Mendez, Smythe keep leads, win DODDS-Europe golf titles
WIESBADEN-DOTZHEIM, Germany — Wednesday’s leaders became Thursday’s champions in the DODDS-Europe high school golf championships.
Gilbert Mendez of Rota, who scored 41 Stableford points Wednesday on the par-72, 6,239-yard Rheinblick Golf Course, added 40 Thursday to beat Division III champion Charles Otterstedt of Baumholder by four points.
In the girls field, Division I champion Frances Smythe of Würzburg expanded her 12-point first-round lead to 17 on Thursday by adding on 26 points.
Scoring is based one point for double-bogey, two for bogey, three for par, four for birdie and six for eagle or ace.
Smythe, a long-hitting sophomore, admitted to jitters in spite of her big first-day lead.
“I was still scared,” she said. “I was shaking when we started.”
That didn’t last long. Smythe waltzed past runner-up Sarah Wells of Lakenheath 50-23 on the 5,631-yard girls layout.
“My driving was good today,” said Smythe, who recorded the longest tee-shot by a girl on Thursday to back up her statement.
Mendez said his driver wasn’t all that proficient.
“I struggled with my drive today,” said Mendez, a junior who placed third in last week’s Division III meet at Baumholder. “I hit a few trees.”
He also hit a lot of greens Thursday despite his long-game difficulties. He earned his final points of the day with a 54-foot chip that bounced into the 18th hole. It was his second birdie of the round and fifth of the tournament.
Mendez’s final chip-in ended all hope for Otterstedt, the Division III champion. Otterstedt had a pair of birdies Thursday en route to a 41 that moved him to 77 points. He sank a left-breaking 10-foot birdie putt on nine, and an 8-foot birdie putt on 16 to close to 77-75, but Mendez’s chip ended the match with Otterstedt lying four on the green of the 480-yard par-five finishing hole.
Third place went to Mendez’s teammate Jason Allard, who finished with 75 points. Allard won the tiebreaker for third place over John Hunt of Kaiserslautern.
Heidelberg’s Justin Makar posted the best round of the tournament, a 45, to finish fifth with 73 points. Makar didn’t break par on any hole, but had 11 pars.
“I started out really well,” Makar said.
“My chipping and putting were much better today.”
As were the conditions. Although intermittent recent rains left the course very soft, the strong winds that struck earlier in the week calmed, helping the scoring.
There was no team scoring.