June 15, 2001
Over 80 junior golfers tackled the gusting winds, fast greens, heat, and humidity at Rehoboth Beach Country Club at the annual Rehoboth Junior Open on Monday, June 11. The summer weather probably boosted the turnout for the event, sponsored by the Delaware State Golf Association.
Michael Tobiason of Wilmington won the Championship Flight in a one-hole playoff. Tobiason shot a 74 from the blue tees for the 18-hole event, and was tied with Drew Carr of Wilmington and Brock Cerklefskie of Dover.
The playoff started and finished on the par-four first hole. Tobiason’s drive stopped 50 yards from the green. From that stunning drive Tobiason’s birdie seemed almost routine. Carr bogeyed his effort, earning second place honors, while Cerklefskie double-bogeyed.
Tobiason will be a senior at St. Elizabeth High School this fall, and was the number one player on his high school team. He finished third in the 2001 state high school golf championship at DuPont Country Club, and fourth in this spring’s Catholic Conference tournament at Rock Manor Golf Course.
Carr played for Archmere, and will be a junior there next year. Cerklefskie played for the Senators of Dover High.
Tobiason was impressed by the playing conditions for the tournament. “The wind made it very challenging, but the greens were great. They putted so true.”
Mark Johnson and J.J. Oakley finished highest among the Cape Region juniors, shooting a pair of 79s.
Christine Rowland of Wilmington won the girls’ division with an 83 from the red tees.
It was hard not to notice the walking cast Rowland wore on her right leg as she played.
“Oh, it’s just a stress fracture,” she smiled. “It should come off in about 7 days.”
Just a stress fracture?
Rowland explained that she has chronic foot problems, which lead to the fracture. Nonetheless, the junior golfer’s sunny disposition belied the difficulties that the condition places on Rowland.
Rowland graduated this spring from Wilmington Christian School, near Hockessin. She will attend Furman University in South Carolina beginning this September.
Danielle Lunger took second place among the girls with an 85. Christina Wagamon led the Cape Region junior girls with a 94.
Tyler Smith won the 14-15 year old boys’ category with a 78. Tom Guillebeau took second with his 79.
Max Wyndorf of Centerville won the 11-13 year old division with an 80.
Oakley wins DSGA scholarship
Prior to the 1 p.m. shotgun start, the DSGA Scholarship Foundation announced the recipients of its grants for the upcoming school year.
J.J. Oakley of Lewes, who graduated from Cape this year, earned $2,000. Oakley will take classes at Delaware Technical and Community College this fall, and hopes to transfer to the University of Florida for his sophomore year. His recent induction into the National Honor Society may help.
Tyler Semmelman, of near Newark, last year’s Junior Open winner, earned the top scholarship for $4,000. He’s going to the University of Virginia in August. UVA has five seniors on its golf team this year, so Semmelman plans to wait out a year before trying for the Cavaliers’ golf team.
Mike Catts, a Dover High standout who’s starting at Georgetown University this fall, received $3,000.
The foundation also awarded $2,500 to Colleen Gove, the winner of the girls’ division in last year’s Junior Open.
Ron Barrows, the PGA head professional at Rehoboth and a member of the Scholarship Board, noted that the scholarship awards are potentially renewable, depending on the fiscal health of the scholarship fund and the academic performance of the recipients.
Barrows also stressed that students can qualify for the scholarships without necessarily being the best golfers on their high school teams.