May 26, 2006
The Cape Henlopen High School golf team played a rare match-play round against Salesianum High on May 18. The Vikings were essentially whacked by a better-playing squad at Delcastle Golf Club, 8-1.
On the other hand, the experience may have helped prepare the Cape team for the upcoming state championship on May 30-31.
Travis Parker shot a one-over par 37, in a round he described as “some of the best golf of my life.” He and Pat Matthias, Sallies’ No. 2 golfer, were tied going into the ninth hole, and both parred it to preserve a half-point for each team.
Parker echoed many of the Cape players in describing the differences between the match-play format and the usual medal-play arrangement used during the Henlopen Conference season. “I really liked it. It was my first time playing match play. You really play the opponent and not the course. I think it suited me well.”
Jason Hastings’ 42 wasn’t good enough against Colin Smith, who fired a 3-under par 33. Despite the 9-stroke differential, Hastings made a game of it for a while. “It was interesting; it was my first time in match play in competition. He beat me 3-2, because he went up three holes with two to go.”
Samantha Purple shot a 42, and tied Jerry Temple for Cape’s other half-point. “I was two-up going into the last four holes, and then I went to one-down going into the last hole. I tied him up with a par on that hole, which was a par-4. Match play was fun; you do play it differently. On a par-five, he was on in two and I was in a bunker next to the green hitting four, so I was out of it and kind of gave up on that hole. Then the pressure was really on for that last hole,” she said.
Andrew Parsell also scored a 42, and lost to Andy Cooper’s 37. Alex Hatter said his 43 was “not bad. I felt pretty good about how I played. My only bad hole was a 6 on a par-3.” He lost to Greg Matthias’ 34.
Tristan Karsnitz was generally pleased with his 46, despite losing to Brendan Sullivan’s 39. “I had a quadruple bogey on a par 3, but otherwise played pretty well. The guy I was playing with was hitting 300-yard drives, and one time hit a 4-iron to the green for his second shot on a par-five.”
On Monday, May 22, the Vikings returned to Maple Dale Country Club in Dover for the Conference Championship, and finished in fifth place out of 13 teams.
Several players’ scores were far from the norm. Most chalked it up to the high winds that swirled through the course all day.
Purple outscored all other Vikings with her 84, good for eighth place overall.
“My first hole was horrible. It was blowing really hard. I pushed my tee shot right into the pond. I still made bogey, though.”
“I gave up a lot of birdie putts. My chipping killed me, too, but I only had two three-putts,” Purple said.
Parker took 11th place overall and second-best among the Cape golfers with his 86. “That was bad. I should have been better. Maple Dale and me just don’t get along. It was really windy, with 20 to 30 mile-per-hour gusts. It was whirling around, too, on some of the long par-4s.”
Hastings shot an uncharacteristic 93, in part due to an unusual incident with his driver. The fiberglass shaft broke in the middle of his grip on his tee shot on the 6th hole. “I don’t think it mattered so much, though. I wasn’t hitting it straight before then, and I kept hitting it bad,” he muttered.
Parsell shot a 99, and Karsnitz saw his score balloon to 106. Hatter wasn’t too keen on his 100, either. “I was all over the place. I couldn’t hit a single club all day,” he said.
Despite the off-day, the team still qualified for the state tournament. Coach Claudio Smarelli said he gave his kids a lot of credit for their effort, and hopes that their hard work will pay off with a good performance in their season-ending event.