To say that the battle for supremacy in League VIII boys golf was fierce this season would be an understatement.
Southampton, East Hampton and Pierson proved they were a cut above the rest of the teams in the league, but none of them ever managed to pull away as the one elite squad. On Monday, they had to settle for a three-way tie for the league title, as East Hampton defeated Southampton, 7-2, at East Hampton’s home course, the South Fork Country Club in Amagansett. All three teams finished with 8-2 records.
The last time three teams shared the league crown was in 2002, when Southampton, East Hampton and Westhampton Beach shared the title. If Southampton had beaten East Hampton, it would have won the title outright.
It was the 14th time in the last 15 years that East Hampton won at least a share of the league title, having shared it on a few occasions with Southampton during that stretch. Pierson, meanwhile, won its first league golf title since 1963, according to head coach Sean Crowley.
The Bonackers had to go on a four-match win streak to end the season after a 5-4 loss at Southampton on October 7; it was the team’s second loss of the year, after being upset by Pierson at South Fork on September 23. East Hampton posted shutout 9-0 wins over Center Moriches and Westhampton, then avenged the earlier loss by beating Pierson at Noyac Golf Club, 6.5-2.5, on October 14, putting itself in position to win a share of the league title with the victory over Southampton.
In East Hampton’s win over Southampton, Mariner Christian Oakley shot 40 on the par-34 front nine to edge East Hampton’s Turner Foster by one stroke (41). Bonacker Steven Kane (37) beat Matt Morgani (48); Mariner Tim Kreymborg (44) beat Josue Palacios (46); Bonacker Ryan White (43) beat Tom Fullam (46); East Hampton’s Jack Bistrian (49) beat Jack Healey (51); and East Hampton’s Nathan Wright (46) beat Caroline Oakley (57). East Hampton had a 213-229 lead in team stroke total.
The win over Pierson was a bit tighter, with East Hampton edging the Whalers, 227-229, in team stroke total. East Hampton’s Foster (38) beat Charles Canavan (44) on the par-36 front nine. Kane (45) beat Pierson’s Ben Kushner (50); Pierson’s Jack Brown (45) beat Palacios (55); White and Matt Burke of Pierson halved their match, both shooting 43; Pierson’s Tyler LaBorne (47) beat Bistrian (51); and Bonacker Wright (50) beat Baum (52).
East Hampton head coach Claude Beudert said he was happy that his team made a surge at the end to grab a share of the league title. “I’m thrilled for the kids,” he said. “It hasn’t been an easy year, but in the end, we played our best golf down the stretch.”
Beudert said he was not surprised that the three teams battled all year for the title. “Pierson’s kids have really embraced the game, caddying and playing all the time, and that’s what has caused them to improve,” he said. “And Southampton rides the best golfer in the league in Oakley.”
Beudert added that he was proud of Foster, in particular, for going toe to toe with Oakley in the final match of the year.
The golfers will be back on the links for the League VIII Championship at Rock Hill Country Club on October 23. That tournament will determine which teams and players will advance to the county tournament, which takes place in the spring.
Southampton’s Matt Morgani and Christian Oakley took home top honors at the Southampton Town Challenge match at Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton on Friday. The annual event features two players from each team in Southampton Town—Southampton, Hampton Bays, Pierson and Westhampton Beach—giving them a chance to compete on the prestigious private course.
Oakley, a sophomore, and Morgani, a senior, combined for a 4-over 76 on the day. Oakley’s fine play paced Southampton to an early lead, while Morgani played well as the round went on, with birdies on the ninth and 10th holes that gave Southampton a seven-stroke lead.
It was the first time in the last three years that Southampton won.