As the Riverhead and Longwood high school girls golf teams were on the second hole at Cherry Creek Golf Links last Thursday, lightning crackled across the sky, stopping play on the Riverhead course. The match will be replayed on May 3.
Longwood (3-3, 3-3 in Suffolk County League III), having opened the season with the toughest part of its schedule, still has a legitimate shot of making the playoffs. Coach Gary Zamek’s team has been led by juniors Emily Gurrahan and Athena Fuentes, along with freshman Cassidy Fitzgerald.
“Emily has an all-around good game,” Zamek said. “She is averaging 7-over par on the nine-hole courses. Athena averages 11-over par, but she and Cassidy thrive on the longer courses.”
Zamek believes that if his team, which plays its home matches at Rolling Oaks Golf Course, can split its final four matches, it can have a shot at making the county tournament.
Meanwhile, young Riverhead (0-5, 0-5), while still winless, is getting better each week. Riverhead Coach Rich Gebhardt praised the play of eighth-grader Kaylee Wells, junior Jessica Langdon and freshman Karla Reyes.
“Kaylee is playing very well,” Gebhardt said. “She has won her last two matches. She knows the game. She gets the ball where she wants to get it. Kaylee does what she has to do to win.”
Langdon, the No. 1 player, has the ability, Gebhardt said, to score in the low 50s.
“Jessica is also hitting the ball well,” he said. “She is showing great promise.”
Reyes’ swing keeps getting better and better. “Karla has gotten her swing down,” Gebhardt said. “She has come a long way. I am confident she is going to be one of the better players.”
Gebhardt said, “Golf is a hard game for anyone to play, for a lot of our beginners there are so many things they need to learn and get better at, things like consistency and course management and getting their swings down right. They basically play by themselves. They have to have the discipline to cut down on their mistakes in order to win.”
Gebhardt firmly believes his team is heading in the right direction.
“Absolutely, we are,” he said. “Once we get a win, it will come. If the girls all stick together, next year we’ll be right there.”