For any local amateur golfer, there is nothing quite as good as winning a big tournament at Bethpage State Park. Except if you come back two days later and do it again, as Nabila Inak did this past week.
Scheduling alone rarely offers a chance for such a double play, and the mental drain that winning involves would make it nearly impossible. But the public-course golfer from Forest Hills, a rising senior at Newberry (South Carolina) College, said her swing and her mind were both on the right track. So, she was able to polish off the 36-hole Long Island Women’s Amateur on the Red Course Tuesday and win the 18-hole Women’s Metropolitan Golf Association/Metropolitan Golf Association Public Links on the Green Thursday.
“My swing feels great and I stayed patient. It has just been a really great week,” she said on Friday.
The week started auspiciously with a 72 Monday on the Red, which played to a par 75 “I didn’t know where I stood after the first day. I knew it was a really big field and there were a lot of great players,” she said. “I just said “I’ll shoot a good number and see where that goes. I was surprised when the told me I was the leader.
“It’s weird because I hadn’t been in that position in a while. I didn’t think too far ahead. I didn’t think, ‘I’m going to win this.’ I was like, ‘I’m just going to play my game tomorrow and stick to my game plan.’ ”
She followed with a 73 Tuesday for a three-shot win. On Thursday, she had enough in the tank to birdie No. 18 for a 1-over-par 72 and a two-stroke victory.
Inak never has found challenges daunting. As a senior at the Bronx High School of Science, she was the only female competitor in the boys state federation tournament at Bethpage Black. By then, she had committed to Newberry, where a friend from junior golf was playing.
Her coaches there instill the importance of staying mentally cool, which helped her to the week’s quinella. “I’ve been working on staying in it, grinding it out and not getting too emotional out there. Keeping a real emotional baseline, not getting ahead of myself,” she said.
Inak has gotten ahead on her schoolwork, as a dean’s list student who has just about fulfilled all the requirements of her biology major and psychology minor. She will be able to concentrate more on golf this semester, to determine if she wants to pursue it after graduation.
But how can she top this past week? She is headed on vacation Monday to Indonesia. “I’ll probably be playing a tournament there,” she said.
13 is a lucky number
Thirteen seemed like a charmed number to Jim Carew of Massapequa when his son Jimmy, then 13, made a hole-in-one on the 13th hole of Rainbow Golf Club in Greenville, N.Y. The dad could only laugh when the boy asked Carew and buddy Tom Mayer, “How old were you when you got your first holes-in-one?”
Twelve years later, Carew finally can answer. He was 53 when he recently made his first ace, at Villa Roma in Callicoon, N.Y. on, you guessed it, No. 13.
Ace and then a double eagle
Paul Briamonte made a hole-in-one on June 20 at his home club, Lake Success. He aced the 153-yard 11th with a 6-iron. He didn’t stop there. Two weeks later, playing in the July 4 couples tournament with his wife Barbara, he scored a double eagle, or albatross, sinking his 182-yard second shot on the par-5 first with an 11-wood.
Finding a caddie on Twitter
Score this in the BTW category, it might make you LOL. At least one PGA Tour pro found a teenager not willing to say TGIF. Steven Bowditch canvassed Twitter to find a caddie willing to tote his bag in this past week’s John Deere Classic. In a tweet, he warned there was only a 1 percent chance he’d still be playing on Sunday.
The winning reply came from Elias Francque, who said he visits his grandparents’ nearby farm and knows the course and that two of his uncles work for John Deere. Plus, Friday was his 17th birthday.
Bowditch evidently was better at reading the future than reading greens. He shot 3-over through two rounds and missed the cut.