Can’t beat the heat? Go out and win a county championship.
That was what Southampton sophomore Ella Coady did.
Coady shot a 13-over-par 85 at Smithtown Landing on Wednesday, following a 79 on Tuesday at the same course to win the Suffolk girls golf championship with a total of 164.
The real feel temperature hovered over 90 degrees during both days, but Coady knew how to handle it.
"I’m a caddie at a golf course out in Southampton, so I am used to the heat," she said. "I made sure to take breaks when I could and drank a lot of water."
How did she feel when it was all over?
"I was overjoyed. I ran into the sprinklers that were turned on, on the 18th green once the round ended," Coady said.
Coady finished her first round four shots clear of the field, shooting a 37 on the front nine and a 42 on the back.
"My dad watched me for the first nine, which was great because that was where I shot my lowest score of the tournament," Coady said. "He’s been my coach since I was 3 years old. Having him here was a great support and seeing him there cheering me on was really great."
Coady maintained her four-shot lead following Wednesday’s front nine by shooting a 40. She ran into a little bit of trouble when she hit her tee shot into the trees on the 17th hole but managed to salvage a double-bogey and ended up winning by five shots.
"My game is physically really good, but mentally is where I tend to trip myself up. If I take everything shot by shot that really helps me," Coady said. "If I hit a bad drive I’m even more eager to get to [play] that bad shot because I say to myself, ‘OK, what can I do to get this shot back into play and make this a good hole.’ "
Whitman’s Julia Posillico was second with a 169, while Ward Melville seventh-grader Ella Girard and West Islip’s Julia Bearden tied for third with a 170.
In the team competition, Smithtown West won with a two-day total of 983. Sachem ended up second (1059), Islip was third (1076) and Sayville was fourth (1094).
The Bulls were led by coach Val Flora, who according to Sayville coach Tim Dillon, became the first female coach to capture the team title.
"It is very special. I think we will always remember this year," Flora said. "It was shortened and mashed together in such a brief period. It was grueling for them, not as grueling as these past few days in the heat though."