June 3, 2022
Congratulations to the Sussex Academy golf team for winning the 2022 DIAA State golf team championship, held at Odessa National Golf Club May 31-June 1.
The Seahawks’ combined 506 from seven scores defeated second place Tatnall School by six strokes. Other team finishers included Archmere Academy (545), Tower Hill (556), Salesianum and Caesar Rodney (T-563), Polytech (582), Charter of Wilmington (585), and St. Marks (617).
A new competition format also took effect this year. The top five girls and top five boys won medals in separate competition. The team contest used scores from all players.
Hannah Lydic won the first-ever DIAA Girls championship after a two-hole playoff against fellow Seahawk Sawyer Brockstedt. Lydic shot 3-under par in the first round and even par in the second. Brockstedt shot one over par in the first round and the girls tournament best 68 the next day.
The teammates parred the eighteenth hole in the first playoff hole. Lydic parred eighteen again in the second playoff, while Brockstedt’s par-saving attempt slid a foot past the hole.
The 141s posted by Lydic and Brockstedt led the Seahawks to the team victory. 2021 individual state champion Sarah Lydic shot 71-72 (143) for 4th place in the girls championship. Dominic Piperno’s 81 in the first round combined with the Lydics and Brockstedt to build a crucial 5-stroke lead going into the second round.
Seahawk head golf coach Doug Grove said, “Sawyer’s 68 was phenomenal. Everybody did well. I have to give special kudos to Dominic Piperno for shooting that 81 yesterday.”
“With [Hannah Lydic, Sarah Lydic, and Brockstedt,] that’s a pretty good lead. They did what they do. First state championship in the school’s history. I think this is the first one for down south in quite a while,” Grove said.
In fact, no Sussex County school won the team golf championship until this week. Caesar Rodney in Kent County last won the team contest in 2013.
The Lydic sisters’ individual titles join prior Sussex County winners such as Milford’s Andrew Geyer (2004) and Cape’s Tyler Whitman (2001 and 2003).
Grove said, “Good for Hannah. She’s the team leader, she’s the captain. A leader in every way.” That said, the playoff between her and Brockstedt created a dilemma. “It’s like being asked who’s your favorite daughter,” he said.
In the Boys championship, Matt Homer of Tatnall School shot 6-under par 66 in the second round to defeat Evan Barbin of Red Lion Christian Academy by five strokes, 138-143. Homer’s total set a new state championship record by a single stroke over Tim Porter of Tatnall (2002) and Joe Visalli of Caesar Rodney (2012).
Kevin Charles, former executive director of the DIAA and current member of its golf committee, discussed the new championship categories. He noted that girls won the individual title every year since Tower Hill’s Phoebe Brinker in 2016. Many other girls also finished in the top ten during that period.
Charles dismissed the argument that shorter tees explained the phenomenon. As he noted, “Delaware has been blessed with several accomplished young female golfers. They work hard. Their advantage has more to do with the quality of [their] approach shot[s].”
He said the Golf Committee decided after last year’s tournament that the sustained success of female golfers and the increased number of female competitors supported going to separate leader boards and separate champions, while keeping the team competition a coed contest.
The recent change in score tracking for determining the top 96 golfers for the tournament also gives the Golf Committee “access to reliable data,” Charles said. “We will use that data to drive future decisions. The committee wants to maximize opportunity for both males and females within our limitations, [such as] course availability and academic demands on students in late spring.”
“I think this year’s results and the exciting two-hole girls playoff which wouldn’t have happened under the [old] format validates the decision,” he said.
Cape Henlopen and Dover qualified for the team championship’s first round but both squads failed to meet the three-player minimum cut requirement for the second round. The Vikings’ Tom Burn and Jacob Gabbard made the cut for the boys title. Burn finished 45th and Gabbard finished 49th in his first state championship.
Local club competition results
The Rehoboth Beach CC Ladies 18-hole group played a team Stableford contest June 1. Dale Lipnick, Barb Collins, Bailey Scheurer, and Sally Fogarty won first place gross.
Elise Coar, Lora Drewer, Gina Bergin, and Robbie Robinson won first net. Cyndy Simeone, Judy Shaw, Sheila Halfpenny, and Arlene Simms took second net, with Pris DeSena, Sharon Emerson, Peggy Roca, and Halfpenny (blind draw) finishing third.
The Mulligan’s Pointe Ladies 18-Hole group played a Criers tournament May 31.
Sue Ahern won the first division, with Diane Braver in second and Maxine Ansbach in third.
Janece Hausch won the second division, with Kathy Hudak in second and Carmela Boyle in third.
The Kings Creek CC Ladies 18-Hole group played a team shamble contest May 26, using the 2 best of four net scores.
Donna Deely, Kim Parks, Margie Moore, and Joanne Yurik won first place. Erin Reid, Ana Dittel, Kathy Casey, and Alicia Polsky took second. Sharon Denny, Atom Irwin, Linda Eicher, and Debbie Grant finished third.