The Sandwich golf team got off to a strong start, picking up from where they left off from its 2018 season, on Tuesday, September 4.
Visiting the par 35 front nine of the Hyannis Golf Club to meet Sturgis East, the Knights were guided by two juniors past the Navigators, 114-66, to earn their first win of the season.
Colin Norkevicius had the low score on the afternoon, shooting a plus-five 40 to earn 27 points in the Modified Stableford format. Classmate Mike Barrasso was one shot behind Norkevicius, shooting a six-over 41 for 26 points.
Fellow junior Sam Hood, playing in the second flight for the Blue Knights, shot an eight-over 43 to generate 22 points. The combined scores of Norkevicius, Barrasso and Hood (75 points) was enough to defeat the top six scores of the Navigators on the afternoon.
The final three scores came from Thomas Hurley (15 points), Dylan McCabe (14 points) and Parker Hunt (10 points).
On what was the first day of fall sports for most of the schools on Cape Cod, there was big log jam on the course, causing long delays between shots and holes. Barnstable High School hosted Bridgewater-Raynham and that match was in front of Sandwich. Behind the Knights were St. John Paul II and Cape Cod Academy. In addition to the busy day on the links, play was delayed for Sandwich due to sprinklers going on and off.
As for the play on the course, with conditions fair and favorable, most of the Knights were long off the tee with their drives. Barrasso highlighted the long drives with a 300-yard tee shot on the par 5, 533-yard fifth hole. Norkevicius wasn’t far off with a 275-yard drive of his own.
But while the Knights were able to stay in the fairway for the most on their drives, the greens offered a much more difficult challenge. With unique and even frustrating pin placements, both teams picked up extra strokes due to the rolling waves of the greens.
Hunt fell victim to a tough pin on the par 4, 322-yard third hole. With the pin sitting atop a steep slope and Hunt’s ball on the far end of the green below the hill, it took the junior three putts to try and get up the hill. But with every putt the ball fell short of reaching the top and came rolling back toward him. He picked up after his sixth stroke. In modified stableford play, anything higher than a double bogey does not score points.
However, Hood was the recipient of a well-placed approach shot on the very same hole. After punching out of the woods on his second shot, Hood chased the pin on his chip for this third shot, falling within two feet but behind the pin to stay on top of the hill. He tapped in for par, using just enough touch not to overshoot the cup.
After graduating three players from last year’s fifth-place finish in the Division 2 state tournament in seniors Alec Abramson, Kristina Thimme and Emily Hunt, the Knights have no seniors on this year’s roster, but return four players (Norkevicius, Barrasso, Hood and Parker Hunt) who have varsity experience. And as the girls’ golf program was a late start-up before beginning in the spring, this will be the first year that girls will not be allowed on the fall team. That means freshman Bridget Lopes, also a member of last year’s team, and an individual qualifier in the girls’ state tournament, will have to wait until spring to compete on the high school level again.
Sandwich (1-0, 1-0 C&I) is off until Tuesday, September 10, when they welcome new division rival, but old foe Barnstable to The Ridge Club for the Knights’ home opener at 3:30 PM.