Tournament weathers earlier heavy rains
Wednesday, 07 May 2014 12:37

Team of Cristy and Wong win for third time

by Bill Gates

    The day before the 31st annual Kimbel “Scoop” Oelke Open, two of the holes at the Rocky Point Golf Course were still under water from the three days of rain earlier in the week.
    “Obviously, I was nervous,” said tournament coordinator Joe Cristy. “I came down here on Thursday and the No. 16 and 17 holes were under water.
    “The crew here did a great job getting the greens ready.”
    Winning the Oelke Open for the third time overall was the foursome of Jeff Wong, Geoff Lidsay, Ron Cristy and Gene Lindsay.
    They finished with a 61 in the best ball-format tournament, edging out David Underwood, John Brown, Paul Novak and Ray Lockett’s score of 62.
    While the course was playable, there was standing water everywhere.
    “The grounds are soft, but it beats not playing golf,” Novak said while out on the course.
    In addition to the water, players had to contend with high gusts of wind.
    “I thought the course played long, because of all the water,” said Ron Cristy, who is Joe’s cousin. “But, really, we owe it all to the shirts.”
    (Cristy’s team received many comments for wearing matching shirts.)
   

“It was wet, the greens were a little bumpy, but that was understandable after all of that rain,” Cristy said. “We birdied the last four holes, so we felt pretty good about our chances coming in.”
    It had rained heavily in the area from Monday through Wednesday before the sun finally peeked out on Thursday. That was followed by, yup, more rain.
    There were 21 foursomes entered in this year’s tournament, which is the sole fundraiser for the Greater Dundalk Sports Hall of Fame.
    One quartet included former Baltimore Orioles players Al Bumbry and Ron Hansen.
    Bumbry played for the Orioles from 1972 to 1984, while Hansen played from 1958 to 1962.
    Both won the American League Rookie of the Year award — Hansen in 1960 and Bumbry in 1973.
    Hansen also played for the Chicago White Sox, Washington Senators, New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals before retiring after the 1972 season.
    Bumbry spent only one season away from the Orioles, playing for the San Diego Padres in 1985.
    Also participating in the Oelke Open were Baltimore Blast general manager Kevin Healey and his son, professional soccer player (Blast) Pat Healey.
    Kevin Healey also is the former coach of the Post 38 soccer team, the Baltimore Bays club team and the Blast.
    Healey’s team shot a 72, while Bumbry and Hansen’s quartet had to leave after the first nine holes and didn’t finish.
    Despite the rain and the water, Rocky Point club pro Jeff Bell said the Oelke Open was never in significant danger of being canceled or postponed.
    “It takes an awful lot of water for us to be closed,” Bell said. “The course drains well. For us to close, the course would have to be inundated.”
    The grounds crew at Rocky Point raked all the bunkers and replaced the sand, and blew leaves off the fairways.
    The winners for Closest to the Pin were Ray Lockett (#4); Geoff Lindsay (#7), Steve Houseknecht (#11) and Kent Boules (#14).