Vikings golfers can’t quite compete against Sussex Tech

April 27, 2012

The Cape Henlopen High School Vikings golf team lost its April 18 match 172-198 against a strong Sussex Tech squad in damp and cool conditions at Rehoboth Beach Country Club.

Sophomore Elsa Toletti had the best score among the Vikings, finishing with a 44. According to a source, her round would probably have been better if not for an ill-timed bit of flash photography.

Freshman Michael DiStasio had a 50 for the day. Senior Chase Nelson, in his first year playing varsity golf for Cape Henlopen, shot a 52. Freshman Mason Jones and fellow ninth-grader Quincy Duckworth also shot 52s, while sophomore Nathan Griffith posted an unfortunate 67.

The Vikings have lost players in the aftermath of the most recent marking period. The remaining players have an uphill battle on their hands if they are to qualify for the state championship.

Only the top 16 high school teams in the state are selected for the two-day finals, with a limited number of schools taken from each athletic conference.

Nonetheless, head golf coach Claudio Smarrelli said, “I am very proud of these players, regardless of setbacks. We are going to continue playing one team at a time with the attitude of winning each match.”

Local competition results
The Kings Creek Ladies 18-Hole golf group played a low net tournament April 19 in two flights.

Ana Dittel won first in the first flight, followed by Jeanine Doan, second and Anita Pettitt, third. Pattie Magee finished first in the second flight, with Sherry Pie second and Anissa Brandt coming in third.

Pie also was closest to the pin on the eighth hole, with an approach shot that finished 16 feet away from the pin.

Not quite an execution, but bad enough anyway
Sometimes golfers fool themselves into thinking they can use the Rules of Golf to their advantage, even if they don’t have a complete understanding of what those rules say in a given instance.

When combined with the usual reluctance of most amateur golfers to hit out of a bunker, these misunderstandings might not be completely devastating, but the end result is bad enough.

In a recent USGA Ruling of the Day situation, a golfer in a stroke play event finds his ball in a bunker. He announces to his fellow competitors that his ball is unplayable as it lies. Claiming to follow Rule 28b or 28c (options for unplayable balls), he drops a ball outside the bunker, and finishes the hole.

Not quite right, I’m afraid.

Both Rule 28b and 28c permit golfers to drop the ball to a new spot in return for a single penalty stroke. Rule 28b calls for the drop behind the unplayable spot, farther from and in a direct line with the hole. Rule 28c lets golfers drop the ball within two club lengths of the unplayable spot, but not nearer the hole.
However, Rule 28 also says that any such drops under these conditions, if taken from the bunker, must also remain in the bunker.

Therefore, the hapless golfer could face disqualification from the tournament. Under this ruling, however, all is not lost.

As long as the ball was dropped in a spot that is not substantially different from where it could have been if the golfer used Rule 28a, there’s only a two-stroke additional penalty.

To escape disqualification, therefore, the golfer has to be able to show that the ball’s position when dropped could have been placed there under the stroke-and-distance provisions of Rule 28a. As long as he dropped the ball very close to the bunker, that shouldn’t be too hard to prove.

Nonetheless, those two extra penalty strokes should provide sufficient incentive to follow the rule appropriately on the next occasion - sand or no sand.

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