It might not have been the most well-played match of the season, but a win is a win and the Eastport South Manor boys golf team will take it.
ESM beat Hampton Bays, 7-2, on September 25 at Hampton Hills Country Club and while the final score was a five-point spread, the match was decided on just two strokes. The Sharks won four of the head-to-head matches to the Baymen’s two and edged the visitors with a team score of 237 to 238 for three additional points, giving the Sharks the win and keeping the ESM squad alone in first place in League VII.
The win was the fifth of the league season as the Sharks remained perfect going into a pair of matches against the league’s other top teams. ESM was to face Mattituck for the first time this season on October 1 on the Tuckers’ home course, North Fork Country Club. Heading into the match, ESM sat atop the league with a 5-0 mark, with Mattituck not far behind at 4-1. Mattituck’s only loss came against Shelter Island, the league’s third-place team, which sits at 3-2. After facing Mattituck, the Sharks are scheduled to head to Shelter Island on Thursday, October 3.
Winners for the Sharks against Hampton Bays were Kyle Tillinghast with a 5 over 40 and Trevor Halye with a 45. Also winning that day were Joey Busiello and Ed Link. The team score of 237 was the highest of the season for the team, which has done as well as a 209 on its home course earlier in the season.
“The last two rounds we have struggled,” ESM coach Todd Skala said. “We hope to bounce back with a good team score but it’s a tough course out there [North Fork]. It’s not long, but it’s more of a precision course.”
He continued, “After the Mattituck and Shelter Island matches, we’ll be able to tell if we are for real. To be real, we have to get the scores down.”
For Hampton Bays, the team’s two female players were the winners against the Sharks as Mackenzie Tyler scored a team-best 45 while Laura Maila shot a 52.
“It was a heartbreaking match,” Hampton Bays coach Rich Gostic said. “It would’ve been quite an upset if we could’ve beaten them. My kids golfed well and I was proud of how they played.”
Hampton Bays was scheduled to play Shelter Island on the road on October 1 and to host Greenport/Southold on October 3.