First Battle at the Beach a huge success

University of Delaware sophomore Nathalie Filler slams out of a sand trap during Sunday's final round of the Battle at the Beach Collegiate Golf Tournament at the Rehoboth Beach Country Club. Filler tied for 10th in the tournament with a 21-over 234. BY DAN COOK
November 2, 2013

The University of Delaware women’s golf team is in its early stages, with 2013 only the third year of the team’s existence.

If the Lady Blue Hens’ inaugural Battle at the Beach is any indication, however, the University of Delaware should enjoy returning to the Cape Region to host a wildly successful collegiate women’s golf invitational.

“It was amazing,” said Charlie Schuyler, head golf pro at Rehoboth Beach Country Club, the host course for the 54-hole tournament held Oct. 25-27. “It was a remarkable effort by so many people and a great event."

Ten women’s golf teams participated and began with practice rounds Friday, Oct. 25. After a frost delay and a shotgun start, the teams nearly completed 36 holes on Saturday, Oct. 26. Darkness at 6:15 p.m. forced a return the next day for some to finish.

“A bunch of golfers played 21 to 23 holes on Sunday, instead of the scheduled 18 holes,” Schuyler said. “And because of the delays, we weren’t able to reset the players or the tees for the last round like we would have normally done.”

Schuyler said RBCC began setting up for the tournament six months ago. “We had a great committee, which worked with our staff and the greens committee. We also reached out to the chamber of commerce and many other local organizations, which gave us great support.”

The Cape Region community and the RBCC members came out in great numbers to show their support for the young women, who competed under challenging conditions.

“The wind on Saturday crept up from 10 miles per hour in the morning to the mid-20s by late afternoon. The girls really had to fight it,” Schuyler said.

For example, the par-71 course was set up for 5,978 yards, including a 140-yard distance for the popular 19th hole at the edge of Rehoboth Bay. That’s because the course’s second hole is under a regrassing project.

“The wind was out of the west. Several of the girls said the 19th hole played more like 180 to 190 yards,” Schuyler said. “They were using 3-woods, and I saw them hitting the green. I never saw one of them go in the water. Wow.”

The club pro also had high praise for the course’s condition, which the coaches and players also noticed. “We aerated the greens Sept. 9, so they were in perfect condition for the tournament. We also postponed the fall aerification of the fairways and rough until after the tournament. It looked great,” Schuyler said.

Most of the teams were from the Mid-Atlantic or Northeast, with the notable exception of Rollins College of Florida. Two sisters, Vitoria Teixeira of UD, and Clara Teixeira of Rollins, played together for all three rounds.

Schuyler said the colleges were most impressed at all the special touches RBCC and its supporters provided. “The players and coaches each received a sweatshirt and a box of taffy, and each team had assigned parking spaces, with the signs featuring each team’s logo. The spectators had box lunches, and we held a special dinner for all the players at the club.”

“We had a huge number of members come to see the tournament. It was fun to see everyone having such a great time, and it was also fun to receive such positive feedback from the coaches and the players," Schuyler said.

To top it off, the Lady Blue Hens won the tournament, their third victory in five tournaments this fall.

Grace Chua of UD tied with Sophia Chen of Penn for first-place honors, with both posting 9-over totals for the 54 holes. Chua and Chen were also the only two players to post par rounds for the tournament.

Here are the team totals: UD, 909; Penn, 925; Rollins, 929; Brown University, 959; Towson University, 960; Long Island University-Brooklyn, 968; Central Connecticut State University, 980; Monmouth University, 997; and Delaware State, 1,020.