April 18, 2008
The Cape Henlopen Viking golf team started off slowly this season, with a 1-3 record in its first four matches.
As the weather warmed up, however, the team’s scores have started to drop, and the improvement helped their record improve to 3-3.
On April 10, the squad hosted Indian River High School on the front nine at Rehoboth Beach Country Club, and won 173-183.
Head Coach Claudio Smarrelli said, “They’re beginning to come around. You can see the scores starting to drop down. When they played Indian River, though, there was a breezy, chilly fog coming in off the bay.”
Junior Tristan Karsnitz shared co-medallist honors with Indian River’s Connor Vanderhook, with a five-over par 41.
“It was pretty good,” Karsnitz said. “I was four over after the first four holes. Then I was one over par the rest of the way. On the ninth hole, I missed a two-foot putt for par.”
Dan Scrutchfield returned from a short injury recovery period to shoot a 43, next best for the Vikings. “It was all right. My wrist was still sore. I scored mostly bogeys.”
Senior captain Dino Nardo was next with his 44, while sophomore Casey Anderson shot a 45 that he didn’t like. “I played bad,” he said. “I had three doubles, a couple bogeys, and the rest pars.”
The team then traveled to Shawnee Country Club April 14 for a match with the Spartans of Lake Forest High School, where coach Steve Van Sant is celebrating his fourteenth year of coaching for the Kent County school. The Vikings won 168-177, and the score was notable for two reasons.
First, it was the first time this season that the Cape golfers broke 170 for the four rounds that make up each match. Second, the victory was far closer than most of Cape’s wins over Lake Forest in prior years, a result that Van Sant said showed his team’s recent improvements.
This time, Anderson and Nardo shared co-medallist honors with a pair of 41s.
Nardo wasn’t too pleased with his 7 on the short par-five second hole. “I flew the green with my gap wedge,” he said. “I couldn’t make a ball stop today.” Nardo also bogeyed the third, seventh, and ninth holes, with the last one caused by a maddening bump and turn putt on the recently aerated greens.
Anderson had no doubles on his card. Instead, he bogeyed the second, fourth, sixth, seventh, and ninth holes, and parred the rest. “I had some three-putts, but I did make a 30-foot par putt on [the No.] 1 [hole],” he said.
Karsnitz finished one stroke behind at 42. He birdied the first hole, bogeyed the second, third, fourth, sixth, and ninth, and doubled the short par-four seventh hole.
Scrutchfield completed his team’s scoring with a 44. “I wasn’t too happy,” he said. “I didn’t hit a single fairway all day. I also had two three-putts in a row.”
In the post-round gathering, Smarrelli told his players, “Good job today, but I know you can do better.” They all nodded in agreement.
Karsnitz noted, for example, that none of the golfers has scored below 40 yet in any match. “We’ve usually had one or two players do that, and we’ll have to start scoring in the 30s.”
The Vikings were to host Delmarva Christian on April 16, and then travel to Seaford Country Club for a match with Laurel High School on April 17.
The right kind of field trip
Last week, Karnitz traveled with his father Craig to Augusta National, where they watched the Masters Tournament as the unofficial Cape Region representatives at the first men’s major of the year.
“It was great,” Tristan said. “On Saturday, we stayed mostly at the fifteenth hole, and on Sunday, we stayed at the second until we had to leave to go home. The course was really cool. It really surprised me how big and hilly it was.”