April 4, 2003
Cape golf coach Jerry Dorneman is a prophet.
Before the completion of the Viking golf match with the state’s No. 2-ranked Dover squad on April 1, Dorneman was short and to the point about his team’s chances: “They’ll get whacked.”
Darned if he wasn’t right. The Senators romped over host Cape on Rehoboth Beach Country Club’s par-36 back nine, 161-177.
Dover’s Will Scarborough and Cape’s Tyler Witman tied for medalist honors with a pair of par scores.
Witman said the newly aerated greens played “a little odd” compared to their lightning-quick conditions before the necessary greens maintenance was completed. “I had a short putt on the 10th hole that went absolutely the other way entirely than where I aimed it.”
He was lukewarm at best about his own score, but he had his reasons: “My driver snapped when I was warming up on the driving range. I borrowed another one from the pro shop, but it wasn’t the same club. Sometimes I wasn’t sure where my drives were going.”
This is the third time Witman’s driver broke since I began covering his exploits for the Vikings. It reminded me of that old Bullwinkle Moose line about “Didn’t know my own strength!,” a classic piece of animated film history that Witman and his teammates can probably see on the Cartoon Network.
Witman also thought his wedge play was off. “I had 130 yards to the 18th hole and I pulled my pitching wedge left. It should have been on the green for a chance for birdie.”
The other golfers on the team had their own troubles. Brad Schneider shot a 46 to take second place among the Vikings, a few strokes above his practice round average.
John Purple’s 47 began with a bang with an 11 on the 11th hole, his first of the day. “I drove into the water on the left side. Then I chunked the next two shots into the same pond. My next shot went over the green and landed in a bush. I hit the bush with my lob wedge and the ball popped out and landed two feet away. I’m not sure what else happened other than I two-putted.”
After that less than auspicious start, Purple settled down to a mix of pars and bogeys, with the exception of a self-described “bad double bogey” on the par-4 16th hole: “I took three shots to get on the green, and then three-jacked it.”
Andy Lee, a junior transfer from St. Thomas More School near Magnolia, completed the team scoring with his 48. He wasn’t all that happy about his score, either: “I took a 7 on the [par-3] 13th hole, when I drove right into the water. I parred 10 and 12, but I had a double bogey on the 15th hole.”
On March 27, the Vikings won a 171-177 squeaker over Delmar at the Elks Club course in downtown Salisbury, Maryland.
Witman won medalist honors with a one-over par 37 for the day. Schneider took second among the Vikings with his 43, while Purple and Brett Hertel completed the team scoring with a pair of 46’s.
Most of the golfers had never played the Elks course before. Dorneman said, “It’s a tough little course, with lots of doglegs. On one hole, there’s a tree sitting in the middle of the fairway about 70 yards from the tee box, which you don’t see every day.”
“The kids need to work on their course management. They were pulling out their woods when they should have used their irons to place the ball at the corners. You could hear the balls rattling in the trees.”
The team’s next match was at Cripple Creek Country Club near Ocean View on April 3, the host course for the squad from Indian River High School.