June 3, 2005
The 2005 Cape Henlopen High School golf team took eighth place in the team category of the state high school golf championship, held May 31-June 1 at Maple Dale Country Club in Dover.
John Purple, Jr. tied for third place overall with two other players with a 78-77-155 total, and was awarded a fourth place individual medal based on a match of scorecards.
The Vikings were among the top sixteen teams in the state who qualified for the tournament, along with 24 individual golfers from other, non-qualifying squads. Each team had six players in the first round, and the top four scorers for each made the cut for the second, final round.
Head Coach Claudio Smarelli spoke highly of his team’s performance, especially his No. 1 player. “I have to give these kids a lot of credit. For most of them, this was their first time ever in this position. John Purple is our only senior, and they have a great future for next year. John’s been a good mentor to the younger kids. I wish him nothing but the best.”
Samantha Purple shot a 44-49-93, sixth among the Vikings, but also better than 44 other competitors in the first round. She said, “I had some really good drives, and was chipping and putting well on the front nine. Then my short game kind of left me, and I three-putted a couple times.”
Alex Hatter and Andrew Schneider finished tied with a pair of 90s on the first day. In order to make the cut, they matched cards based on handicap allocation, and Schneider went on to play the final round.
Hatter said, “It wasn’t too bad. It was slow, though. The front nine took about three hours to play, but it was a little better on the back nine.”
John Purple said, “I wish I could have used the best scores from both days. I actually scrambled really well to score 78 the first day. Today I made a few bad decisions, especially on the back nine. I had two doubles, on the 14th and 17th. I did play a really great front nine today; I’m really proud of myself for that. I was just hitting it so solid—fairway, green, two-putt, fairway, green, two-putt.”
Jason Hastings was disappointed with his two-day score (83-92-175). “The first day was nice. The second day, I just hit the ball too many times.”
Hastings also had some uncharacteristically godawful luck on some holes, such as a double-bounce on a cart path next to the par-3 16th hole that then went out of bounds, leading to an eventual 7. Earlier in the round, he drove into a pond on the ninth hole, took a drop, and hit another ball back into the pond. That led to another seven.
Travis Parker said his parents told him not to worry too much about his first state tournament, since he’s only been playing for a year. His score (88-94-182) was third-best for the Vikings. “I birdied the [par-5] twelfth hole, but I also had a couple mishits. My distances were off. My putting was good from 6 feet in, though. We also had a 2- to 3-club wind sometimes.”
Schneider said his first round started with a triple bogey, but he also had a few pars and several bogeys. In his final round (95), he took a 9 on a par 4. “I went into the water, got on the green in two more, and then five-putted. I let that hole get to me.”
Cape’s eighth-place finish overall (697) was fourth-best among the downstate schools. Salesianum (641) won, followed by Tatnall (647), St. Mark’s (655), A.I. DuPont (671), Sussex Tech (680), Dover (684), and Caesar Rodney (686). The schools following behind Cape were Wilmington Charter (698), Indian River (713), Tower Hill (716), Red Lion Christian (726), Newark (728), Polytech (739), William Penn (748), and Middletown (759).
Pete Oakley’s Excellent Champions Tour Adventure
Pete Oakley’s rib injury during the Bruno’s Memorial Classic in Birmingham, Alabama two weeks ago must have finally taken its toll on his play in the subsequent PGA Senior Championship, held May 26-29.
He made the cut in this major seniors tournament, played fairly well in the third round, and lost it entirely in the last round. His 87 dropped him down to next-to-last place among the finishers, earning him $3,725.
Oakley is next scheduled to play in the Allianz Championship June 3-5, held at the Tournament Club of Iowa, in Polk City.