Matt Lowe, Kyle Brey lead Dalers to LI golf title

Farmingdale's Matt Lowe concentrates on lining up his

Farmingdale's Matt Lowe concentrates on lining up his putt on 18. (May 29, 2013) (Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan)

After barely missing out on a spot in last year's Long Island boys golf championship, Farmingdale entered the offseason more motivated than ever with hopes of returning to a place it knew all too well.

"Before last year we made it here three straight times,'' coach John Berardi said. "So last year when we missed out the kids stepped it up in the offseason. They practiced and prepared well for the counties, and it carried over to today.''

Their hard work paid off as the Dalers defeated Smithtown East, 430-458, on the Black course at Bethpage State Park on Wednesday to win their third Long Island championship in five years.

"It feels great, this team really exceeded my expectations,'' Berardi said. "It was just a great season. We were the co-conference champions in the fall with Massapequa, and from then on we stepped it up for the counties and took it one step further today.''

Junior Matt Lowe, the Nassau individual champion, led with a 5-over-par 76, including birdies on the par-5 seventh and par-3 17th holes. Junior Kyle Brey shot 81.

The Black Course is one of the most difficult and well known in the country and was the site of two U.S. Opens.

"It was tough, all the tees were back," Brey said. "The green was pretty good, but it was definitely a challenge."

"If you get it in the rough it's at least a one-shot penalty if not more,'' Berardi added. "You have to keep out of the rough, and these guys did that today. It's not easy; they played from the same tees that the U.S. Open uses for the most part. They just did what they had to do to win.''

Berardi also mentioned Alex Lowe, Matt Burnett, Jonathan Smalkin and Justin Henry as key performers this year.

"We got contributions from all six spots throughout the year,'' he said. "I couldn't ask for anything more; it was just a solid team effort."

Brey echoed his coach's sentiments.

"The whole team was really good this year," he said. "Everyone shoots really well and everyone contributes."

Berardi said that the success the program has had the past five years adds extra motivation to the team.

"The kids that come up know that it's tradition now, so they play all year round to prepare because they want to be on the team," he said. "It's great. It took a long time to get to this point and it's very rewarding. These guys really make it look easy for me."

Farmingdale is losing just two seniors in Burnett and Smalkin, giving the Dalers a good chance of competing for another title next year.

"We're just gonna try to have a good summer," Brey said. "We look forward to coming back in the fall and we're gonna try to get back here and win it again."

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