Port Jefferson junior Shane DeVincenzo wasn’t going to let what happened at last year’s Suffolk County Golf Championships happen again.
DeVincenzo tied East Hampton’s Turner Foster at last year’s county tournament, forcing a one-hole playoff that Foster eventually won. This year, DeVincenzo defeated Foster outright, finishing the 36-hole tournament with a 2-under-par 140 at Rock Hill Golf and Country Club in Manorville on Friday. Foster settled for a three-way tie for second with Pat Healy of Harborfields and Sean Haselton of Sayville, each totaling 146.
While he couldn’t retain his county title, Foster, for the second year in a row, did qualify for the New York State Golf Championships at Cornell University, which won’t be played until the spring.
“Personally, I was thrilled,” East Hampton head coach Claude Beudert said. “I spoke to DeVincenzo after the tournament and I told him, he must have had this day circled on his calendar after what happened last year.
“But it was very exciting. Turner’s goal was to make the state tournament, and he’s just taking his golf game to another level,” he continued.
Nate Wright, another East Hampton junior, shot an 80 on the first day of the tournament to qualify for the second day, but he shot an 82 and wasn’t able to qualify for states. He helped the Bonackers finish 10th in the county and was one of three League VIII teams to finish in the county’s top-10; Westhampton Beach placed fourth and Pierson placed eighth. Pierson senior Tom Brooks earned All-County honors after finishing 13th in the county, shooting a two-day total of 157.
Westhampton Beach head coach Fred Musumeci was disappointed simply for the fact that his team didn’t win the county title, a goal the team set prior to the start of the season. But it’s been a successful season nonetheless—the Hurricanes did win the conference, which includes Leagues VII and VIII, and sophomore Mackenzie Kim was one shot away from advancing to the state tournament.
“Winning the conference was real nice after getting beat out by Pierson for the league title,” he said. “East End golf is stronger than ever. Our league is so competitive, I think that does help us in the county tournament. A lot of time, there will be one team in each league that is the top team, but in League VIII we have to face high quality teams each week where one match comes down to a stroke, and having those type of high pressure matches certainly does help come time for the county tournament.”
League VIII will take on a bit of a new look for next year with a number of seniors graduating from each of the East End teams. The Bonackers will lose Hunter Medler and Michael Walsh, but will return its top three golfers in Foster, Wright and Jackson Murphy. Pierson will lose its top golfer in Tom Brooks, and other strong golfers in Tyler LaBorne, E.J. Burke and Greg Baum, but will have Henry Brooks returning. Thatcher Cord, Noah Sparrow and Jack Tiska are graduating from Westhampton Beach, which will still have a strong core in Kim, Cole Federico and Coady Sumwalt, who will all be juniors next season.