Palwasha Ali of Glenn swings through on the ninth tee during...

Palwasha Ali of Glenn swings through on the ninth tee during the Suffolk girls golf championships on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 in Middle Island. Credit: Dawn McCormick

Palwasha Ali plays golf with her father, Whaid, “almost every day.” He helped the Glenn junior get into the sport and practices with her, doubling up team practices with family sessions on the greens.

On Tuesday, all those extra hours and early mornings led to Ali’s father and sister Insiya watching proudly as the junior lifted the Suffolk individual trophy with a score of 157, six strokes better than any other golfer at the two-day tournament hosted by Middle Island Country Club in Yaphank.

“Winning this was definitely one of my dreams this year,” Ali said. “Hopefully, I can keep it going and win [the state tournament].”

Ali ended Day 2 with an even better score than Day 1, finishing with a 77 compared to 80 the day prior. The junior was one of three golfers to record a sub-40 nine-hole score, doing so three times (37, 39, 38) after the first nine holes on Monday (43).

Ali said she changed her swing a bit to “keep the ball in play,” noticeably slowing down her backswing. Even on exacting drives where a tree interfered, the junior seemed to always find the green on the subsequent stroke.

“I could not hit any shot straight on Day 2],” Ali said. “I was literally aiming for the trees, left and right, hoping it would come back. And it did, thankfully.”

Her precision was particularly on point on shorter holes. Ali scored par on seven of the eight par-3 holes across both days of the competition.

Ali and nine other top scorers will represent Section XI at the state tournament at The Edison Club in upstate Rexford, beginning on June 2.

Southampton will look to join them as Elie Poremba, Kathryn Blackmore, Georgia Wilutis, Jillian Swiatocha, Zaida Trifitt and Virginia Kasselakis brought the county title back to Southampton with a score of 1,008, which was 16 strokes ahead of second-place Northport.

Poremba led the Mariners with a  169 score, finishing fifth among all golfers which included shooting an 82 on Tuesday. Only Ali, Ward Melville’s Ella Girard (80 on Day 2) and Commack’s Emilia Parlow (81 on Day 2) had lower scores.

The eighth-grader won the individual tournament last year and will join the Section XI individual team yet again after placing fifth.

“I’m excited,” Poremba said. “I feel like I can definitely do better than I did last year, and I’m happy to have another chance.”

Poremba will get the opportunity to bring her Southampton squad with her this time after the Mariners take on Nassau’s Great Neck in the Long Island championship back at Middle Island Country Club on Tuesday, May 28, at 9 a.m.

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