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U.S. Men, Women Win World Military Golf Championships

By Tim Hipps
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 25, 2006 – The United States men’s and women’s teams emerged victorious in the 3rd Conseil International du Sport Militaire’s World Military Golf Championships Aug. 15 through 17 at Ballinrobe Golf Club in Galway, Ireland.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Arnell Garza of Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., prevailed in a one-hole playoff against South Africa’s Craig Collins to win the individual men’s championship. They were tied at 3-under-par 216 after three rounds.

Then they played No. 18 one more time.

“His drive went about 70 yards past where we were standing and expecting it to come,” Mangold said of Garza’s tee shot on the par-5 finale. “He just killed it. And Collins put his tee shot in the rough.”

Garza reached the middle of the green with a 9-iron on his second shot, and two-putted for the winning birdie.

“It was one of the easiest, most cut-and-dry playoffs I’ve ever seen,” said Mangold, 26, a finance officer who played four years of NCAA Division I golf for the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. “It was pretty dominating. He just tapped it in and iced it right there.”

Mangold put his golf game on hold for a couple of years after being commissioned at West Point and serving a tour of duty in Iraq. He shot a 3-under-par 70 in the final round at Ballinrobe to help secure the team title.

“We were all pretty jacked-up for that,” Mangold said. “We had a little pride going and felt like we needed to pull away, and everybody came through on the last day.”

Led by the one-two finish of Air Force Capt. Linda Jeffery and Air Force 2nd Lt. Maria Gronning, Team USA also won the CISM women’s championship.

Jeffery, stationed at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., won the women’s individual crown with a 227 total. Gronning, of Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., was second at 239. They prevailed with a team score of 466.

(Tim Hipps is assigned to the U.S. Army Community and Family Support Center public affairs office.)

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