Turner Foster came into the tournament looking for a top-nine score. He finished it as a county champion.
The East Hampton sophomore shot a 6-over-par 148 over two days at Rock Hill and defeated Port Jefferson’s Shane DeVincenzo in a one-hole playoff to win the Suffolk boys golf championship yesterday. Foster shot a 1-over 72 in his opening round Tuesday and a 76 Thursday before parring the first hole to edge DeVincenzo.
“I came in just looking to qualify for states,” said Foster, who became the first sophomore to win the Suffolk title since Middle Country’s Michael Miranda in 2012. “To play well today and do this is a pretty cool feeling,”
Foster said he never had been in a playoff, but that it was “really cool to play with everyone watching. Off the tee, I was pretty nervous, but once I got it on the fairway, I felt pretty confident.”
His approach shot landed close to the hole, and while his ensuing putt narrowly missed, he made par to defeat DeVincenzo, who made a bogey 5. DeVincenzo shot a 71 Thursday to force the playoff.
“Once I hit my pitching wedge as close as I did, I knew I had a pretty good shot,” Foster said.
“Shane had a great round today and it was fun playing with him.”
Foster came into the day four strokes behind Southampton’s Christian Oakley, who came in third with a 150, but closed the gap by shooting a 1-under 34 on the front nine.
“I hit the ball pretty much the same as I did on Tuesday, but my putting was just much better,” Foster said. “Knowing the greens a little better helped.”
“Turner’s now become a legend of golf for our community,” coach Claude Beudert said. “He’s the second player in our history to win a county championship, after Zach Grossman won in 2011.”
Sayville’s Sean Haselton had the tournament’s best 18-hole round — a 70 Thursday — and had a two-day score of 151 to come in fourth. Smithtown East’s Eric Bholan (158), Half Hollow Hills East’s Mark Muratore (158), Sayville’s Brendan Smith (158), Hills West’s Jackson Weisbrot (159) and West Islip’s Joe Tammaro (159) also finished in the top nine to qualify for the state tournament, which will take place during the spring season.
In the team competition, Northport captured its first county title since 2001 with a combined score of 830. “We showed how deep we are,” Pat Raffone said. “It’s been an amazing year.”
Raffone and Anthony Parziale each shot a 162, Spencer Ruthkowski shot a 164, Mike Kullack shot a 168 and James Alden had a 174 for the Tigers.