News: Eaglewood Golf Course hosts Armed Forces Golf Championship
Story by Staff Sgt. Ashley Hawkins
LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. -- After a damp gray start to the day, rain clouds gave way to sunshine as golfers completed the final round of the 2010 Armed Forces Golf Championship at the Eaglewood Golf Course, Tuesday, Oct. 26.
The tournament, which began Saturday, featured golfers from each of the four branches of the armed forces in four rounds of play. Prior to hosting the Armed Forces Golf Championship, Eaglewood hosted the Air Force Golf Championship, which provided the Air Force’s participants in the all-inclusive tournament to follow.
Thomas Whitney, an Air Force second lieutenant from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., won the men’s competition, posting three of four rounds under par and closing the tournament at 280, eight strokes ahead of the second-place competitor.
Whitney, a recent graduate of the Air Force Academy, played NCAA Division I golf while in college, and has played competitively for the past 14 years. The two tournaments were the first military competitions he played in.
He attributed his success to “God-given talent,” and his experience in competition.
“Coming out of playing Division I golf, I have a lot of experience grinding day after day,” he said. “Over time, I learned to minimize mistakes and keep my head in it.”
Whitney said he plans to continue working on his game and pursue competitive golf alongside his Air Force career.
“I’m an officer first, golfer second, and try to balance those as best I can,” he said.
The Air Force boasted four of the top six finishers in the men’s competition. The Army and the Navy each had one golfer finish in the top six.
However, the Navy claimed the top berth in the women’s competition, as Nicole Johnson, a naval aviator from Naval Air Station Oceana, narrowly edged out the Air Force’s Linda Jeffery, winning the competition by two strokes at 295.
Johnson battled Jeffery five years ago in the 2005 tournament, and said she “loved being able to play against great golfers again.”
Both winners remarked about the excellent presentation at Eaglewood, highlighting the well-tended course and helpful staff that made the event successful and enjoyable.
“Even with recent bad weather, the crew did a great job preparing the course for the tournaments,” said Whitney. “This is among the best courses I’ve played on.”
According to Eaglewood Golf Course general manager Bill Ruark, the success of both competitions is due to the dedicated work of more than 50 volunteers from across Team Langley.
“Thanks to the 633d Communications Squadron, the 633d Force Support Squadron, the 30th Intelligence Squadron and all of the volunteers that came out to help,” he said. “None of this would have been possible without the tireless efforts of the entire Eaglewood staff.”