By BRIAN CUNNIFF
When Nick Salfi finished his round at the Cape May County high school golf championships Monday afternoon, he didn’t think he had done too well.
But when all the scorers were tabulated, it was Salfi who was the low golfer on the day.
Salfi carded an 85 at the 18-hole event held at Shore Gate Golf Club under sunny but windy conditions.
“I was very happy to win but honestly I didn’t expect it because I didn’t think I played my best,” Salfi said. “But then I saw some of the other scores and I knew it was a real tough course so I was pretty happy with it.”
The 85 by Salfi and an 86 by teammate Jake Riggs helped carry Middle to the team championship, the Panthers’ first in four tries at the event. Ocean City had won the previous three tournaments from 2017 through 2019. The event was not held last spring as all high school sports were canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Middle’s other scorers were Evan Rinier and Haley Cohn, who each carded 100. The Panthers scored 347 as a team.
“We were real happy about winning the team championship,” Salfi said. “Ocean City’s been winning this pretty much every year, so it’s great that we’ve now won our first.”
Salfi enjoyed an excellent front nine, shooting 39. He then shot 46 on the back.
“The course today was very difficult,” Salfi said. “Shore Gate normally plays difficult on its own but the wind today added an extra challenge.”
Salfi said that playing a lot of golf recently helped prepare him and his teammates for the event.
“I think our preparation coming up to this tournament helped,” he said. “It’s such a condensed season this year that we seem to be playing matches every day. We’ve been playing a lot of golf, so that definitely helped me today.
“I didn’t think I had performed the best I could have but with the conditions so tough, it affected everyone.”
Salfi, a senior, said he’s set to attend Rowan University, where he plans to major in biochemistry.
Cape May Tech’s Alyssa Hicks was the top female finisher and came in third overall with a 91. Tech’s David Wurtz and Wildwood Catholic’s Kieran Kelly tied for fourth at 92. Ocean City’s C.J. Contni was sixth at 94.
Ocean City was second in team scoring at 387. Chris Conti (94) and Cameron Yoa (95) led the Raiders. They were followed by Cape May Tech (390), Wildwood Catholic (414) and Lower Cape May (460).
Andrew Barber’s 98 led Lower Cape May.
(Photos courtesy Lower Cape May coach Anthony D’Aleo)