By Jacob Sisson
The Pierson/Bridgehampton Golf Team has already seen its own records fall in 2010, and hopes to continue that trend all the way to the post season as the team vies for the league eight playoffs. Coach Sean Crowley has a team full of youthful talent on hand for this season, and it will be no surprise that the team learns and grows as the season progresses. The Whalers (1-1, 1-1) are led by only one senior, captain Jake Weingartner, but are overflowing with young golfers who Crowley will rely on for consistent results throughout the year. Two matches in the last week saw Pierson/Bridgehampton bounce from opposite ends of the success spectrum, dropping their season opener 8-1 to East Hampton (2-0, 2-0) on Wednesday, but immediately bouncing back to shut out Westhampton (1-1, 1-1) 9-0 on Thursday.
Despite not having the upper class experience possessed by other teams, sophomore captains Dillon Decker and Gabe Dennon are expected to carry some of the load against the league’s best players. Juniors Harrison Bayrami and Kevin Duchemin, sophomore Adam Heller and freshman Jack Bori join Weingartner, Decker and Dennon to round out the full roster of seven.
While the score line may not have gone in The Whalers’ favor, there were a number of positives to take away from Pierson/Bridgehampton’s opening loss to league powerhouse East Hampton. “The story against East Hampton was the low score by Decker of 37. He won his match against Zack Grossman who entered the season as one of the best players in the county,” said Crowley of his emerging star. Decker’s one-over-par 37 came on the par 36 front nine of the Noyac Golf Club. Grossman had been listed by many as the league’s player to watch for the season, so Decker’s victory was a major coup for the youngster. Not far behind Decker was Denon, who shot a 42 to finish at six-over-par.
Decker’s win scored Pierson/Bridgehampton its only point of the match, as The Whalers’ top five golfers shot a combined 232 against East Hampton’s impressive 203. East Hampton was led by John Nolan’s 37 and Grossman’s 38. Pierson/Bridgehampton’s Adam Heller finished his day with a 45, while Jake Weingartner shot a 47, Harrison Bayrami shot a 48, and Jack Bori shot a 58.
The Whalers had to quickly forget about their defeat to East Hampton as they headed back to the Noyac Golf Club’s front nine just twenty-four hours later for a matchup against league rival Westhampton. In a complete role reversal from their match against East Hampton, Pierson/Bridgehampton was the team handing out the beating, a 9-0 rout.
“The Westhampton match was a shutout and our team score was 216 for the top five players,” Crowley remarked. “This total is the lowest in the 24 years I have been the coach. I was really happy with the consistency throughout the lineup.” That consistency was truly the name of Pierson/Bridgehampton’s game, as every member of the team shot in the 40’s on the par 36 course. Gabe Denon and Harrison Bayrami had the lowest scores for The Whalers, each shooting a six-over-par 42. For Denon, it was the second day in a row he shot a 42, proving that, despite his age, the sophomore is at home playing on the highest high school stage.
Of Crowley’s seven players, five had rounds that were equal to or better than their scores from one day earlier. The most dramatic improvement came from freshman Jack Bori, who bounced back from a Wednesday round of 58 for a Thursday round of 43, which not only tied with Dillon Decker for the team’s second best score, but dropped a full fifteen strokes off of his round on Wednesday. Such a dramatic improvement showed marked poise from a young man who was no doubt affected by opening day jitters. Captain Jake Weingartner dropped a stroke from his Wednesday game by shooting a 46, while Adam Heller shot a 49.
On Wednesday, Pierson/Bridgehampton heads to Pine Hills Country Club in Manorville to square off against Center Moriches (0-2, 0-4), where The Whalers will look to get above .500 for the first time this season. Center Moriches is one school that Crowley points out as a key team that The Whalers have to beat, saying, “we need to win the matches that we should: the two against Center Moriches, the two against Ross and the next Westhampton match. The Southampton matches will provide our biggest challenge to move up in the league in the order of program strength.” Pierson/Bridgehampton will face Southampton at the Southampton Country Club on September 28.