Eidem wins second title; Plocek grabs first
Stars and Stripes October 12, 2012
OFTERSHEIM, Germany – Top seeds Jenna Eidem of Wiesbaden and Everett Plocek of Ramstein exceeded their billings, if not their expectations, Friday in winning the 2012 DODDS-Europe golf championships.
Eidem, the defending girls’ champion who led this year’s 36-hole event from wire to wire, rode three birdies, good for 12 points under the Stableford scoring system used by the high schools, to a tourney- and season-best 40 points, almost nine points higher than her four-match season average, and a 79-52 victory over her nearest competitor, Ramstein senior Ashley Kranz.
Plocek, a Ramstein junior who was averaging 44 points-per-round coming in, overcame a three-point first-round deficit with a masterful 48 on Friday that allowed him to defeat teammate and first-round co-leader Christian Gunia of Ramstein 94-89. First-round co-leader and defending champion Joe Patrick of Heidelberg and Bahrain senior Ilya Goniker tied for third with 88 points, but Goniker claimed the bronze medal by a posting a better score on the second designated tiebreaker hole. He had a par-four on the 387-yard No. 5; Patrick recorded a double-bogey six. The two tied on the first tiebreaker hole.
For the leaders, however, the decisive hole was a back-nine monster, longest on the course.
“The turning point was the 14th hole,” said Plocek, who birdied the 536-yard par-5 while Patrick and Gunia struggled. Plocek earned four points for his birdie under the scoring system which awards one point for double-bogey, two for bogey, three for par and four for birdie and six for eagle or ace.
Patrick didn’t score on the hole, picking up his ball when his stroke count hit seven, and Gunia, who blistered the back nine for 27 points on Thursday, settled for double-bogey seven and one point.
The points-swing on 14 signaled the turnabout in the back-nine fortunes for Plocek. He scored just 20 points on Thursday’s final nine, including a triple-bogey seven on No. 10. Friday, he wrested 26 points from the back nine, playing it in one-over-par 37, while Patrick and Gunia earned just 18 and 19 points, respectively.
“They were in a tough position,” Plocek said of the two soon-to-be- former leaders who were still tied at the top at the turn on Friday. “When it’s that close, there’s a lot of pressure.”
There also was lots of pressure, too, on Plocek, who got within two points of the lead at the turn with a front-nine 22, and he dealt with it by staying within himself.
“My plan was to attack the course, to try to stay calm and focused,” he said. “I was disappointed I only gained a stroke at the turn, but I told myself to stay calm.”
Eidem, who entered Friday’s play with a 12-point lead over her closest challenger, thrust the dagger into her pursuers by posting two birdies in her first seven holes on Friday to up her lead to 23 points at the turn.
Starting her round on No. 10, Eidem just missed eagle on the 227-yard, par-4 No. 13, which would have earned her six points. She chipped her second shot to within three feet of the cup, then sank the birdie putt.
“It’s funny,” Eidem said. “In all my practice rounds here, I x’ed-out on that hole. In the tournament, I birdied it each day.”
Eidem, who played her first nine Friday just three-over par, took two x’s on her second nine Friday on the 5,181-yard Heidelberg women’s layout, leaving her short of at least one of her goals here.
“My main focus today was not to x-out on any holes,” she said. “My goal was to shoot 42,” she said, “but I got into trouble on a couple of holes. Forty’s good, but I was hoping for 42.”
As expected, Ramstein again swept both team titles. The Royals’ girls, the only program which qualified a team, had runner-up Kranz, Michelle Turner, Demetrah Lewis and Hannah Davis combine for 159 points.
Ramstein’s boys, posting a 1-2-5-8 finish, romped to a 341-213 victory over Lakenheath, runner-up for the second straight season.