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SportsColumnistsMark Herrmann

Carly Peters’ focus earns her LI Women’s Amateur title

Carly Peters

Carly Peters Photo Credit: Long Island Golf Association

Carly Peters was so focused on every single shot down the stretch at the Long Island Women’s Amateur Championship Wednesday that when she made her putt on No. 18, she had to ask her caddie where she stood. He told her, “You just won.”

“I was in disbelief,” the St. James resident said, having shot 2-under par 73 at Bethpage Red to finish the two-day event at 3 over. That was one stroke ahead of Angela Tocco and Brittany Ferrante, who all were in the same threesome. “And we all birdied 17, which made it interesting,” Peters said.

Also interesting: “That was the first time I ever shot under par,” Peters said.

She credited the lessons she has taken the past two months from Bill Carney, head pro at WindWatch, and the calming words of her caddie, Jimmy Walmsley, a golfer at UMass-Lowell whom Peters met at college tournaments.

Getting to hold the Woodcrest Bowl represented the highlight of a golf career that saw her improve through Michael Hebron’s junior program at Smithtown Landing, make a hole-in-one at that course when she was in her mid-teens, make the girls high school state tournament twice and help Smithtown East win the Suffolk title.

She works in the pro shop at Mill Pond Golf Club and runs the youth classes there. Golf always will be part of her life, if not her livelihood. She plans to follow her mother, Toni, into speech pathology and is pursuing a masters degree at St. Joseph’s in Patchogue. “I love working with kids,” she said.

Peters was six when she took up golf, as her dad, Robert, brought home a starter’s set for her and twin sister Sarah. Carly became hopeful when her sibling clearly did not like the game. She did not try to change Sarah’s mind. “I thought, ‘I can have my own whole set of clubs,’ ” she said. Both sisters were athletes at SUNY-Cortland. Sarah was a gymnast while Carly was on the golf team.

“After college, it’s hard to find tournaments to play in,” said the winner of the biggest tournament on the Island last week.

LI’s Shallat in U.S. Junior

Zachary Shallat of Dix Hills, 13, will be the youngest competitor (by 18 months) at the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship starting tomorrow in Andover, Kansas. Shallat, a straight-A student at Solomon Schechter Day School, won the Boys 12-14 division of the Met PGA Junior Tour Championship last August at Ardsley Country Club. He qualified for the U.S. Junior by shooting 72 and winning a playoff at Mount Kisco Country Club June 22.

Galletta’s win tournament

Mal Galletta Jr. and Mal Galletta III have had many successes in their respective careers. Still, they always had hoped to achieve what they finally did this past Monday: win a tournament together. Mal Jr., assistant pro at Engineers Country Club, and Mal III, director of instruction at Glen Cove Golf Club, shot best-ball 65 at Bellport Country Club to take the pro division of the Long Island Father-Son Championship. Christopher and Paul Gabriele of Huntington Country Club won the main division with a 68, Marc and Spencer Howard of Colonial Springs won low net at 62.

Chip shots

The LPGA has explored the possibility of bringing a tournament to Eisenhower Park’s Red Course, a person familiar with the discussions said. So far, they have not been able to land a title sponsor. LPGA players have spoken with commissioner Michael Whan about making the New York area a tour stop. The Red, then known as Salisbury Country Club, hosted the 1926 PGA Championship. It held a Champions Tour event (last known as the Commerce Bank Championshp) from 2003 through 2008 . . . Latest from the Northern Trust (formerly The Barclays), the PGA Tour FedEx Cup tournament at Glen Oaks Aug. 22-27: Designer Kendra Scott has signed as a partner and will preview fashions during the event . . . The New York State Open is this Tuesday through Thursday at Bethpage Black. It is open to the public and admission is free. Pairings will be at met.pga.com.

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