Caylin Wong of Great Neck competes at the Long Island...

Caylin Wong of Great Neck competes at the Long Island girls golf team championship on Tuesday, May 28, 2024 at Middle Island Country Club. Credit: Gary Licker

For the third consecutive year, Great Neck District girls golf has brought the Long Island Championship trophy home.

Six golfers from both Great Neck and Southampton/Pierson  spent Tuesday morning at Middle Island Country Club, where they went head-to-head for the team championship. Behind solid performances from Caylin Wong, Tiffany Liu and Lia Huang, Great Neck took only 456 strokes to Southampton/Pierson’s 479 and became Long Island champions once more.

Great Neck (9-1-1) spent the prior two weeks playing 18-hole practice rounds  rather than nine, which coach Matt Corrigan believes helped prepare his girls for this match.

“This is now our third week of playing all 18 holes,” Corrigan said. “We’ve been grinding, so we’re just used to playing the 18 holes now, so the back nine, our legs are still strong.”

Wong — a sophomore who also won the Section VIII individual title — was the match’s top player. She shot a 5-over-par 76, posting a 2-over 37 on the Spruce West Course — the front nine — and a 3-over 39 on the Dogwood Course — the back nine.

Though she is just a middle schooler, Wong was not intimidated by the pressure of competing for a varsity-level championship. While playing beside Huang in Great Neck's first pair, Wong was able to let loose and enjoy herself on the top stage.

“It felt really great,” Wong said. “I was happy to play with my teammate, Lia. We were just having fun today, just tossing up jokes here and there.”

Though Wong struggled a bit with her putting, she felt satisfied with the way she set herself up with her drives and approach shots.

“I was definitely striking it well; I got a lot of fairways, lots of greens,” Wong said. “Not so much with my putting, but that just gives me something to work on this week.”

Liu was another big piece in the win, as her 14-over 85 was the second-best score for Great Neck.

Liu was proud of the effort her teammates put up, as five of Great Neck's six players bested their Southampton (13-1) counterparts.

“I think all of us contributed equally,” Liu said. “We are a team, and each score is important. That’s how we are where we are, because everyone does amazingly.”

Now with the Long Island title under his team’s belt, Corrigan’s eyes are set on the state tournament.

“I’m just very proud of the girls,” Corrigan said. “It was a good team effort. It was nice to come out here and enjoy a nice day against the winners in Suffolk County. It was a nice tune-up to go upstate this weekend.”

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