Cream rises to top in Fort Polk commanding general's scramble
April 15, 2011
FORT POLK, La. - The team of Jose Cruz-LaPorte, Tom James, Joe McKee and Larry Jones fired a 9-under par 63 to claim first place in the inaugural Commanding General's Monthly Golf Scramble at Fort Polk's Warrior Hills Golf Course April 8.
"It was kind of windy today, but thanks to Tommy James, we were able to have a good round," Cruz-LaPorte said.
James shrugged off his shot-making skills, opting to compliment the condition of the course.
"The course is really coming around," James said. "It's getting better and better."
Brig. Gen. Clarence K.K. Chinn, commanding general, Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, hosted the event and said his plan is to have the tournament on a monthly basis.
"Our intent is to have a good time, get away from the desk and enjoy payday activities," Chinn said. "I appreciate your support. Hit 'em hard and mostly straight."
Million Air Aviation of Alexandria and Southwest Beverages provided financial support for the tournament. Charlie Elliott, general manager at Million Air, said he was honored to be a sponsor,
"We support Fort Polk and Gen. Chinn," Elliott said. "We think the world of him and his Soldiers and would do this every week if we could."
As for his team's golfing skills, Elliott said they came to have fun.
"We're hackers," he said, laughing. "But we'll have a good time."
While there were plenty of outstanding shots, there were also shots - and teams - that defied logic. Joel Leuty, who played with Chinn, Capt. Brad Henry and David Switzer, hit his tee shot on hole No. 6 into the fort of a tree about three feet off of the ground.
"I guess this is an unplayable lie," Leuty deadpanned.
Then there was the team of engineers that included Shane Gremillion, Scotty Goins, Chris Nelson and Tommy Jean. The quartet works for Fort Polk's Directorate of Public Works and according to Goins, go by the name DPW Duffers.
"We've put the true meaning of scramble into this tournament," Goins said.
At the awards ceremony after the tournament, Chinn thanked all of those involved in making the day's activities a success. He also pointed out how much the condition of the course has improved.
"These guys have done a great job," Chinn said. "The course is looking a lot better and will continue to get even better."
Chinn said he was surprised how quickly the tournament field filled up.
"We will continue to do this every month and I can let you know that May's tournament will be May 6."
Following the tournament, food was provided by Chef Charles, and musical entertainment by Out of Order, consisting of Lt. Col. Kurt Hudson, Lt. Col. Dennis Yates and CW4 Mark Mestre.