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Oct 29, 2018 5:18 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Mackenzie Kim Helps Lead Westhampton Beach To Boys Golf Conference IV Title

The Westhampton Beach boys golf team won the Conference IV Championships on Thursday, October 24. The team includes, from left, Justin Shiu, Mackenzie Kim, Cole Federico, Coady Sumwalt, Richard Tiska and Matthew Meyer.
Oct 30, 2018 1:17 PM

The titles are mounting up for the Westhampton Beach boys golf team.

About a week after winning the ninth annual Sebonack Challenge, the Hurricanes added the Conference IV Championship plaque to their trophy case, edging Mattituck by two strokes, 417-419, at Rock Hill Golf and Country Club in Manorville on Thursday, October 24. Westhampton Beach junior Mackenzie Kim won the conference individual title with a 76.

Typically, last week would have been when the various league qualifying tournaments occurred, but due to a change this season, the leagues were divided into four separate conferences, which now acts as a county qualifier. Leagues VII and VIII, which house the South Fork teams, created Conference IV, and instead of the top 20 individuals from each league qualifying for counties, the top 40 from each conference advanced, and instead of the top two teams from each league qualifier moving on, the top six teams from each conference advanced.

The Section XI, or Suffolk County, Championships began on Monday back at Rock Hill with players from Leagues I-IV. Players from Leagues V-VIII started on Tuesday. Those who made the cut for the second day of the tournament will finish on Wednesday. The results occurred too late to appear in this week’s issue of The Press and can be found online at 27east.com and in next week’s issue.

Westhampton Beach and Mattituck were followed by Riverhead, Southampton (441), East Hampton (443) and Pierson/Bridgehampton (447) as the top six teams that advanced to counties.

Talking to his players the morning of the tournament, Westhampton Beach head coach Fred Musumeci thought a 420 would win the conference, and he spoke to his team about how to get to that number. It turned out that 420 was a bit high due to Mattituck’s strong play, so the Hurricanes did what they had to do to get the win. They had four players qualify individually for counties in Kim, Coady Sumwalt (78), Cole Federico (81) and Matthew Meyer (89) all finishing below the cut of 91. Sumwalt’s finish was a pleasant surprise for the Canes. He had been the team’s third golfer in the lineup for most, if not all of the season, but Federico struggled early before picking things back up. Meyer’s score also helped the Canes in winning the conference title, head coach Fred Musumeci said.

Musumeci added that Sumwalt’s score was also unexpected because of how much he had been struggling recently with his swing. The two worked on it in practice in the days leading up to the tournament, even meeting up at the Westhampton Country Club driving range at 7 a.m. the morning of the tournament to get some last minute work in.

“His tempo was a little quick,” Musumeci explained. “We tried to correct it while he was practicing over the past week or so but it was still all over the place. We went to the range at Westhampton, talked about it some more, and he started to get the tempo down but he still wasn’t hitting consistent shots. I told him, ‘Coady, I can’t coach you during the tournament.’ Sometimes you just have to cut them loose and hope they figure it out, and he did.”

Southampton qualified five of its six players for counties, the most for the team in recent memory, head coach Tim Schreck said. Jack McDonnell and Daniel Silverberg led the Mariners, each finishing with an 86. Steve Kraszewksi (88), Jack Blackmore (90), and Jack Browne (91) all made the cut as well. Chris Kreymborg shot a 92, one shot over the cut, but since Southampton qualified as a team he’ll be making the trip to counties with his teammates.

“I’m psyched,” Schreck said. “Any one of the six could have made it. Having five represent the team, there aren’t too many Southampton teams who can say that.”

Last year’s county finalist, East Hampton’s Turner Foster, shot a 78, which placed him in a tie for third place individually. Nate Wright shot a 79 and Trevor Stachecki just made the cut at 91 to qualify individually. J.P. Amaden was three shots off the cut at 94.

Talking to his players after the tournament, East Hampton head coach Rich King said they left a few shots out on the course that could have resulted in a better showing. “They said they left several birdies out on the course, especially my top two guys. They were disappointed,” he said. “There were four or five makeable birdie putts, and if you make those putts you’re the low man. Round to round that changes a lot of things. If you look at guys on the PGA Tour, any given guy out of 20 can win a tournament, it comes down to making putts. We hit the ball well but making putts when you have a birdie opportunity makes all the difference.”

Pierson, in rebuilding mode after graduating a third of its team last season, finished this season with a 4-6 League VIII record, so the fact that the Whalers were able to qualify as a team made head coach Clint Schulman proud. Henry Brooks played well and was one of a handful of players who shot a 78 and tied for third. Tucker Schiavoni shot an 83 while his older brother, Cooper, shot an 87. Brendan Burke shot a 97, so he didn’t make the cut for counties individually, but Schulman said it was key in advancing the team.

“I’m definitely proud of them. We knew it was a rebuilding year so they just had to work all season long. That’s starting to pay off now. It’s a good validation for our season qualifying as a team,” he said.

Hampton Bays will not be in the team tournament after finishing outside of the top six in the conference but it did have three of its players qualify. Sean Noonan (87), Joe Sapio (87) and Gavin Grismer (91) will all compete at counties.

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