The benefit of a home field advantage can vary by sport. There’s the bus trip, maybe a few rambunctious fans that can add to the home team’s advantage.
But perhaps no sport is the home field as important as in the sport that has nearly no spectators: golf.
Playing an unfamiliar course can be a treacherous experience for some golfers.
The Mattituck boys golf team, winners of three consecutive league titles, knows how important it is to defend its home course. So far, the Tuckers have done just that.
The Tuckers defeated Shelter Island 8-1 Monday afternoon at North Fork Country Club to improve to 5-0 in League VII. The Indians have gotten off to a strong start this season and came into Monday’s match at 4-1, making for a pivotal day for the Tuckers.
“This was a big match,” said Mattituck coach Paul Ellwood. “We were on our home course so we felt like we had to hold serve against them. It put us in good position for the first half, getting almost halfway through the league season without a loss.”
The Indians will get a chance on their home course at Deering Harbor when the teams meet again Oct. 17.
“There’s a huge advantage for most teams on their home course,” Ellwood said. “Our course is tight and out of bounds comes into play a lot. Teams sometimes struggle with that.”
The marquee matchup Monday was between Mattituck freshman Rich Corazzini and Shelter Island’s Jake Card. Corazzini earned the victory and point for Mattituck after shooting a 2-over-par 37. Card shot a 39.
Corazzini remained unbeaten on the season at 5-0.
The Tuckers finished with a total team score of 221 against the Indians.
Mattituck is now 38-3 since winning the first of three straight league titles.
While the Tuckers have been strong on their home course, winning all three matches so far, their biggest win of the season came on the road. Facing Eastport-South Manor, the Tuckers’ biggest threat for the league title, Mattituck won 6-3 when they played Sept. 15 at Hampton Hills.
“We don’t win there too often,” Ellwood said.
When the Tuckers face Eastport a second time, they’ll do so back at North Fork Country Club. Ellwood cautioned there are no guarantees playing a team a second time.
“Every match we’ve kind of do just enough to win,” he said. “It’s going to be a lot tougher the second time around.”
Four of the six matches for Mattituck in the second half of the season are on the road. The Tuckers conclude the first half of the season Oct. 3 at home against Riverhead.
Shelter Island gets right back at it today against Eastport at home. The Indians have posted wins over Mercy, Riverhead, Greenport and Hampton Bays.