Holifield completes high school golf sweep
October 6, 2016
WIESBADEN, Germany -- Jordan Holifield earned a wire-to-wire victory on Thursday, in more ways than one.
The Stuttgart senior completed a runaway win in the 2016 DODEA-Europe boys golf championship tournament, finishing 22 points ahead of his nearest rival with 103 Stableford points over the two-day event. In the process, Holifield wrapped up a four-year run of high school championships that started with his surprise victory as a newly arrived freshman in 2013 and ended with a 2016 rout that was all but inevitable.
Holifield said he maintained his focus despite the lack of equitable competition by concentrating on two things: the team points race, which Stuttgart won ahead of second-place Ramstein, and rising to meet his own elevated expectations.
“You just think about that round and that shot that’s at hand,” Holifield said, adding that his goal was to “hit the shots that I know I’m capable of hitting.”
Holifield immediately added to the nine-point lead he brought into Thursday as his lead ballooned to 16 at the turn. Though he was visibly displeased with his own performance down the stretch, Holifield finished off the win and his DODEA-Europe career with a solid 28-point effort on the back nine, which combined with his 24-point front nine gave him 52 points in the second round to add to his 51-point effort Wednesday.
The win completed a remarkably consistent DODEA-Europe run for Holifield. As a freshman, Holifield scored 98 points to earn a three-point win. A year later, he scored 101 points in a 10-point triumph. Last year, his score of 95 was good enough for another 10-point victory. This year, Holifield’s margin of victory was nearly as big as all three of those years combined.
Given that escalating dominance, the rest of the non-senior DODEA-Europe boys golf field is happy to enter a new era.
Much like the graduation of dominant four-time champion Jenna Eidem opened the European title to new girls challengers last year, the forced end of Holifield’s reign now makes the title accessible to a pack of rising DODEA-Europe hopefuls. Many of those populated the leaderboard below Holifield on Thursday.
Wiesbaden sophomore Bryan Cortese finished second with 81 points. Ramstein junior Jonathan Ciero finished third at 79, while Kaiserslautern sophomore Kaden Senkbeil took fourth with 76.
Senkbeil was again frustrated with his performance Thursday, but vowed to use the disappointment as “motivation” for future success.
“I feel like I worked a lot harder than how I scored,” Senkbeil said. “I’m going to work even harder to do even better next year.”
Ciero ended his round in jubilation after sinking a long putt from the edge of the 18th green, a fittingly celebratory end for a player that maintained an upbeat attitude throughout the 36 holes. And like his returning peers, he looks forward to a 2017 tournament free of Holifield’s tyranny atop the leaderboard.
“I’m excited to see who rises up,” Ciero said.