Vikings blown out by Riders

Mason Jones sizes up his short pitch shot on the 18th hole at Wild Quail during the April 8 match against Caesar Rodney. BY FRITZ SCHRANCK
April 11, 2014

The Cape Henlopen High School Vikings golf team learned a quick, harsh lesson about how much they need to step up their game, with their April 8 loss to Caesar Rodney’s Riders at Wild Quail Golf & Country Club.

The Vikings’ 162-207 defeat was a step back from their tri-meet victory April 1 against Laurel and Lake Forest, as the team’s overall score was 13 strokes higher than the week before. Team leader Mike DiStasio was not present for the match against Caesar Rodney. Luke Branner, who’d played well as an alternate for the first match, took his place.

Coach Claudio Smarrelli was not happy about the results, but he also noted that the Vikings have yet to have a full week of practice and/or competition. “Our [April 7] match against Delmarva Christian was postponed until April 10 because of the rain. That will be held at Peninsula. We’ve spent a lot of time on chipping and the short game. The big thing they have to keep in mind is to play their own game and not worry about what the other team is doing.”

Maddie Baptiste was the best Viking against the Raiders, posting a 7-over 43 on the par-36 back nine. “I had fun, and more pars than I usually have. I had a couple doubles and bogeys. A lot of my second shots landed really close to the holes, and so I had several birdie chances. I didn’t make any of them, but I ended up with a bunch of easy par putts.”

Baptiste said she didn’t mind the sand on the recently aerated greens. “They were OK, but I didn’t have any really long putts.”

Darren Branner’s 54 was next best for the Vikings, followed by a pair of 55s from Mason Jones and Luke Branner.

None of the boys were in much of a mood for a post-round chat. Quincy Duckworth said, “It was a long and hard course, and really windy.” Darren Branner pointed out that several of the par 4s were well over 400 yards from the boys’ tees. Jones said he parred his first two holes, beginning on the 12th, but then played poorly for several holes.

Rachel Hagen’s 58 was nothing she was proud of, except for a birdie on the 97-yard par 3. “I would have a really good hole and then a really bad one,” she said. The birdie included a putt of only one and half feet.

The Vikings were next scheduled to host Delmar at Rehoboth Beach Country Club Wednesday, April 9, and then travel the next day for the postponed match against Delmarva Christian.

Fore! The First Tee of Delaware Open May 19

Rehoboth Beach Country Club is hosting the inaugural Fore! The First Tee of Delaware Open, to be held Monday, May 19.

Registration on the day of the open begins at 11:30 a.m., with range balls and the practice range open for warming up before the 1 p.m. shotgun start. A boxed lunch is also part of the package.

The event supports The First Tee of Delaware, the local chapter of the national nonprofit. The organization’s goals are to teach life skills and positive values to young people, using golf as the delivery vehicle.

The single entry fee of $125 per player includes the greens fee, cart, prizes, practice balls, gifts, and the lunch. A payment of $600 for corporate sponsorship pays for four players and an on-course sign. On-course signs can also be obtained for $175.

Prizes will be awarded for all par 3s, the winning teams in the scramble format competition, the longest drive, and a putting contest. Registrants can request to play in a specific group, or leave the pairing up to the tournament committee.

The entry deadline is Friday, May 9. Call the First Tee office at 302-384-8759, or email Checks made payable to The First Tee of Delaware may be sent to P.O. Box 419, Rockland, DE 19732.

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