Following the long weekend holiday break, we were off to Noyac Country Club to play Pierson on October 12 in a non-league match.
The forecast looked horrible, with a small window of opportunity to squeeze it in. Noyac is a beautiful golf course and a true privilege to be there. On the difficulty scale based on the pin locations, it’s high but they had a player, Harrison Bayromi, shoot 39. We didn’t play particularly well, especially when the heavy downpour came at the end. Match score was Pierson 9–Shelter Island 0.
Back to league play on October 13, we were off to play Greenport/Southold at Island’s End. Our two teams get along very well and we were looking forward to the match. We were a player down, with Myles Clark away from the team on a school trip. I could sense the letdown a little — that the team had qualified and the chances of winning the league had slipped away. I knew this was going to be harder than the guys did. We needed one of our exhibition players to fill in the 6th spot and Riley Willumsen and Matt Dunning moved up. Jay Card halved with his man and Hunter Starzee had the low round for us and won his match. Matt Dunning beat his man by 5 strokes. Riley lost by 1 and Matt Belt-Cappellino lost by 3. The final score totals were 237 for them and 242 for us. They got the win: Greenport/Southold 6.5 to Shelter Island’s 2.5.
On October 17, Mattituck came here to play us. The greens had just been plugged and were covered in sand for the yearly aeration. It was a shame because the greens were perfect but nonetheless both teams had to play on them. The guys were up for this match. They realized that Mattituck was in first place and undefeated. This was their chance to have everyone else in the league take notice with a win.
And what a match it was. Jay had a rematch against Richie Corazzini and shot a two-over-par 37 and won by 1 stroke. Those were really good scores on those greens. Then Hunter posted a 42 and won by 4 strokes. We had 2 points and were up by 5 strokes. The next group that came in was Myles and Spencer Gibbs. Myles lost by 1 stroke and Spencer halved with his man.
We were still maintaining a 4-stroke lead. Then Matt Dunning and Riley came in with their scorecards. Matt lost by 1 stroke, lead down to 3 strokes. Riley posted a 50 and lost by 3. The match was tied on strokes but, because they won one more match by one stroke, we lost the match. That makes two matches we lost by a total of one stroke this year. It doesn’t get much tougher that this. Congratulations to Mattituck on a great season.
The next day, October 18, we played Mercy at home. The guys were a little down following the great match yesterday. Jay had another great day and shot 37 — pretty amazing on those greens. Hunter played well and won by 11 strokes. The Mercy coach played his worst players against Jay and Hunter and they won by a combined 34 strokes.
The Mercy coach played his number one against Myles, our number three. Myles played a great round shooting a 43 and lost by just one stoke. Spencer played their number-two man and won by 8. Matt Dunning and Riley, our numbers five and six men, both played their number three and four players and lost by a few strokes. By the time we did the math, throwing out the high scores and figuring the points, we had won. We had also shot 4 strokes lower than we had against Mattituck the day before: Shelter Island 6–Mercy 3.
Our last match was a non-league contest against East Hampton at South Fork Country Club on October 20. The wind was blowing about 40 mph. East Hampton has a nice home-course advantage there. The scores were high, with Hunter earning our only points. Ian Lynch shot a one-under-par 35 for East Hampton. The match score was East Hampton 8.5-Shelter Island .5.
I am very proud of how the boys competed, how they handled themselves on the golf course and how well they work together. This year was almost great. Losing two matches by a total of one stroke to the two best teams in the league is quite an accomplishment for this team.
We have certainly come a long way in a short period.
This year’s league record ended up 7-5. Our goal remains the same. We want to go to the county tournament in the spring and beat Mattituck and Eastport-South Manor on a neutral course. That would give us some redemption for those close matches. It’s not going to be easy but it is attainable.
I understand from Phyllis Power that we have some terrific young players coming up behind this group in the elementary level. Sounds like golf is alive and doing well on Shelter Island. Thanks again to Gardiner’s Bay Country Club for the use of the course, facilities and the assistance from Leigh, Chance and Sean. I am constantly hearing from the members about the golf team and how well they are doing.
I will report back in the spring with the county results. Stay tuned.