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Sayville wins Suffolk team title
While they may have been playing an individual sport, the players on Sayville’s boys golf team gave a total team effort this week.
Sayville captured the Suffolk County team championship Thursday at Rock Hill Golf Club, with a score of 805, edging Ward Melville (824) and Huntington (834).
Senior Ryan O’Mara and sophomore Michael Nadeau helped lead the way, qualifying for the individual state tournament in the process. Nadeau shot a 159 over two rounds and O’Mara shot a 160.
“It’s great to see these kids work so hard for a lot of years and put a lot of work in and come out on top,” said Sayville coach Sean McLaughlin, who won his first county title in six years with the team.
In addition to O’Mara and Nadeau, a strong effort from senior leader Kyle Burke helped the Golden Flashes claim the title.
“You have to give Kyle Burke a lot of credit,” said McLaughlin. “He’s a returning two-time all-state kid. He had a bad day [Tuesday].” Burke shot an 84 on the first day of the tournament to miss the individual cut.
While his individual varsity career had ended, McLaughlin said Burke remained dedicated to helping the team accomplish its goals. “[He] came to practice [Wednesday], went out, counseled the younger kids and really stepped up as a leader.”
In addition to his leadership, Burke also shot the tournament’s second-best round on the second day of the tournament, shooting a 3-over 74. McLaughlin said that Burke playing well without a chance to win an individual title “says a lot about his character.”
With Burke showing his character, Nadeau showed his mastery of the elements.
“We’re going home on Tuesday,” McLaughlin recalled. “I talked to the guys. ‘We’re gonna practice tomorrow but we’re gonna wear our rain gear. We’re gonna stick our hands in a bucket of water and play with wet hands and gloves.’ They played six holes with wet hands. Nadeau was the most excited guy when I told him what we were going to do. He said ‘I hope it rains Thursday. I am the best player in the rain!’”
Nadeau got his wish, as Thursday’s round featured rain, in addition to wind and a half-hour lightning delay.
He shot an 82 on Day 1 and a seven-over 42 through nine holes on Day 2. Then, coinciding with Thursday’s pouring rain, Nadeau shot a 1-under 35 on the back nine to qualifying for states. “He didn’t start playing good golf until the rain,” said McLaughlin. “The minute it started raining, he started playing lights out.”
As for O’Mara, McLaughlin lauded the work effort and determination of a player who “didn’t start until half way through his junior year,” and will now be competing for a state title.
Brothers Brandan Haselton and Sean Haselton both shot a 164 to also contribute to Sayville’s title.