By Mr. Matt Decker (Leonard Wood)August 18, 2016
Their first night of competition was good; their second was even better.
The Air Force Detachment 1, 364th Training Squadron, claimed the championship plaque of the 2016 Commander's Cup Golf Tournament, played Aug. 8 and 9 at Piney Valley Golf Course.
The winning team, which included Patrick Gallagher, Kendall Drake, Josh Allen and Mike Imler, held a one-stroke lead after completing PVGC's front nine on the first night of the tournament, then finished the back nine with a final team score of 149, eight strokes ahead of their nearest competitor -- the 554th Engineer Battalion -- who finished as the tournament runners up with a 157.
"Definitely, tonight (was better)," Allen said. "If we could have all been on the same page (on Day One), it would've been a little better, but our drives seemed to find the woods at the same time, and the rough, as well, for our wedges."
Each four-person team was split into two-person squads who played with pairs from competing teams in the scramble-format tournament. The Air Force Det. players said they were lucky to be paired with players from the 554th Engr. Bn.
"They paired us up with a really good team," Imler said. "The competition was definitely fun. The 554th Engineer Battalion -- they had a solid team, and we were really lucky to play with them."
The 14th Military Police Brigade finished the tournament in third place with a 165, followed by the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence in fourth place with a 177. Combat Training Company finished fifth with a 193, and the 5th Engineer Battalion placed sixth with a 216.
The Air Force Det. players also noted that they enjoyed the format and the venue of for the tournament, which was open to all military teams that completed the five-week intramural golf season.
"I thought the tournament was well put-together, and that MWR put on a great event," Gallagher said. "On Air Force bases, intramural sports usually aren't paid for, so I thought it was great that MWR offered this to all active-duty members for free -- I thought that was awesome."
Despite some last-minute rain that made for some humid conditions on the course, Allen said Piney Valley was "in great shape."
"You don't find a lot of base courses -- or post courses -- in shape like this anymore with funds decreasing. All the credit goes to the staff here for the greens and fairways," he said.
Commander's Cup race
While the Air Force Det. took home this year's championship golf plaque, performances by the 554th Engr. Bn. and the 14th MP Bde. were just as significant in the overall 2016 Commander's Cup standings.
By earning 96 points for second place, the 554th retained the top spot in the points race for the overall Commander's Cup title with 1,188 points. The 14th MP Bde. also remains in the hunt for the overall title, now in second place overall 1,160 points after adding 88 points for its third-place finish in the golf tournament.
The 5th Engr. Bn., which added 80 points for finishing sixth, is third in the overall standings with 1,050 points.
Rounding out the top 10 in the points race are CTC in fourth (858 points), the 169th Engineer Battalion (fifth, 850), the Medical Department Activity (sixth, 800), the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence (seventh, 462), the 92nd Military Police Battalion (eighth, 306), the U.S. Marine Corps Detachment (ninth, 296) and the Air Force Det and the 43rd Adjutant General Battalion, tied for 10th place with 220 points each.
Twenty units have competed in at least one Commander's Cup event this year.
Units will head back to Piney Valley Golf Course for two more Commander's Cup events: foot golf, scheduled for Aug. 29 and 30, and a speed-golf tournament, scheduled for Sept. 19.