April 6, 2018
When Sawyer Brockstedt put a pink golf ball on the tee for her first drive at the April 1 Drive Chip & Putt Championships at Augusta National, I assumed her ball choice was related to the fact it also a gorgeous Easter Sunday morning.
She later told me she plays the pink Callaways all the time.
Brockstedt competed with that same matter of fact approach against a group of similarly talented young girls, with no sign of jitters during the intense competition.
She finished in a tie for fourth, missing a third place trophy by a half-point.
The contest began on the practice range, where a 40-yard wide area was cordoned off for the driving contest. Hitting into an upslope meant the kids could not depend on a long roll to stretch out their drives. Brockstedt was the eighth golfer of ten for the drives and chips in the Girls 10-11 group.
She hit a nice straight shot 180.3 yards on the first attempt, a few yards longer than her second. That first drive put her in fourth place as the group then walked over to the chipping area.
Brockstedt said she and golf coach Rick McCall had watched TV broadcasts of the previous DCPs and knew what to expect. “We’ve been practicing the chip for a long time. On the right it kind of slipped down a little but it was a pretty straightforward chip other than that,” she said.
The chip contest combined the distance for two attempts from the same spot. Brockstedt’s first effort finished 4 feet 7 inches away and her second was even better, for a total of 8 feet 5 inches and into a tie for second place overall. The group then went to the Augusta members’ practice putting green to warm up for the last part of the contest.
For the first putt, a 30-footer on the upper part of the 18th green, the kids could look at the hole and see a Golf Channel TV camera and Golf Channel analyst Charlie Rymer right behind it. The putting line-up was reconfigured to match the girls’ scoring position, with Brockstedt, her caddie/father Chase, and the others lined up above the green parallel to the putting line. The second putt, a 15-footer, was set up toward the low end of the green. The cumulative distance for the two putts was used to set the points in the category.
“I just watched them looking for the break and saw how fast they hit it,” she said. Even so, Brockstedt was a bit surprised. “It was very fast. I’ve never putted on a surface that was so fast,” she said. Her first putt hit the right edge of the cup and lipped out, stopping 3 feet 8 inches away. Her second putt finished 19 inches away. Some of her competitors played the two holes a little bit better, however, so Brockstedt finished the day in the tie for fourth place.
The DCP is a major junior golf event, with thousands of people at Augusta watching and cheering on their favorites. Brockstedt fit right in with her fine performance, and appreciated her own set of fans. “It was great to have all my friends and family there,” she said.
Cape golf team wins first match
The Cape Henlopen High School golf team members were all smiles during a sunny afternoon March 29, in the aftermath of their first win of the 2018 season.
In a close contest, the Vikings defeated the Polytech High School squad 164-168 at Rehoboth Beach Country Club.
With irrigation work continuing on the par-5 ninth hole, the teams played the first eight holes of the front nine and then the short par-3 19th hole between the clubhouse and Rehoboth Bay. The switch of holes reset total par to 34.
Cape’s Dane Palmer and Polytech’s Connor Young tied for co-medalist honors with one-over par 35s. “I had a nice day,” Palmer said. “I was having some trouble with my 60 degree wedge, so I was making half-swings with my 52 degree and that worked out well.” He birdied the first hole, bogeyed the sixth and eighth, and parred the rest.
Nolan Brown shot a 40 for second place among the Vikings, highlighted by a nice up-and-down par from the bunker on the 19th hole to finish the round. “I parred the par 3s, and double-bogeyed the first and eighth, “ he said. “I kept hitting into trouble.”
Michael Bollig was really pleased with his 44, one of his best days ever on the Viking golf team. “I started with pars on 19, 1, and 2,” he said. “Then I quadruple-bogeyed the [par-5] fourth and triple-bogeyed the eighth. If I had parred those two holes I would have had a 37.”
Saxon Kalb finished the team scoring with his 45, and grinned when asked about his day. “I’m okay with it. I parred the second and seventh holes, and only had the one double-bogey on the third hole,” he said.
Assistant golf coach George Bushby noted that the six-player squad once again kept all scores below 50, with Brandon Mays-Harp’s 47 and Ben Skelley’s 48. “That just didn’t happen in prior seasons,” he said.
This was the last match before Cape’s spring break. The Vikings return to action the week of April 9 with three straight match days against Lake Forest, Sussex Central, and Delmar respectively.