June 19, 2009
One hundred junior golfers swarmed over Rehoboth Beach Country Club on June 15, in another highly successful Rehoboth Beach Junior Open golf tournament.
This is the downstate major event for junior golf in Delaware. Kids come from all over the Delmarva Peninsula to test their skills against a wide assortment of players in their age groups.
Christina Vosters of Bethany Beach won the Girls’ Championship with a fine 79. She will be a senior next fall at Worcester Prep in Berlin, Maryland, and plays on the school’s golf team. She’s often found practicing at Bear Trap Dunes and Bay Club, and would like to play in college.
Erica Pelligrini shot an 81 for second place. She’s an incoming senior at Garnet Valley High School in Pennsylvania, and plays out of Concord Country Club, where she sometimes sees PGA Tour star Sean O’Hair practicing.
Braden Shattuck won the overall Boys’ championship, after beating Jeff Whiteside in an exciting three-hole playoff. Shattuck, 14, will be a sophomore at Sun Valley High School in Aston, Pennsylvania. His 74 in the tournament included two birdies and an eagle on the par-5 ninth hole.
Whiteside just graduated from Newark High School, where he was usually among the top 3 players on the Yellowjacket golf team. He will be attending Wilmington University in the fall. He lives in Bear, and plays golf at Frog Hollow near Middletown.
His 74 not only tied Shattuck for best among all the boys, but also won him first place in the Boys’ 16-18 championship. Jerry Temple of Wilmington, this spring’s number one player for Salesianum, took second with a 75.
Tyler Cross won the Boys’ 14-15 year old championship, with a 75. The Caravel Academy student will be a sophomore, and was on the school’s golf team this spring. Matt Bierer, 15, of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania took second with a 77. He’ll be playing for Phoenixville High this fall.
Ryan Rucinski won the Boys’ 12-13 year old championship, after a short playoff against Kyle Plusch. Both shot 80 in the main round, from the green tees. Rucinski attends St. Catherine of Siena School in Wilmington, and plays Hartefeld National in nearby Pennsylvania with his father. Plusch will be going into 8th grade at Alfred G. Waters School in Middletown, and he’s often found on the links near his home at Back Creek.
The tournament also marks the occasion to announce the winners of the Delaware State Golf Association Scholarship awards.
Temple won the top prize for this year, a $3,500 per year stipend that he will use to attend the University of Delaware to study civil engineering. He also plans to play on the Blue Hen golf team.
Jacob Hersh of Newark won the second scholarship, a $2,500 per year award. He also will be attending the University of Delaware this fall, and plans to major in Mechanical Engineering. The former Yellowjacket golf team member was pleased with the scholarship, but less enthusiastic about his 89 in the tournament.
David Garcia of Middletown was awarded the third scholarship, for $1,000 annually. He has worked for the last few years at Rehoboth Beach Country Club, and is a member of the National Honor Society.
Devin Medd played best among the Cape Henlopen High School golf team members who played in the Junior Open. His 81 included an even-par back nine, and a ten-over par score on the front nine.
Shane Ghigliotty was next with an 83, and it was also a bit erratic. He shot a 49 on the front nine and a 34 on the back nine, where his round began. “I lost some focus with the slow play, but I had a great time,” he said.
Casey Anderson’s 84 was boosted by a quadruple bogey on one hole and a triple bogey on another. Graduating senior Tristan Karsnitz was none too pleased with his 88, which he attributed to bunker trouble and some bad luck with the par fives.
This tournament is a great showcase for junior golf in Delaware. For those interested in seeing how the game is progressing for the next generation, it’s also a hopeful indicator for potential success.