Jeff Hallauer putts his way toward a two-over 74 and his fourth straight U.S. Forces-Europe golf championship on Sunday.

Jeff Hallauer putts his way toward a two-over 74 and his fourth straight U.S. Forces-Europe golf championship on Sunday. (Rusty Bryan / S&S)

OFTERSHEIM, Germany — For Jeff Hallauer, there’s no place like home.

“It’s nice to win here on my home course,” Hallauer said after firing a 2-over-par 74 on Sunday to win a fourth straight U.S. Forces Europe golf championship. “It was fun.”

Much of the fun came from totaling a 2-over 218 in the three-day, 54-hole tournament, good enough by five strokes to clinch a fifth title in six years.

Hallauer dueled Joe Stenovitch, a Special Forces recruiter in Heidelberg, for the first two days of the tournament before putting him away on Sunday. Stenovitch trailed Hallauer by one stroke going into the final round, but shot 78 on Sunday after Hallauer applied the pressure with a 1-under 35 on the front nine.

“I felt it starting to get away from me on the 10th hole,” Stenovitch said. “It’s tough to beat a good golfer on his home course.”

If Heidelberg’s 6,257-yard layout is Hallauer’s home, the front nine must seem as cozy to him as his bedroom. Hallauer shot a 4-under 32 on the front on Saturday, punctuating his outbound trip with four straight birdies heading into the turn.

“I got on a streak,” Hallauer said about his five birdies on the front Saturday. “I just started making putts.”

Hallauer gave back two of those strokes on Saturday’s back nine, but still posted a tournament-best 70 for 144. Stenovitch, who opened with a 71 on Friday, shot 74 on Saturday for 145.

Four golfers broke par in at least one round — Hallauer with a 70 and 71s by Stenovitch on Friday and by Timothy Tholen of Camp Darby, Italy, and Roger Verville of Heidelberg on Sunday.

Women’s champion Simone Beltz of Heidelberg didn’t let the lack of any other female players faze her, posting rounds of 80, 81 and 79 for a 240 score on the women’s 5,181-yard layout. Dale Greenberg of Garmisch, playing his first USFE event, shot 243 to win the eight-man seniors event for golfers 50 and older. Greenberg finished two strokes ahead of Heidelberg’s Thomas Saxon.

“I’m a short hitter,” Greenberg said, “so this course (5,517 yards for seniors) suited my game.”

It suits Hallauer’s game, too. Hallauer won the first of his four straight titles here, then triumphed at Stuttgart and Wiesbaden’s hilly Rheinblick layout last year before coming home again.

Hallauer expects his streak to end with this tournament.

“It’s probably my last one,” he said. “Like everyone else, I’m PCSing.”

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