Holifield captures third title; Acker grabs first
October 8, 2015
WIESBADEN, Germany - Things got interesting along the way. But eventually, Wednesday’s clubhouse leaders became Thursday’s champions.
Stuttgart’s Jordan Holifield and Kaiserslautern’s Jasmin Acker claimed individual DODDS-Europe titles Thursday at Rheinblick Golf Course, each fighting off second-day challenges to claim titles. The championship is the third straight for the junior Holifield, and the first for Acker.
A Raiders sophomore, Acker takes over the crown after a third-place finish as a freshman.
While she knew she was on the short list of title favorites this fall, Acker said she didn’t fully sense that pressure until this week. And she was particularly “tensed up” for Thursday’s final round.
“It didn’t really hit me until we got to Euros,” Acker said.
Nervous or not, the sophomore turned in the numbers she needed to win.
Acker enjoyed a six-point advantage entering Thursday’s second round, but Bitburg sophomore Leigha Daryanani erased that lead over the first nine holes. The two made the turn onto the 10th tee in a tie, with nine holes to go to determine a champion.
Acker opened the decisive stretch with a par on the par-four 10th to secure a lead that held up for the duration. Acker and Daryanani turned in matching birdies on 17, leaving Acker two strokes ahead on the final tee. A bogey on the par-five 18th sealed a 66-62 win over Daryanani under the tournament’s modified Stableford scoring system.
“I redeemed myself on the back, big time,” Acker said.
Holifield too saw his first-day lead slip Thursday, with his seemingly safe 12-point cushion through 18 holes reduced to just five at the halfway point by charging Ramstein challenger Noah Shin. But the seasoned champ was solid enough on the back nine and coasted to a win; Holifield beat Shin 95-85 overall despite Shin besting him by two Stableford points on Thursday.
Despite the win, Holifield wasn’t pleased with his play, saying he “went backwards” from the standards he’d set in previous European tournament wins.
“I couldn’t get any momentum going,” he said.
The presence of some Panther teammates helped Holifield do enough to get by.
“It was a good week with some good people,” Holifield said.
Holifield is now one year away from duplicating the high-school sweep completed last fall by Jenna Eidem. The Wiesbaden phenom won four straight girls titles before moving on to the NCAA.
Eidem’s departure cleared the way for a new girls champion. Daryanani edged Acker by a point for second place last year, prefacing this year’s showdown for the big prize.