MIDDLE TOWNSHIP — Ocean City High School female golfer Kasey Clifford had a career day Wednesday at the Cape-Atlantic League Individual Championship at the Shore Club.
Clifford, a senior, shot a four-over-par 76, personal-best for 18 holes, to win the CAL girls championship, and she had the lowest score for all golfers out of two girls and 16 boys.
Brett Campbell of Egg Harbor Township carded a 77 to win the CAL boys championship. It was his lowest round in an 18-hole tournament.
The event had a shotgun start, and Clifford had birdies on the fourth, fifth and seventh holes and a par on the sixth to finish the round. She and Mainland Regional’s Camille O’Halloran started on the eighth hole. O’Halloran shot an 86.
Clifford said it felt amazing to have the lowest score for everyone at the tournament.
“I’m proud of the way I did,” said Clifford, an 18-year-old Longport resident. “I worked really hard, and today everything went really well. My swing was good, I was making the putts I needed to make, and my irons kept putting me in the right spot on the course. It feels great. I knew I needed to go low.”
Clifford will play for Division III Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, next year.
Clifford’s first shot on the par-four seventh hole left 130 yards from the pin. Her second shot went to within three inches of the hole, and she tapped it in for a three.
“I ended really well,” Clifford said. “I was really surprised that the ball got that close on the last hole. It was a great way to finish my round. I’m glad everyone else played pretty well also.”
Ed Ritti and Bryan Chojnacki are the co-coaches of Ocean City golf. Ritti called it a great way for Clifford to end her senior year.
“The CAL Tournament has been on her calendar for a full year,” Ritti said. “I’m proud of her. She went out and accomplished her goal. She ended the round like a champ.”
Campbell shot five birdies in his 77. Holy Spirit’s James Dalzell and Mainland’s Michael Mitnick were next, shooting 81 apiece. Anthony Lawler of Holy Spirit scored an 82.
“It feels great to win it,” said Campbell, a 17-year-old EHT resident. “I just came in for the day and wasn’t expecting to win. I was focused and made a lot of clutch putts to keep me in it. I didn’t shoot well at sectionals (on Tuesday), so it feels good to get redemption.”
Matthew Belinsky and Phil Maturi are co-coaches of the Egg Harbor Township golf team.
“Brett had a look about him that I haven’t seen on him all year,” Belinsky said. “He was really focused. I didn’t have to say too much to him. It’s like when a guy is pitching a no-hitter, you leave him alone.”
Four St. Augustine Prep players, including defending CAL boys champion Drue Nicholas, had to miss the tournament because they had to take advanced placement tests at the school.
76-Kasey Clifford, Ocean City; 86-Camille O’Halloran, Mainland Regional.
77-Brett Campbell, Egg Harbor Township; 81-James Dalzell, Holy Spirit, and Michael Mitnick, Mainland; 82-Anthony Lawler, Holy Spirit; 85-Colin Bagot, Egg Harbor Township, and Riley Mostecki, Mainland Regional; 86-Hunter Reese, ACIT, PJ Schulte, Middle Township, Kolby Carter, Lower Cape May Regional, and Andrew Kapp, Middle Township; 92-Tommy Jost, ACIT; 93-Scott Wiltshire, Cape May Tech and Andrew Ngo, Egg Harbor Township; 94-Kevin Curau, Holy Spirit; 98-Josh McKensie, Cedar Creek; 102-Josh Ungerer, Egg Harbor Township.