Miller, Riders grab titles at Henlopen Conference golf tournament

Caesar Rodney golfers pose with the Henlopen Conference trophy after winning their ninth conference title in 10 years. Delaware State News/Ben Heck

GEORGETOWN — After sinking his final putt on hole 18, Matt Miller felt pretty confident he had the tournament in the bag — even after bogeying his final two holes.

The Caesar Rodney High junior shot an even-par 72 to bring home the Henlopen Conference Tournament individual golf title on Tuesday at Mulligan’s Pointe.

He finished four strokes ahead of the second-place finisher.

“I had it played pretty good,” Miller said. “There was some tough competition out here, so I had to play my game, stay focused and just try to do as much as I could do.

Matt Miller tees off on the back nine during his tourney win.

“I was trying to play it a little safe the last few holes, I didn’t want to cost myself, so I thought I’d play it as safe as possible.”

Miller helped his CR Riders grab the team title, contributing to the team’s overall four-player score of 322.

After dropping last year’s team title by just two strokes to Polytech High, the Riders are happy to be back at the top of the conference.

They had won eight straight titles prior to last season.

“We’re excited,” said CR coach John Newman. “We lost last year by I think two strokes. Poly had a great day last year and they deserved it, but it’s nice to be successful.”

Freshman Hannah Lydic of Sussex Academy shot a 76 to grab second place, while CR’s Weston Harrington carded a score of 80 for third place.

Sussex Academy freshman Hannah Lydic, the tournament’s second-place finisher, watches her tee shot on the back nine.

“Matt put up a tough match, which was good, I needed that,” Lydic said. “I should have maybe putted a little better, but the greens were really tough here, which made for a good challenge.”

Harrington had a rocky start to his round, shooting two bogeys and a double bogey through his first three holes and shooting a 41 for five-over through the front nine.

He recovered on the back nine with a 39 to grab third place, four strokes ahead of his teammate Akira Pavey who shot an 84 for fourth place.

“I could have shot a lot better, but I’m happy with third,” Harrington said. “On the back nine I just played some solid golf.”

The Riders placed five golfers in the top 14, with seventh-place Lily Wagner (86) and 14th-place Jamie Harrington (90) rounding out CR’s top scorers.

“Weston’s been playing great all year, so obviously that wasn’t a surprise, and I think Akira had a great day,” Newman said. “He had one bad hole and he fought through it, so it was a team effort and we’re really proud of them.”

Matt Miller, who shot a tournament-winning 72, poses with the Outstanding Medalist plaque.

Delmar High’s Peyton Naugle finished fifth by shooting an 85.

Indian River High’s Patrick Gogarty shot an 86 for sixth place and Cape Henlopen High’s Dane Palmer shot an 87 for eighth place.

Sussex Academy nabbed second-place with a team score of 358, while Sussex Tech High (361), Cape Henlopen High (369) and Indian River High (373) rounded out the top five team scores.

Indian River’s Billy Wingate was awarded the Henlopen Conference Coach of the Year.

Henlopen North champion Caesar Rodney will face Henlopen South champion Sussex Academy for the conference title today at Baywood Greens in Long Neck before shifting focus to next week’s DIAA championship at Cripple Creek Country Club in Dagsboro.

Reach staff writer Ben Heck at bheck@newszap.com

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