Oekle Open tees off
The problem with postponing the annual Scoop Oelke Open is that it can upset some travel plans.
The Scoop Oelke Open, the annual fund-raiser for the Greater Dundalk Sports Hall of Fame, teed off on Friday at the Rocky Point Golf Club for the second July in a row.
The tournament is usually held on the first Friday in May. Inclement weather (i.e., lots and lots of rain. And then some more) caused the tournament to be postponed to July in 2016 and this year.
Bill Becker travels up from Ocala, Florida for the tournament. Fortunately, rescheduling the trip was no problem for Becker, who coached the Joe Falbo/Harbor Federal baseball team for 25 years and also was an assistant coach for CCBC Dundalk.
“We were coming up this week anyway, because my sister’s 50th wedding anniversary is Saturday,” said Becker, 79. “So it worked out. I did this tournament, will visit my sister and spend time with the grandkids.”
When the tournament was postponed last year, Becker couldn’t make it to Maryland in July.
In Florida, Becker said he plays golf three times a week and makes a lot of new friends, but misses all the folks up here he played and coached baseball with.
But he’s enjoying retirement.
“The baseball coach at Central Florida Community College keeps asking me when I’m coming out of retirement,” Becker said. “But he can forget that. I’m out there busy with my golf balls.”
Joe Cristy Jr. lives in High Point, North Carolina, where he works at his alma mater, High Point University.
“We were going to take a vacation, anyway, this time of year,” Cristy said. “So it worked out. Instead of going to the beach, we came here. I was able to take my son to an Orioles game.”
Cristy had recently returned from a trip to San Francisco, where he watched a Giants game and an Athletics game and saw High Point alumnus Cody Allen pitching for the Cleveland Indians.
Allen wasn’t a teammate of Cristy’s at High Point, “but I admitted him,” Cristy said.
The team of Ryan Evans, Tom Costantini, Tom Evans and Joe Kent won the tournament championship, shooting a 57.
“We couldn’t have done it today without Tom and Joe,” Tom Evans said. “Joe was driving the ball 200 yards every time.”
It was a great ham and eggs game today,” Kent said.
It was the first tournament title for the quartet, who often enter the Oelke Open and play together as a foursome in other tournaments.
“Everyone got it together today,” Tom Evans said. “Everyone played their game and made their putts.”
It was the first golf outing of the year for Tom Evans, who has been recovering from knee surgery.
“That makes it more memorable for me,” he said.
Hank Stratmeyer, Chip Mack, Mike Waddell and George Dahlke finished second with a score of 59.
The closest to the pin winners were: Jeff Kraus, #4; Ed Slifker, #7; Joe Kent #14; and Mike Waddell #11.
There were 20 teams registered for the event, and 19 appeared.
Next year, the Oelke Open should return to its usual May date. Maybe.
“We talk about keeping it in July,” said tournament organizer Joe Cristy Sr. “But its just so hot in July, and it’s a big vacation week.
“We sometimes have problems with it being cold in May, but with it being hot in July, it’s six of one, a halfdozen of the other.”
The quartet of (from left) Ryan Evans, Tom Constantini, Tom Evans and Joe Kent won the annual Scoop Oelke Open on Friday at the Rocky Point Golf Course.
Don Cargile chips the ball towards the hole while teammates Paul Steinert and Dave Gilley watch.
Jeff Kraus pulls for his drive to clear the stream.