May 27, 2005
John Purple, Jr. matched his winning performance of last year with a repeat victory in the 2005 Henlopen Conference Tournament on May 25, in miserable, wet, rainy, windy conditions.
Purple said that par at Sussex Pines that day was more like 75 or76, which makes his 80 even more impressive. “It was so cold. It felt more like a marathon than a golf tournament. They permitted lift, clean, and place in the fairways, but the rough was thick and wet. It was really miserable when we started. The wind was blowing 45 miles an hour, and there was a downpour for our first three holes.”
“I had a really good front nine, but on the back nine I just wanted to finish. The best part of it was the back-to-back titles, and I’m really proud of that.”
And well he should be.
The other Vikings struggled in the tough conditions. Jason Hastings shot an 89, and Andrew Schneider scored a 96. Alex Hatter finished with 99, and Travis Parker, fighting back from illness, scored a 103. Samantha Purple shot a 45-60 for her first Conference tournament.
Possible record-setting hole-in-one
R.W. “Charlie” Engel is 92 years young, and has been playing golf since he was 50.
The former Army colonel and professor at Virginia Tech had his first hole-in-one at the ripe age of 83.
Engel topped that feat on May 3 at Marsh Island Golf Club, with his second hole-in-one on the par-3 135-yard third hole. He is by far the oldest golfer I’ve known to score an ace, and he may be the oldest ever in Delaware sports history.
“I used a five-wood,” Engel said recently. “I was playing with my son-in-law [Dr. Matthew J. Barlow, Jr.] and a friend of mine [Avon McCauley], and they hit first. Both of them were lying close to the hole. They said mine was going right at it. I turned away, and it rolled in while I wasn’t looking,” he said.
Engel said he is also researching the question about who might be the oldest ace-maker, and promised to let me know if his apparent record stands. There can’t be too many other contenders.
Peter Jacobsen’s appearance at RBCC a success for golf scholarship event
Popular PGA and Champions Tour veteran Peter Jacobsen came to Rehoboth Beach on May 23 to help raise money for the Delaware State Golf Association’s scholarship fund.
Rehoboth Beach Country Club head golf professional Ron Barrows said the outing was “excellent. Peter did a fantastic job. He was here from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and spent a lot of time with the players.”
The main event featured seven golfers playing nine holes on the front nine with Jacobsen, with one amateur foursome matched up against Jacobsen and three more amateurs in a scramble format. Another group of seven more golfers played the same format on the back nine.
Cape region golfers and others pledged money for each birdie scored during the round, and the 14 total birdies helped. Barrows said the event raised approximately $18,000, which will go to several deserving college scholarship candidates. The winners will be announced at the Rehoboth Beach Junior Open in mid-June.
Pete Oakley’s Excellent Champions Tour Adventures
Pete Oakley’s string of new experiences on the Champions Tour continued during the Bruno’s Classic in Birmingham, Alabama May 20-22, but this time it was really painful.
Immediately after his tee box swing on the ninth hole of his second round, Oakley said, “It felt like an ice-pick had been stabbed in my left side.” Oakley dropped to the ground, and his fellow players first thought he’d had a heart attack. He managed to return to standing, and after talking it over with his playing partners Oakley decided to keep going, but with a major swing change. “I started using clubs that were two higher than normal, and swing really slow. The amazing thing is that I made four birdies on my back nine, and ended up one-under for the day.”
The Champions Tour fitness trailer staff worked on him after the round, and again before the beginning of his final round the next day, when he shot a 76. “I know some folks might look at the scores and shake their heads, but I was not displeased with it, under the circumstances.”
Oakley’s son Zac is joining him this weekend for the PGA Seniors Championship at Ligonier, Pennsylvania. The ribs are still sore, and he’s sporting a large bruise, but Oakley remains optimistic.