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NEWS | Oct. 29, 2014

Armed forces' best golfers coming to JBSA-Randolph

By Robert Goetz 502nd Air Base Wing Publick Affairs

Seventy-two of the armed services' best golfers will converge on Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph's Randolph Oaks Golf Course this weekend for a history-making event.

For the first time, the Armed Forces Men's and Women's Golf Trials and Championship will take place on the same course.

"This year is historically significant in that this is the first time the services' trials and championship have been held at one location," Steve Knechtel, 502nd Force Support Squadron community programs manager, said. "Previously the services selected their teams at multiple locations, then showed up for the rotating championship hosted by one service."

The golf trials and championship will also mark the first time either event has taken place at the 18-hole Randolph Oaks Golf Course.

Players and coaches from the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy teams will arrive Saturday and will stay at JBSA-Randolph for the duration of the event, Knechtel said. The trials are scheduled Monday and Tuesday, and the four championship rounds will begin Thursday and conclude Nov. 9.

The weeklong event will also feature three special functions - the Golf Qualifiers Ice Breaker, a Texas barbecue from 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the golf course's clubhouse; the opening day ceremony from 7:30-8 a.m. Thursday on the clubhouse patio; and the awards ceremony and buffet from 6-8:30 p.m. Nov. 9 at the Parr Club Sky Lounge.

Highlights of the opening-day ceremony are a procession of the service teams, music by the Air Force Band of the West Freedom Brass Quintet and remarks by Brig. Gen. Bob LaBrutta, 502nd Air Base Wing and JBSA commander.

The Air Force, the host service for this year's armed forces championship, chose the JBSA-Randolph course for several reasons, including the condition of the facility, which has seen a variety of improvements in recent years, Chris Bowles, Air Force Materiel Command Services Program golf program manager, said.

The armed forces competition will mark the JBSA-Randolph facility's "third major," Clay Kauha, Randolph Oaks Golf Course pro shop manager, said. The course hosted the 2011 Lone Star Conference Men's Golf Championship as well as a PGA playing ability test.

The trials will narrow the 72-player field to 36 who will compete in the championship rounds.

"The goal is to place in the top six for men and top three for women and thereby distinguish themselves as the best of the best and members of the 2014 armed forces team," Knechtel said.

The armed forces team will represent the United States at the eighth International Military Sports Council World Military Golf Championship Nov. 13-21 in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

In addition to sending the nine best golfers to the world military championship, the armed forces championship will provide the winning service team with bragging rights.
The Air Force has dominated the men's event, winning the last 10 titles, 12 of the last 13 and 15 of the last 17. Air Force women won consecutive championships from 2006-2010.

Last year at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., the Air Force placed three men in the top six, including the first- and second-place winners; the Air Force won the team event by 29 strokes.

Kauha said this year's trials and championship offer spectators an opportunity to see the armed forces' best golfers.

"They're all really good golfers," he said. "You'll see some scores in the upper 60s."
Knechtel called the event "another opportunity for JBSA to showcase its facilities."