Scaled-down European high school golf tournament begins Thursday
A pared-down, one-size-fits-all European high school golf championship begins its two-day run Thursday at Rheinblick Golf Course in the hilltop Wiesbaden suburb of Frauenstein.
Tournament director Bob Voce of Schweinfurt said Tuesday that golfers representing eight schools will tee off on Rheinblick’s challenging course. The boys will play on a 6,239-yard layout and the girls on a 5,631-yard course.
First-day play, he said, will be stroke scoring for everyone. On Friday, the leaders will continue with stroke play in a championship flight, with the rest of the field reverting to the Stableford scoring used throughout the four-week regular season.
“There will only be one championship,” Voce said, “because there weren’t enough Division II and III teams entering.”
Other than Division I schools Heidelberg, Kaiserslautern, Lakenheath, Patch and Ramstein, only defending II-III champion Rota will enter a boys team.
Rota enters no girls, while Vilseck of D-II and Lajes of D-IV are sending only girls.
Among the teams unrepresented will be Würzburg, the reigning girls champion. The school, hit by a population drawdown, was unable to field a team this season.
Neither of last year’s individual champions — Chris Hustead of Ramstein and Kayle Helton of Würzburg — returned this season, so their titles are up for grabs.
“If I had to pick a winner,” Voce said, “I’d have to go with (Ben) Antonic of Kaiserslautern.” He did not hazard a guess on the girls champ.
Antonic, a senior, was among last year’s favorites before Rheinblick’s difficult course derailed his bid on the final day’s back nine. Still, Voce said, he believes the participants like playing the season-finale at Rheinblick.
“The players say it’s hard,” he said, “but they think that because no one really plays it all the time, it makes the tournament more fair. It’s a neutral course.”
In addition to Antonic, top boys scorers this season include Alex Christ, Chris Halbritter and Nick Delgado of Rota; Kyle Tyree, Josiah Almosara, Kai Pope and Marshall Webb of Lakenheath; Stewart Dines, Michael Haas, Craig Herron, Matt Wiederholt, Gavon Byrd, Adrian Conrad, Hank Moll, Stephan Braden, Ben Myer and Eric Mosley of defending D-I champion Ramstein, and Drew Tribble of Patch.
Ramstein’s Allysen Vance and Melissa Englebaum, Kaiserslautern’s Barbara Burris, Lakenheath’s Molly Henage, Heidelberg’s Missy Guelle and Patch’s Laura Habel appear to be headed for the girls championship flight.
“It should be a tight tournament,” Ramstein coach Kent Grosshuesch said. “Rota, Lakenheath, Ramstein and Patch have enough good golfers to take it.”