It was a simple question, but one that required an involved answer.
After someone asked him what the Mattituck boys golf team’s record is, coach Paul Ellwood replied, “Good question.”
Ellwood offered two possibilities: either 7-1-1, or 7-1 with a match still to be decided.
The source of the uncertainty can be traced to Mattituck’s Suffolk County League VII match against Eastport/South Manor last Wednesday at Hampton Hills Golf and Country Club in Westhampton Beach. When the match ended with the score tied, 4 1/2-4 1/2, a winner still couldn’t be determined through three tiebreakers. The fourth tiebreaker, Ellwood said, required each team to send a player out to play one hole. The problem was, by then it was too dark to continue play.
Ellwood said the rulebook is unclear about how the situation should be handled. Should the teams replay the match? Should each team designate a player to play one hole to decide it? Should the tie stand?
Ellwood said the Suffolk County Boys Golf Coaches Association president, Dennis Maloney, left it up to the two coaches to settle on either a one-hole playoff or leave the result as a tie.
Phone messages left for Maloney and Eastport/South Manor coach Todd Skala were not returned prior to the deadline.
Ellwood said both coaches would prefer to avoid a one-hole playoff. He said Mattituck’s athletic director, Gregg Wormuth, is looking into the matter.
“It is very interesting because no one has an answer because it never happened before,” said Ellwood.
The result of the match has tremendous implications on the league championship. Section XI’s listing of the League VII standings on Tuesday night showed Eastport/South Manor in first place with an 8-1 record and Mattituck second at 7-1.
The Tuckers had won three straight league titles before last year, when they lost to Eastport/South Manor on the final day of the season, leaving the Sharks with the crown.
Ellwood said he wouldn’t mind replaying the match, but didn’t think that would happen. “I have a feeling it’s going to end a tie,” he said.
If the result remains a tie and both teams win out their final matches, as expected, Eastport/South Manor and Mattituck would be co-champions.
Mattituck is the only visiting team to win at Eastport/South Manor’s Hampton Hills course in the last seven years, according to Ellwood. The Tuckers defeated the Sharks earlier this season at North Fork Country Club in Cutchogue. Mattituck’s only loss was to Shelter Island. The Tuckers’ remaining league matches will be against Riverhead (3-6), Bishop McGann-Mercy (4-6) and Hampton Bays (1-8).
A big plus for Mattituck has been the play of senior Richie Corazzini. Mattituck’s No. 1 player has an 8-1 record and a 38.37 average. He apparently likes playing against Greenport/Southold, twice shooting under par in matches against the Clippers. Corazzini fired a nine-hole score of 32 at Island’s End Golf and Country Club in Greenport and a 33 at North Fork Country Club. Those are both par-35 courses.
“I was amazed,” Corazzini said. “I never really shot under par before. The best thing is to not really think about it, you know. I just played.”
As impressive as those performances were, consider this: Corazzini shot a 40 against Riverhead — without hitting one fairway! He has a knack for getting out of trouble. He said, “I have a lot of shots in my bag to get me out of trouble.”
“If he’s hitting fairways, he’s unbelievable,” Ellwood said. “He’s been getting bigger and stronger. He hits the ball so far. He expects to do well. He’s been the clear number one. He’s just been separating himself from everybody with his scores.”
Corazzini hasn’t been the only one playing well. There are others, like Erik Olsen, Brad Tyler, Jon Dwyer, Matt Mauceri, Liam Sehuford, Parker Tuthill and Andrew Stakey. Ellwood said Chris Mauceri is coming back from a broken wrist.
Said Ellwood, “Everyone’s had success.”