made to be broken.”

However, it did take 28 years before someone would take down Rick’s great round of 62.

Jay Card III toured the course that Saturday morning in the Annual Tin Cup tournament in just 61 strokes. It’s now the finest round of golf ever played in the history of the club. His timing was perfect, since he was playing with Jay Sessa — the finest senior golfer on Long Island — Scott Goldin and Jim Read III.

After an excellent amateur career, Jay turned professional two years ago. Because of COVID-19, no tournaments have been played over the last few months. If there were, this round could have taken home a nice chunk of change.

GBCC’s golf professional, Leigh Notley, used words like “amazing” and “phenomenal” about this round, and Jay’s ability to play the sport. Leigh also congratulated Jay on behalf of the club, which he represents in all tournaments. Knowing he had to make birdie on the last hole to set the record, Leigh was also impressed with his poise and composure under pressure.

His round featured two eagles, one on the 8th and the other on the 15th. He also scored six birdies on holes 2, 5, 6, 10, 11 and 18. His only bogey came on the treacherous 4th hole, a 225-yard par 3 over water.

It is not as if GBCC has not been tested by professionals through the years. They’ve played a tournament on our course on a regular yearly basis for over 30 years, and thousands of rounds have been recorded. None as good as last Saturday morning, however, when Jay held it together for the lowest score ever.

I’ve never been able to say it, but I imagine there’s something nice about saying you hold the record for the best round of golf ever played in the history of your club. After 28 years, Card’s card will now replace Southwick’s on the Pro Shop wall.

Also, on that wall will be the women’s best round shot by a woman touring professional, Jennie Suh. With all the golf young women are playing today, it will not be long before we say, “Records are made to be broken.”

Congratulations, Jay Card III!