By Nondice Thurman, Fort Campbell Courier staffOctober 6, 2011
FORT CAMPBELL, KY, Oct. 6, 2011--Two Fort Campbell Soldiers were among a select few chosen to represent the All-Army team during the Armed Forces Golf Tournament at Fort Jackson, S.C.
Captain Brent Riley, a dentist with the Dental Activity, and Sgt. Kelly Holliday, an infantry Soldier with B Company, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat team, 101st Airborne Division, were two of six Soldiers to play for the All-Army team. They were among 20 Soldiers chosen from among approximately 70 applicants to compete for the six slots.
"We were the only ones selected from Fort Campbell and both of us made the team," said Holliday. "It was just a great experience to get to play competitive golf and to get to do it for the Army."
"[And] represent the 101st," added Riley.
The tournament, from Sept. 29 through Sunday, pitted the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines against each other to see who would come out on top. This year the Army was edged out by only 12 strokes.
"The Army has always gotten beat by the Air Force by a lot," said Riley. "This year we had a very competitive team. The Army had the lead after the first round and then the Air Force took the lead after the second round. We took it back after the third round. That's pretty much unheard of. That hasn't happened in a long time. The Air Force came back and got us on the last day. Next year they've got another thing coming."
Riley found out about the team through the help of a colleague and Holliday found out while looking online.
"I did some research when I was in Afghanistan this last deployment and found out they actually had an All-Army golf team," said Holliday. "I bugged my platoon sergeant while I was in Afghanistan making sure he was going to let me do it when we got back. I submitted the online application and went from there."
Riley and Holliday have experience playing golf competitively outside of the military. They both played competitively in college and Holliday played competitively outside of college.
"I even played a little bit in mini-tours," said Holliday. "I was also in the golf business before I came into the Army. You were too a little bit."
"One year doesn't count," said Riley in response to Holiday mentioning he also worked in the golf industry.
Both Soldiers were honored to be able to use their skills to represent the All-Army team in the competition. Holliday finished in the top five competitors.
"I placed fourth overall," said Holliday. "I was five under par going into the last day. I was in second place going into the last day and I just had a terrible last round. Over all, though, I think I did pretty well. Take out that last round and I think I did excellent."
The teams played four rounds of golf. The scores of the top five players from each team for each round were used to make up the final score. In the end the score was the Air Force in first place with 1466, Army in second with 1478, Marines in third with 1516 and the Navy in fourth with 1550.
Holliday and Riley enjoyed everything about the trip, from the opportunity to play golf to the atmosphere.
"I thought it was great," said Riley. "The camaraderie between the Army guys and then everyone else during the Armed Forces Championship…we were competitive, but at the same time we were supporting each other."
Both Soldiers hope for the opportunity to take part in the tournament next year and were thankful for the chance to take part in the tournament.
"It was great to go down there and represent the Army," said Riley. "Everybody treated us with lots of respect. Everybody was pulling for the Army [since] we were at Fort Jackson and the whole golf staff down there did a great job. Everybody was supporting us 100 percent. That was a cool feeling."
"Thanks to our commands for allowing us to go down there and giving us the opportunity to try out and represent Fort Campbell," he added.