April 22, 2005
The Cape Henlopen High School golf team’s performances this spring are not going unnoticed by the state’s sports community.
This week the Vikings were ranked fifth among Delaware schools, and best among all downstate teams.
Their most recent victories should at least keep them in that position as the season continues.
On April 14 the squad hosted the Spartans of Lake Forest High School, winning 170-195 on the front nine at Rehoboth Beach Country Club.
Senior John Purple, Jr. led the Vikings once again with a medalist round of 3-over 39, in which some crisp iron play and good putting were on display.
His tee shot on the 170-yard par 3 third hole was pin-high and about 7 feet from the hole. When I suggested that he had pulled his shot, Purple just grinned. He then two-putted for par, and told me that he’d just bombed a 50-foot putt for birdie on the second hole.
“It was a good round, but I was playing the wind too much. If I aimed left it would stay left, and if I aimed right it would stay right,” Purple said.
There’s a simple explanation. A golf ball hit on the center of the club face tends to be less affected by the wind than other swings.
Junior Jason Hastings put together five pars as part of his 41 for the day. “It was windy out there today,” he said. His pars were on the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 8th holes.
Alex Hatter shot a 44, and said “It wasn’t bad.” He parred both par 3s as well as the par-4 6th hole, but doubled two other holes.
Travis Parker was the fourth Viking in the match, with a 46. “It was really windy. You had to aim so far left or right, it was hard to judge.” His two pars were matched by two doubles.
On April 19 Cape hosted the team from Laurel High School, and won with its best team score in the season thus far, 157-199. Three players finished below 40, a noteworthy achievement in Delaware high school golf.
Purple took medalist honors with a one-under 35 on Rehoboth CC’s front nine. “It was a good day today,” he said. “I had four birdies. I only had 12 putts. Five of them were 20-footers. I was giving myself the greatest leaves; all the putts were dead center.”
Hastings shot another 3-over-par 39, tied with Parker for second-best among the Vikings. “I was within one foot of an ace on the [par-3] fifth hole, so that was an easy birdie,” he said. Then I took a double on 6 because I hit into the water on my drive. I had a lot of good opportunities, but I couldn’t get any putts to fall.”
Parker was happy with his 39, the best performance of his young varsity career. “I think I play better in warm weather,” he said. “I birdied the 4th and 5th holes. I was on in 2 on the par 5[4th hole], and had two putts for the birdie. It was a good, solid score.”
Andrew Schneider finished up the team scoring with a 44. “I was hitting some awesome shots into the greens, but then I 3-putted six times for bogeys. It wasn’t the putter, it was definitely me.” Pars on the fourth and fifth holes kept his total below bogey for the day, and he credited his grandfather for helping him fix his putting stroke after the day’s round.
The team is scheduled to play Milford next, on April 21.
Pete Oakley’s Excellent Champions Tour Adventures
This week The Rookery’s Director of Golf returns to the national golf scene after a four-week break in the PGA Champions Tour schedule.
Pete Oakley traveled to Savannah, Georgia to compete in the limited-field Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf Tournament, held at the Westin Savannah Harbor Resort and Spa. The three-day event begins April 22.