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Sayville’s O’Mara finishes strong with fifth at states

Meghan O'Mara of Sayville reads the greens on

Meghan O'Mara of Sayville reads the greens on the ninth Hole of Bethpage State Park's Yellow Course during the second round of the NYSPHSAA girls golf state championship on Sunday, June 5, 2016. Credit: James Escher

It was raining and cloudy at Bethpage Yellow, but Meg O’Mara’s final high school round ended in picture-perfect fashion.

The Sayville senior sank a putt from 15 feet to finish with a two-day score of 149, good for fifth at the state Federation girls golf tournament. She shot a 1-over-par 73 on Saturday and followed it up with a 76 on Sunday to have the lowest score among the 20 Long Island players in the 81-player field.

Auburn’s Lindsay May won the tournament for the third straight season with a 140.

“I played well the last two days and put everything together,” said O’Mara, who said after winning the Suffolk individual title in May that her goal was to finish in the top five in the state tournament.

O’Mara put herself in good position with a strong round on Saturday, thanks in large part to her putting.

“I was putting the best I probably ever had,’’ she said. “I had 28 putts for the day, which is probably my best. My short game in general kept me in it.”

Despite the imperfect conditions, her putting was strong again Sunday. She made a putt from about 20 feet to birdie the par-4 ninth hole and another from 15 feet to make par on the par-4 18th.

“When the rain is coming down and you’re looking at your ball and it’s covered in water, you just try to hit the best shots you can and play smart,” O’Mara said. “The 15-footer for par was a great way to end my career.’’

“She’s never made an excuse, ever, and I think today with the inclement weather, it was perfect for Meg,” Sayville coach Tim Dillon said. “Where other kids might talk about it being cold, or wet or rainy, Meg’s not wired that way. She’s just focused on doing her best.”

Six other golfers from Long Island joined O’Mara in earning all-state honors: Jericho’s Emilie Guo and Syosset’s Malini Rudra (tied for eighth at 153), Smithtown East’s Cassie Hall (11th, 155) and Peyton Greco (tied for 22nd, 163), Cold Spring Harbor’s Jenny Rosenberg (tied for 19th, 161) and Smithtown West’s Emily Montagnino (163).

Suffolk had the third-best team score in the intersectional competition.

“Every hole I was thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, this is my last round of high school golf,’ ” Hall said. “But I’m so happy to end it on a good note.”

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