Burt Clark putts on Hole 9 as his teammates, from left, Cara Kendall and Gregg Daily look on Friday during the Commanding General’s Scramble at Piney Valley Golf Course.
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Burt Clark putts on Hole 9 as his teammates, from left, Cara Kendall and Gregg Daily look on Friday during the Commanding General’s Scramble at Piney Valley Golf Course. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Decker) VIEW ORIGINAL
Clayton Pell tees off on Hole 1 Friday during the Commanding General’s Scramble at Piney Valley Golf Course.
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A.J. Morris putts on Hole 18 Friday during the Commanding General’s Scramble at Piney Valley Golf Course. Looking on, from left, are her teammates Rick Morris, Freddy Brock and Debbie Kleinholz.
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A.J. Morris putts on Hole 18 Friday during the Commanding General’s Scramble at Piney Valley Golf Course. Looking on, from left, are her teammates Rick Morris, Freddy Brock and Debbie Kleinholz. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Decker) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — The turnout for Friday’s Commanding General’s Scramble was so strong, the event had to be split.

With 25 teams signed up, and participation still limited due to COVID-19 precautions, Piney Valley Golf Course officials changed the event from one 18-hole tournament to two, nine-hole tournaments played simultaneously on the course’s front and back nine.

“Because there has been so much support, we are running two tournaments at once,” PVGC Manager Steve Belton said.

“This is something very unique that I’m not aware has been done here before. We ended up having to turn some players away because we ran out of carts,” he added.

It was another sign the Fort Leonard Wood community is ready to open again, and a welcome one, according to Maj. Gen. James Bonner, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general.

“I never thought we would be in the position we were in last year, and I will tell you the only thing that got us through is leadership, and I think everyone has done a phenomenal job,” Bonner said as he addressed the players.

“We’ve done a great job protecting our force, training our force, and here’s an opportunity now to get back out there,” he added. “I want you all to enjoy it. Put the phones down; make some new friends, and enjoy the camaraderie.”

Maneuver Support Center of Excellence Command Sgt. Maj. Randolph Delapena, who also addressed the players, said it was important to take time to have some fun.

“Have fun. That’s it,” he said. “It’s time to get back out and be with family again — and we are all family here at Fort Leonard Wood.”

While players had to stick to the cart paths due to standing water on some sections of the course, it was otherwise a perfect day for golf, with gentle breezes, sunny skies and temperatures ranging from the low to mid-70s.

The turnout allowed each of the two tournaments to field two flights.

In the front-nine tournament, the team of O’Neill, Outzen, Holloway and Burchett shot a 32 to take first place in A Flight, while the team of York, Johnson, Henson and Brashear took second by shooting a 33.

In the front-nine B Flight, the team of Estright, Nelson, Simpson and Scheir took first place, shooting a 36. The team of Read, Read, Hestiness and Williams took second place with a 37.

In the back-nine tournament, the team of Lindly, Perry, Justice and Robertson shot a 33 to take first place in A Flight. The team of Brooks, Parker, Henderson and Neville took second, shooting a 34.

In the back-nine B Flight, the team of Riddle, Fields, Smith and White took first place with a 39. Also shooting a 39, the team of Ziegler, Mason, O’Connor and Parchert took second place in B Flight.

The tournaments were held as part of a series. The next event, the Commanding General’s Army Birthday Scramble, is scheduled for noon, June 18. Details are available here.