Oekle Open tees off

The Avenue News - - FRONT PAGE - By BILL GATES bgates@ches­pub.com

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.”

PHO­TOS BY BILL GATES

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.

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