By Mike Dougherty
SOUTHAMPTON — A nasty wind off the Great Peconic Bay that made the first day of the French-American Challenge a test of patience relented, but the Ligue de Paris did not.
The comeback never quite materialized.
A team of top amateurs golfers from the Ligue de Paris retained the French-American Challenge Trophy at Sebonack Golf Club on Wednesday, posting an 11½-8½ win over their counterparts from the Metropolitan Golf Association and the Women’s Metropolitan Golf Association.
“It was awesome,” said Max Buckley, a 22-year-old from Westchester Country Club. “I had a blast with all the guys. In a tournament like this, you get to know everybody. You don’t just play, eat lunch and go home. You’re around the guys on your team all day.”
The event began in 1990 with teams of six men and four women competing on top courses in both countries. It went biennial eight years later. The MGA and WMGA have only won once, in 1991.
After surviving the wind on Day 1, the Ligue de Paris only needed 3½ points to retain the unique trophy and wound up splitting the 10 singles matches.
Cameron Young, a 15-year-old from Sleepy Hollow, lost to Franck Daux 3 and 2 in the second match of the day. The Fordham Prep sophomore was 1-down with four holes to play, but Daux won the 14th with a bogey and the 15th with a birdie.
“It was fun playing in the different conditions,” Young said. “The wind yesterday was unbelievable and today was just the opposite. I had a rough start, and then played really well until I hit a bad drive on the 14th.”
Buckley went back and forth with Christophe Ravetto before losing 4 and 3. The soon-to-be graduate of Southern Methodist University went out fourth in line and was 1 down at the turn. He ran into trouble when Ravetto dropped three birdies in six holes.
There wasn’t a lot of chatter on the course between competitors.
“It’s a little different,” Buckley said. “There’s a bit of a language barrier. The guy I played today was 40 yards in front of me all day and he’s a fast walker. He putted really well, and I was going for a few stupid pins. It’s tough when you know a guy is going to make everything.”
Mike Miller, a 20-year-old from Knollwood, rolled in six birdies and secured a point with a 4 and 2 win over Olivier Rozner, who’s in the midst of qualifying for the European Tour.
“I was either making a birdie or three-putting,” he said. “To play well against somebody like Olivier gives me even more confidence.”
Ellen Oswald lost the first two holes of her match against Morgane Bazin de Jessey and was four down through 11. She came back late in the match, winning Nos. 13 and 14 with birdies. The 22-year-old from Westchester Country Club lost when Bazine de Jessey parred the next three holes.
“I did come back a little,” said Oswald, a New City resident. “I was trying to give it a shot there. I made two birdies and had looks on the next two holes.”