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High School Girls Golf Preview: Syosset, GC Maroon are strong

Glen Oaks Country Club played host to Glen

Glen Oaks Country Club played host to Glen Oaks member Jennifer Rosenberg during practice on Wednesday, October 22, 2014. Credit: Richard T.Slattery

In less than two months, Jennifer Rosenberg and Malini Rudra may be walking the same halls as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson did during the 2009 U.S. Open. Peyton Greco and Meghan O’Mara, too.

That’s because the Bethpage Yellow course will host the 2016 state high school girls golf championship June 4-5.

Three golfers from Long Island finished in the top 10 in the state last season for the third consecutive year, and two of them, Syosset’s Rudra and Cold Spring Harbor’s Rosenberg, are back for another season.

“We’ve never had the tournament down here,” said Nassau girls golf coordinator Denise Kiernan, who led the efforts to bring the tournament to Bethpage. “We’ve been traveling to Delhi for the past six years, and the previous three years, it was in Syracuse. Long Islanders are pleased that we don’t have to travel off the island . . . the rest of the state has received it well. They all want to play at Bethpage. It’s a unique opportunity for high school kids.”

The tournament could have a heavy Syosset contingent, as the two-time reigning Long Island team champions return Rudra, and a pair of other golfers that also qualified for the state tournament. Rudra tied for sixth in the tournament as an eighth grader last year, while returning teammates Trisha Patel and Sarah Sung joined her upstate.

Garden City Maroon, one of the school’s two varsity teams, will be among Syosset’s top competitors, and are led by the senior trio of Alana McAndrews, Kerry McCarraher and Grace Cameron. Friends Academy and Great Neck South will be in the mix in Nassau as well.

In Suffolk, reigning champions Smithtown East will be the team to beat, thanks to returning starters Peyton Greco and Cassie Hall. Greco had the best score at the state tournament of any returning Suffolk player, while Hall finished third at last season’s county tournament. The duo helped lead the way for a squad that set a Suffolk record for lowest team score at the two-day team tournament.

“I expected the team will be strong again,” coach Bob Woods said. “We have Peyton and Cassie back, and some underclassmen ready to play well. We have plenty of depth.”

Smithtown West will look to challenge their crosstown rivals and improve on their second place finish in the county tournament with a strong blend of youth and experience. Sophomore Emily Montagnino will lead the group, backed up by sophomore Paige Diecidue and seniors Diana Apoznanski and Jen Wilcox.

Meghan O’Mara, who finished fourth in the county last year, returns for Sayville, bringing her undefeated record in head-to-head league play with her. Ceili Howland, who qualified for the state tournament as an eighth grader last season, is the Golden Flashes’ No. 2 player.

Commack took fourth in the county, and returns both of its top golfers, Stephanie Miller and Ava Zimmerman.

Shannon Fox (Sachem North) and Lucy Lamb (Ward Melville) also return after qualifying for the state tournament last season.

Nicolette Dilluvio returns for Kellenberg, the reigning Catholic League team champion. Dilluvio finished second in the CHSAA state tournament at Eisenhower Blue, and also won the Long Island league title two seasons ago. She will joined by Ashley Harding, who also qualified for the state tournament last season, and Megan Schiesser.

State qualifiers Stephanie Browne of St. Anthony’s and Tess Murphy of Holy Trinity return to lead their teams, which will challenge Kellenberg for the league title.

Golfers To Watch

Nikki Dilluvio

Kellenberg, Sr.

Peyton Greco,

Smithtown East, Sr.

Meghan O’Mara

Sayville, Sr.

Malini Rudra

Syosset, Fr.

Jennifer Rosenberg

Cold Spring Harbor, Jr.

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