Sill Soldier wins All Army Golf Tournament
October 11, 2012
FORT SILL, Okla.-- Capt. Joseph Cave of the field artillery proponent office here, fired a five-under 283, four-day total to win the 72-hole All Army Golf Tournament Sept. 28 - Oct. 5 at Fort Jackson, S.C.
Fort Sill's top golfer continued his quest for golfing greatness playing for what he said, was only one of six spots on the national team that will be decided at the All Armed Forces tourney Oct. 5-11 at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla.
"I'm playing to win, of course," said Cave, a scratch golfer since high school and former captain of the U.S. Military Academy's golf team. "I'm confident I can compete with anyone and will just see what I can do out there."
The 17 other golfers who teed it up at Fort Jackson represented the best the Army could assemble. Cave said many were former golf professionals whose skills may or may have not diminished since joining the Army.
Field artillery aptly described Cave's long game at Fort Jackson. He said the first three days he hit the ball really well splitting nearly every fairway and averaging about 300 yards when he deployed the big stick off the tee.
"I went for all the Par 5s in two and had short irons or wedges into the Par 4s - that really helped," he said. "It's really tough off the tee, if you don't hit your driver accurately you'll be in trouble in the woods punching out and scrambling to make pars."
Fort Jackson's greens followed the field artillery theme as greens keepers shaved the turf close like a cannonball.
"They were extremely tough Bermuda greens, very grainy and really fast," said the West Coast golfer who never putted on that type of grass before. "Any putt above the hole or downhill was extremely tough to make because it was so quick."
Despite this degree of difficulty, Cave stayed consistent throughout the tournament. He opened with a two-under 70, then followed with an even par 72 the second day and a one-under 71 on Day 3. His worst nine-hole score was 38 on the front nine of the second round, but he hung in there on the second nine to shoot level par.
"I hit really good approach shots, but couldn't make birdies," he said. "Farther than 10 feet away was pretty much just a game of lagging it close and being happy with a two-putt par, because it was real easy to run the ball 4-5 feet past."
Cave and the eventual second place finisher were paired together for the final round, at which point Cave held a commanding eight-shot lead. Though he said he didn't hit the ball that well, once on the green, putts began to drop. The eight-shot bulge remained after the first nine as the two fired 34s.
"I felt pretty comfortable and played it safe on the back nine, hitting fairways, aiming for the fat part of the green and two-putting for par," he said. "He would have had to shoot eight-under on the back just to tie, and I knew he wasn't going to do that."
Cave concluded his tourney with a two-under 70 to win by four shots and beat the second place finisher, who carded a 66 on his final round.
Cave said his commitment to the Army will most likely end soon. Playing and representing the Army was a great opportunity, because it provided him a gauge of how his game compared to other talented golfers.
"This meant a lot to me, and I was pretty lucky to take two weeks off to play golf," he said. "I have some other buddies who would have loved to come out and play, but they are deployed or in jobs or assignments where they can't get away."
In addition to playing in the armed forces event, Cave earned a sponsor's exemption to play in the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic Nov. 8-11 at Walt Disney World, Fla. The tourney is the final stop on the 2012 Professional Golfers Association tour for 2012. He mulled over thoughts of joining the world's best golfers who make a living playing the game.
"I'm gaining a lot of confidence, and if everything goes well it might be worth it to see if I can give turning professional a shot."