Like a tricky green, Anthony Caputo can be hard to read.
The Riverhead High School golfer is not known for wearing his emotions on his sleeve, but one has to imagine the sophomore’s heart was pounding with glee over his performance in the Section XI Championships last week at Rocky Hill Golf & Country Club in Manorville.
With his eighth-place finish, Caputo qualified for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championship that will be played June 1, 2019, at Cornell University. Riverhead coach Steve Failla believes Caputo is the first Riverhead player to qualify for the state tournament.
Riverhead qualified as a team for the two-day sectional tournament at Rock Hill Oct. 30 and 31. After the first day of play, the top four teams and the top 30 golfers, Caputo among them, advanced to the second day.
Caputo shot an 80 on the par-71 course the first day and an 83 on Day 2. It was cold and windy both days.
“It was just incredible,” Failla said. “He’s got ice in his veins. He’s very focused and he’s a competitor. He was forced to overcome some adversity, some unlucky shots that second day and it would have been very hard for me to overcome it, which is why he would beat me in a match. But he stepped up, kept his focus, didn’t let it get to him and finished strong.”
Failla said Caputo has been playing golf for only a few years “so it’s a lot of fun to imagine how good he can be down the road.”
Caputo was the only Riverheader to reach the second day of the tournament. On the first day, the Blue Waves saw sophomore Noah Strauss shoot a 90, junior Alex Meras a 93, senior Connor Batjer a 97, junior Chris Timpone a 98 and senior Connor Kalmus a 98.
Riverhead finished sixth in the county after having taken second place in League VII with a 7-3 record.
Failla called it one of the best teams Riverhead has ever had. He said, “Top down, it was a very talented team.”
Photo caption: The Riverhead boys golf team finished sixth in Section XI Championships and one of its players, sophomore Anthony Caputo, qualified for the state tournament. (Credit: courtesy photo)