East Hampton golfer Nate Wright said he can feel when he’s going to shoot a strong round. On Tuesday, he had a good feeling.
“My putts were just going in,” said Wright, a junior who has been on the team since seventh grade. “Usually when that happens, you can tell it’s going to be a good day.”
His final putt, which he said was “about a 55-footer,” put his name in the East Hampton record books. The birdie ended his round on the front nine of the Maidstone East Course in East Hampton with a 7-under 29, the best score in Bonackers history, according to coach Claude Beudert.
The previous record of 5-under 31 was shared by Zach Grossman (2011) and Ian Lynch (2012).
East Hampton defeated Center Moriches, 9-0, and Wright is Newsday’s Athlete of the Week for his effort.
“It’s a shorter course than we normally play, but it’s a challenge,” Beudert said. “There’s really only one green you can drive, but it’s a real risk.”
Beudert said driving the ball is one of Wright’s best skills because of his strength. But Wright admitted that he thought he was far from perfect off the tee, missing a couple of fairways and having to adjust with his shorter clubs. Ironically, he said his first tee shot was one of his worst.
Still, he managed seven birdies and parred the third and fourth holes.
Wright has caddied at Maidstone since eighth grade, and he said he’s able to “sneak out a couple times” to play. That familiarity certainly gave him the edge over his competitors.
His best 18-hole score was an even-par 72, and he said this is by far the best round he’s ever shot.
“It was definitely one I’m going to remember for a long time,” he said. “It was really cool. It was kind of unexpected.”
Wright said he takes lessons in Montauk with Mark Fretto, a PGA professional, and that Fretto has helped refine his game in the last six years. Fretto was one of the first people Wright told about his accomplishment.
“He was ecstatic about how I played because we had just been waiting for that breakthrough,” Wright said.
Beudert suggested that no one was more excited for Wright than his friends and teammates, Turner Foster and Jackson Murphy.
“They were probably more thrilled than he was,” he said.
Now Wright’s goal is to continue his ascension so he can play in college, and although he said he’s been talking to a few coaches, he knows that nothing is set in stone just yet.
He’s confident that something will work itself out. After all, good things happen when he has a good feeling.