JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas –
Battling wet and windy weather, the top 72 golfers from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps came together to compete in the 2014 Armed Forces Men's and Women's Golf Trials and Championship Nov. 3-9 at the Randolph Oaks Golf Course Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph.
This event marked the first time the championship was hosted at Randolph Oaks Golf Course, but it was also a first for the services' trials and championship to be held at the same location.
The purpose of using a single location for the entire event was an effort to be more financially efficient, Doug Quirie, Air Force Golf team coach, said.
With two of the usual top AF players missing from this year's competition and the additional 5 inches of rain within a two day period approaching the final rounds; a mix of factors opened the floor for new victors.
"This is the first time all four services have had a chance to look at the golf course and not have a home-field advantage," Quirie said. "This really leveled the playing field for this year's competition."
The competition wasn't only unique for its location or weather conditions, but also for where the victors will be headed next.
Navy Lt. Nicole Johnson, Air Force Maj. Linda Jeffery, Army Sgt. Kaleb Nichols, AF Senior Master Sgt. Spencer Mims, Army Capt. Joseph Cave, Army Spc. Jordan-Tyler Massey, AF Staff Sgt. Kyle Wesolowski, and Navy Lt. Will Boyd, the championship players who make up the 2014 Armed Forces Golf Team, will be heading to represent the U.S. in the eighth International Military Sports Council World Military Golf Championship Nov. 13-21 in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
In previous years, the Air Force has claimed the Armed Forces championship men's event with the last 10 titles, while the Air Force women's team won from 2006-2010 successively.
This year, Massey and Jeffery have earned the Army and Air Force bragging rights in their respective men's and women's divisions until next year.
"It's been a tough week with the weather and the fast greens, but it's been fun," Massey said. "The world championships are going to be awesome, and I'm curious how we are going to cross the language barrier and mix our different cultures throughout the event."
The event concluded in the evening of Nov. 9 with a banquet wherein the victors were announced and guest speaker Brig. Gen. Bob LaBrutta, 502nd Air Base Wing and Joint Base San Antonio commander, encouraged the players for their next stage of the completion.
"This is about friendships through sports, but also about partnerships," LaBrutta said. "For those of you going on to Bahrain, remember that you represent all of us serving in uniform, along with all Americans and their families."
Whatever the outcome at their upcoming competition overseas, this year's Armed Forces team can arrive with heads held high knowing that out of 72 to arrive and compete at JBSA-Randolph, they were the eight left standing.