Middle Country sophomore Mike Miranda overcame the rainy conditions the past two days to win his first Suffolk individual golf championship. Playing at Indian Island Country Club in Riverhead, Miranda finished Tuesday with a 36-hole score of 144.
Miranda shot 2-under-par 70 Monday to take the lead. But he had a tough start Tuesday, going 5 over on the first five holes.
"It was a bit of a struggle today, especially early on because of the weather," Miranda said. "I just had to stay patient and focused to grind it out."
Miranda then made a birdie on the sixth hole and once the weather eased up, he scored an eagle 3 on the par-5 15th hole.
"That really helped my confidence and I was able to finish strong after that," he said. Miranda finished with 2-over 74. He will lead a group of nine golfers from Suffolk in the state tournament June 2-4 at Cornell University in Ithaca.
"This was a very exciting experience," Miranda said. "I just want to keep practicing and keep getting better so I can hopefully win states."
In the team competition, Ward Melville won its first county championship since 1985. The Patriots went 12-0 in the fall for the third straight year and have won 38 consecutive league matches.
"We have some great players who have been phenomenal this year," coach Bob Spria said. "I'm really proud of them. It's been a really fun year working with this group of kids."
Ward Melville finished with a combined score of 782, 37 strokes better than second-place Bayport-Blue Point (819). Smithtown East came in third with a score of 826. The Patriots were led by seniors Dom Riela and Tim Mirocco, who shot a 149 and a 158, respectively, and eighth-grader Gerry Mackedon, who shot 150.