May 18, 2007
Some bounce-back victories are easier than others—and some wins take almost no effort at all.
Those are two lessons the Cape Henlopen High School golf team took away from the two victories that closed out their regular season, after their recent one-stroke loss to Sussex Tech.
On Thursday, May 10, the Vikings traveled to the Jonathon’s Landing Golf Course near Magnolia to play Polytech, and won handily, 147-167. “It was a blowout,” said head coach Claudio Smarrelli.
“We played really well,” said co-captain Samantha Purple, who was a bit more diplomatic. The Cape senior tied with junior Dino Nardo for medallist honors with a pair of even-par 35s.
Co-captain Travis Parker followed close behind with his two-over par 37. Sean Toner finished fourth among the Cape players with a nice 40. “Toner is very disciplined,” Smarrelli said.
Although his 41 didn’t count toward the team total, Bradley Ha’s score was one of his season’s best. Dan Scrutchfield also shot a 43, also one of his better efforts as a member of the varsity.
On Tuesday, the Vikings traveled to Rising Sun, Maryland to Chesapeake Bay Golf Club, formerly known as Chantilly. They were to play Hodgson High, the lower New Castle County vo-tech school, on its home course.
Apparently the Hodgson varsity squad had some other idea about how to spend the day, because only one player bothered to show up.
“We were all dressed up and had no one to play with,” said Smarrelli. “We traveled up there, and were warming up on the range and at the putting green, when I got a phone call from the Hodgson coach about 5 after 3 [p.m.]. The coach apologized, and said he was stuck in traffic, and that the rest of the team wasn’t going to be there. So we won by forfeit. I spoke with the Cape Athletic Director, George Glenn, and he was going to talk to the AD at Hodgson about it.”
The course staffers graciously permitted the Vikings to play the back nine before they began the long ride back home, if they desired. Most did.
Parker shot an even-par 37, followed by Scrutchfield’s 40. Nardo scored a six-over par 43, while Travis Shalaby and Zachary Murr played to a pair of 10-over 47s.
“Some of these kids have come a long way,” said a justifiably proud Smarrelli. They have a few more steps to take to finish their 2007 season.
On May 21 the squad plays the Henlopen Conference Championship at Kings Creek Country Club. The state championship, a two-day 36-hole event, is being held at the end of the month at the new Bayside course, near Fenwick Island.
Smarrelli also asked that I correct a mistaken reference to one of the two businesses who sponsored two Viking foursomes at the May 15 Sussex Family YMCA tournament at Rehoboth Beach Country Club. In addition to the Y, the other company was Morgan Stanley.
A Match Play Tip
A recent match at Shawnee Country Club provided one of the most appropriate descriptions of a single shot I’ve heard in a long while, and also a valuable playing tip.
Retired state trooper Ken Wheatley butchered his iron shot to a 147-yard par 3 on the second hole of the match. The ball landed in the rough 15 yards short of the green. The 11-handicapper then watched his approach chip shoot across the green like a scalded rabbit, and run into the rough beyond.
Faced with a fluffy lie, Wheatley sighed audibly and tried another chip.
This one popped onto the green and rolled into the cup over 30 feet away.
Wheatley muttered, “That there’s some whipped cream on s***.”
He was right, of course.
However, the unusual par also seemed to unnerve his playing competitor. He couldn’t seem to play his normal game for the rest of the round, and eventually lost to Wheatley.
So, in any match play contest, you must assume that your competitor will make par or better on any hole, no matter how he’s playing.
That way you’ll never be surprised by anything he does.