May 5, 2000
Cape Henlopen High School’s golf team lost an extremely close match with Dover at Maple Dale Country Club on May 2 by a single stroke, 155-156. Cape’s record now stands at 7-1, and the team’s state ranking will likely drop back to No. 2, behind the Senators.
Viking Coach Jerry Dorneman said of his players, “They played as well as they could have that day. They just came up a shot short. That’s golf.”
Before the match, Dorneman figured that at least three Cape golfers needed to score in the 30s to have a good chance to win. Only two of them met that goal.
Tyler Witman led all Cape scorers with a two-under par 34, one more than medalist Chris Noll. “I played with Noll in junior tournaments previously, and he’s good. During the round, anything from 100 yards in was an automatic up and down [for par or better,]” Witman said.
As for his own round, Witman said, “I made a couple bad decisions. On the 14th hole, I tried to cut the dogleg and landed in the fairway bunker. From there I landed in another bunker by the green, and I couldn’t get up and down for par.”
Witman also said the ceramic insert holding the flag pin on the 10th hole was set too close to the top. Mark Johnson, Witman’s teammate, hit the hole dead straight with his putt. The ball bounced off the insert and shot right back at Johnson, instead of falling in.
Johnson made no excuses for his score of 41. He simply said, “I didn’t play my best. I tried too hard to do too well.”
J.J. Oakley was also displeased with how he finished with a 42. “I was 3 over with two holes to play, and I just birdied the 16th hole. Then I put my drive in the water on the 17th hole, and three-putted for a double bogey. On the 18th hole, I pulled my approach shot left. I putted from off the green, but then took two more putts for another bogey.”
Not all of the Vikings had a bad day. Adam Talley had his best round of the year with his 39. Dorneman said Talley was one-under after 4 holes, and then came back a bit for his three-over total.
Josh Marr surprised himself and others with his 47, after several very good rounds earlier this season. “I didn’t play up to my expectations. I went over the greens with some of my irons. I only hit one fairway with the driver, and it was hard to get on the green out of the rough. Next time I shouldn’t worry about anything other than the one shot I’m making at the time.”
Dorneman noted that playing well in high school golf means understanding and accepting that having four or five team members score very low on the same day just doesn’t happen very often. “Every one of them realized there was a single point in each of their rounds that could have made the difference. The one shot difference was probably the best way to lose a match between the No. 1 and No. 2 teams, if there had to be a loss.”
The team looked forward to playing Polytech High School on May 3, but yet another Henlopen Conference scheduling glitch blew out the team’s hopes to bounce back quickly from their stinging defeat. At press time the new match date was not yet set. The Vikings next travel to Wild Quail on May 8 to face Caesar Rodney, and host Seaford on May 10.