Thanks to a strong start, Meg O’Mara got the finish she wanted.
The Sayville senior won the Suffolk individual girls golf championship on Tuesday, after shooting a 164 over two days at Middle Island Country Club. O’Mara had the best round of the tournament with a 9-over 80 on Monday, followed with an 84 on Tuesday.
O’Mara came into Tuesday with a two-stroke lead over Smithtown East’s Peyton Greco, and built on it by shooting a 38 on the front nine on Middle Island Dogwood. This gave her a big enough edge to withstand a late push from Greco and her Smithtown East teammate Cassie Hall (who both finished with a 166, tying with Sayville’s Ceili Howland for second).
“I just tried to play smart and stay focused on my game and hit the best shots that I could,” O’Mara said. She added her putting helped carry her through the front nine on Tuesday, where she birdied the par 3 fifth hole on Dogwood.
“I’m so overwhelmed and proud of her,” Sayville coach Tim Dillon said. “She’s an intrepid spirit, and over the course of five years, she has always given her best effort. She’s never lost a league golf match and she finished in a fitting way.”
Hall, who shot a 6-over 41 on the back nine on Middle Island Spruce, made things interesting late, but O’Mara made the shots she needed to hold her off, and also edge Greco (who made par on four of the final six holes) and Howland (who shot a 3-over 38 on the back nine at Spruce).
“I had two really great competitors playing with me, who are two of my really good friends,” O’Mara said of fellow seniors Greco and Hall, who were grouped with her. “We were all happy with how we played.”
“I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It was the perfect group to end your high school career with,” Greco said.
“It was here that we became friends, so it’s an awesome way to go out,” Hall added.
Sayville also won the county team championship with a combined score of 924, topping two-time reigning champions Smithtown East (927), Smithtown West (948) and Commack (972).
“I’m very proud and super excited to go out my senior year with a team championship,” O’Mara said.
Hannah Niggemeier, Ryan O’Connell, Hailey Keyser and Lizzie Kiernan-Mulhill joined O’Mara and Howland in Sayville’s title-winning effort.
In addition to O’Mara, Greco, Hall and Howland, Smithtown West’s Paige Diecidue (170) and Emily Montagnino (171), Sachem’s Shannon Fox (171), Niggemeier (176), and West Islip’s Samantha Arnold (181) qualified for the state tournament, which begins June 4 at Bethpage State Park.