East Hampton golfer Ian Lynch achieved a rare feat at the Suffolk County High School boys golf tournament at Indian Island in Riverhead last week, advancing to the state tournament for the second consecutive year.
Lynch, a junior, became the first Bonac golfer in program history to qualify for states two years in a row after shooting a 75 on the par 72 course the first day and a 76 the following day for a total score of 151, which was good enough for a tie for fifth place. The top nine golfers earn a trip to states.
His teammate, senior Cameron Yusko, ended his Bonac golf career on a high note after shooting a 78 on the first day and an 81 on the second day for a total of 159, good enough for 15th place.
By finishing in the top 20, both Lynch and Yusko earned All-County status.
As a team, East Hampton finished seventh in the county and just missed out on returning to compete as a team on the second day. Only the top six teams advance to the second day of competition. The Bonackers were the defending county champions, and sent both Lynch and Zach Grossman, who has since graduated, to states last year. Grossman won the individual title last season as well.
Ward Melville ran away with the team title this season, taking a 24-shot lead after the first day.
East Hampton head coach Claude Beudert had plenty of praise for Lynch, Yusko and his entire team. He said that Lynch’s ability to advance to states for the second year in a row was impressive.
“It’s a tremendous accomplishment,” he said.
He added that Yusko also performed well while ending what was an illustrious golf career at East Hampton. Yusko is the valedictorian of the senior class and will attend Duke University next season.
“It’s a nice accomplishment for Cameron,” Beudert said, referring to Yusko’s All-County status. “He’s been on the team since he was in seventh grade, and every year he just developed more and more.”
Also competing for East Hampton on the first day was John Pizzo, who shot an 87, Jimmy MacMullan and Andrew Winthrop, who both shot an 89, and Matt Griffiths, who shot a 93. Each team is allowed to drop its lowest score and then add the other scores.
In shooting a 418, East Hampton fell just one shot short of finishing sixth, which would have allowed the entire team to return for the second day of competition. Still, Beudert was not disappointed.
“It would’ve been great to go back for another day, but, realistically, we didn’t have a chance to win,” he said.
He also pointed out that because East Hampton is one of the teams in the county that has its regular season in the fall, many of the players were busy competing on other teams in the spring and weren’t able to devote as much time to their golf games leading up to the tournament. In boys golf, the teams in Leagues I and II compete in the spring, while the teams in Leagues III through VIII have their regular seasons in the fall.
Beudert said Lynch is one golfer who devotes himself to the sport year-round, and that dedication paid off.
“Very few kids go [to states] back-to-back,” Beudert said. “Ian puts quite a bit of pressure on himself in everything he does, but he handled this really well.”
Although the Bonackers—who were the League VIII regular season champs—were not able to defend their team title, they did win the Conference IV title for the third straight year. Conference IV includes the teams in both League VII and League VIII. East Hampton ran away with that title, beating second-place Eastport South Manor by more than 20 shots.
“It was a very fulfilling and nice end to the year,” Beudert said.
Beudert will travel to Cornell University with Lynch for the state tournament June 2-4.
The Sharks had a nice run at the Suffolk County golf tournament, finishing second in Conference IV with a total of 437 points. Senior Mike Griffiths earned All-Conference status, shooting an 81 on the first day and missing the cut by just one stroke.
Seventh-grader Kyle Tillinghast (85) and senior Trevor Jones (86) also earned All-Conference honors. Senior Curtis Pusateri was All-League and shot a 93 while seniors Joe Dewar (92) and Zack McNeil (95) also competed for ESM.
Junior Scott Ricca was the standout golfer for Southampton, shooting a 79 on the first day, making the cut and earning a right to compete on the second day. Ricca shot an 80 on the next day for a total of 159 and earned All-County honors, finishing tied for 15th.
Several of Southampton’s other top golfers were unable to compete in the tournament because they are members of the Southampton baseball team, which was in the middle of a playoff run.