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Air Force Takes Interservice Golf Crown

By Senior Airman Krista Newman
Special to American Forces Press Service

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., Sept. 5, 1997 – Air Force played better in the wind here Aug. 22 to beat runner-up Army by 38 strokes at the 1997 Armed Forces Golf Tournament.

Army Maj. Mark Johnson, San Antonio, Texas, took open division honors with a four-day total of 301. Air Force SSgt.Kelly Trahan, Moody Air Force Base, Ga., took the women's crown with a 325. Air Force Maj. Tommy Sweigart, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, took the senior title with a 306.

The competition was held at Marshallia Ranch. High winds kept scores well above par. The Navy placed third and the Marine Corps team last.

Johnson won the individual title with a first-hole birdie in a sudden death playoff against Army Sgt. 1st Class Randy Block, Navy Chief Sonny Kirkwood and Air Force Staff Sgt. Mark Gardiner. "This is the closest I've seen the interservice tournament," said Johnson, a three-time Army champion.

Trahan called the competition stressful and physically painful. "Conditions really dictate how well you play," she said. The first day of the competition became very windy as the day progressed, making it difficult for players to control direction of the ball.

"This is a lot of work. It's mentally draining," said Johnson. "Hitting the balls is the easy part. It's the mental concentration that drains you."

The top finshers represented the American military at a regional Counseil International du Sport Militaire competition at the Royal Canadian Air Base, Trenton, Ontario. Those making up the team were Open Division: Johnson, Block, Kirkwood, Gardiner, Marine Sgt. Ryan Buytenhuys and Army 1st Lt. Troy Ferguson. Women's Division: Trahan, Air Force Tech. Sgt. Susan Dillard, Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Misty Hatley and Air Force Capt. Vera Tu. Seniors Division: Sweigart, Air Force Maj. William Connors, Marine Lt. Col. Pat Wills and Army Sgt. 1st Class Willia Hickson.

(Newman is a writer at Vandenberg.)

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