When the East Hampton High School golf team went into the second day of last year’s county tournament in second place, it came as somewhat of a surprise, but Claude Beudert, the team’s coach, said Tuesday morning as his players began teeing off at the Indian Island course in Riverhead, having once again made it into the final day in the runner-up position, that “this time we expected this.”
The major reason for Beudert’s optimism can be found in the person of Zach Grossman, the defending Long Island junior champion, who, because he was attending school in Charleston, S.C., last year at this time, did not head East Hampton’s lineup in 2010.
Grossman represented East Hampton in the state tournament as an eighth grader before spending three years in Charleston. He returned here last summer. In the fall, the Skidmore-bound senior led the Bonackers to an undefeated championship season.
It was the 11th time in the past 13 years that an East Hampton golf team had won a league title, though Beudert has said this year’s team is the best he’s ever had.
Given the fact that many UpIsland teams play league matches in the spring, rather than in the fall, East Hampton, whose top six comprise Grossman, Ian Lynch, John Nolan, Cameron Yusko, John Pizzo, and Jim McMullan, went into the county tourney at somewhat of a disadvantage. Yusko and McMullan played varsity baseball and Pizzo jayvee baseball this semester. Nolan, who’s going to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the fall, played lacrosse. Only Grossman and Lynch were able to concentrate on their games.
During a practice session at the Maidstone Club the other day, Beudert said, though, that he didn’t mind that most of his charges played other sports this season. The main thing, he said, was that they exercised their competitive spirit.
Going into Tuesday’s final round, the team was, as aforesaid, in second place, behind Ward Melville, which on Monday had collectively shot a 401 to East Hampton’s 404.
The remaining teams among the top six that vied on the final day were East Islip, at 414, Bayport-Blue Point, at 415, Smithtown West, at 419, and Kings Park, the two-time defending champion, at 420.
Missing from Tuesday’s top six were Sachem East (12-0) and Northport (12-0), Newsday’s second-ranked and fourth-ranked Long Island teams.
With an even-par 72, Grossman topped the individual list going into Tuesday’s finale, and was, as a result, the Conference IV champion. Lynch was second-high for East Hampton, with a 76, and Yusko, with an 83, Pizzo, with an 86, Nolan, with an 87, and McMullan, with a 93, followed.
The top five were scored; McMullan’s 93 was thrown out. It was, said Beudert, the third year in a row that his team had won the Conference IV (Leagues VII and VIII) championship.
When Beudert first reported that East Hampton was in second, at around noon Monday, a number of other schools, including such teams as Northport, Kings Park, Sachem East, and Smithtown East, had yet to tee off in the afternoon round. Yet Bonac’s position as the second-place team was to hold up throughout the day.
Tuesday morning, East Hampton’s coach said Lynch, a junior who wants to go to Yale, was tied for fifth in the individual competition. The top eight individual scorers are to go on to the state tournament.
The winning team, said Beudert, is to play Nassau County’s champion at Bethpage Black, “though I don’t know when.”
He added that he would not know the final team and individual outcomes of the county tourney until Tuesday afternoon.