Rich Gebhardt knows it is going to take some time and patience for his inexperienced team to mature on the golf course.
Gebhardt, the coach of the Riverhead Blue Waves girls golf team, watched his young squad lose a pair of 9-0 matches at Cherry Creek Golf Links to the Sachem East Flaming Arrows last Thursday and then to the Mount Sinai Mustangs on Monday. While his team was competitive in most of the matches, as it so often goes in golf, it all came down to the little things that determined the final outcome of the match.
Against Sachem East (2-0, 2-0 in Suffolk County Division III), Riverhead’s Kaylee Wells had a 62 on the par-34 nine-hole course while teammates Kendall Stark shot a 64, Erin Kealey had a 67 and Beth Appleby a 68.
“Kaylee drove the ball well,” Gebhardt said. “But her putting and chipping were off. She is only an eighth-grader. It takes time to develop that part of the game.”
In the loss to Mount Sinai (2-0, 2-0), Jessie Langdon shot a 54 while Stark fired a 61 and Wells a 65.
“Jess was driving the ball well, but her putting was a little off,” Gebhardt said. “She was a few shots off from having a really good game.”
Gebhardt was proud of the way his less-experienced team battled Sachem East and Mount Sinai all the way.
“They have good, solid teams and we were in every match,” Gebhardt said. “A little bit of everything caught up with us in the end. Our course management needs to get better and so does our endurance. By the eighth and ninth holes, we started to fall behind. We have to work on those things. But, remember, golf is a hard game to play.”
With only one score in the 50s over the first two matches, Gebhardt said his Blue Waves (0-2, 0-2) need to continue to lower their scores to be competitive.
“To be competitive, our scores have to be in the 50s,” he said. “We have got to be in the low 50s to mid-50s to really be able to compete, but it takes time. Rome was not built in a day.”