By Gavin Menu
It’s not every year that a program loses two players like Gabe Dennon and Dillon Decker, who helped lead the Pierson-Bridgehampton golf team to one of its best seasons in school history last fall.
The Whalers also lost Jake Bennett and Brad Reiner to graduation in June but will still boast a strong program with 21 golfers between the varsity and junior varsity clubs.
Leading the way are the team’s top two players in senior Jack Bori and junior Ben Kushner, who are entrenched at the top of the lineup. Bori sunk a dramatic par putt on the ninth and final hole last Thursday at Noyac to halve his match with East Hampton ace Matt Griffith, with each player shooting a round of 44.
The Bonackers went on to win the match, 6.5 – 2.5, to begin a new season of competitive East End golf.
“My philosophy leaving last week was we were disappointed with the loss, but it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” Pierson head coach Sean Crowley said on Tuesday. “My hope is that we and East Hampton and Southampton beat each other up, and one or two losses still wins the league title.”
Senior Garrett Potter played in the third position against East Hampton and shot a 51 to halve his match with Steven Kane. Kushner shot a 49 in the two-slot, but lost a point to East Hampton’s Turner Foster, who shot a 45.
Pierson’s Jack Brown, who is only a freshman, also halved his match against East Hampton’s Josue Palacios, with each player shooting 50. Whaler junior Theo Gray picked up the team’s only win of the day, shooting a 53 to best Regis O’Neil by a single stroke.
In the six spot, Pierson’s Matt Burke shot a 53 but dropped a point to Nathan Wright, who shot a 49 for East Hampton. In total, East Hampton had a 239-247 edge in total score.
“So now we’re looking to see who will take the third through six spots going forward,” Crowley said. “In practice we have to see who belongs where.”
Rounding out the varsity line-up this season are Charles Canavan, a junior who shot a 47 at Noyac on Thursday, and seniors Pat Rice, Addison Cook, Henry Kotz and Nick Kruel. Tyler LeBorne, an 8th grader, will alternate between varsity and JV, according to Crowley.
The team played at Westhampton on Tuesday and at Center Moriches last night, September 18. This week the Whalers will face Ross at The East Hampton Golf Club on Tuesday, September 24 at 3:30 p.m.