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Wiesbaden's Clayton Shenk chips on to the green in opening day action at the DODEA-Europe high school golf championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Oct. 9, 2019. Shenk took the lead with a modified Stableford score of 39 points going in to Thursday's final round.

Wiesbaden's Clayton Shenk chips on to the green in opening day action at the DODEA-Europe high school golf championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Oct. 9, 2019. Shenk took the lead with a modified Stableford score of 39 points going in to Thursday's final round. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)

Wiesbaden's Clayton Shenk chips on to the green in opening day action at the DODEA-Europe high school golf championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Oct. 9, 2019. Shenk took the lead with a modified Stableford score of 39 points going in to Thursday's final round.

Wiesbaden's Clayton Shenk chips on to the green in opening day action at the DODEA-Europe high school golf championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Oct. 9, 2019. Shenk took the lead with a modified Stableford score of 39 points going in to Thursday's final round. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)

Vilseck's Anniston Fees watches her putt roll towards the hole in opening day action at the DODEA-Europe high school golf championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Oct. 9, 2019. Fees scored a modified Stableford 19 points to lead going in to Thursday's final round.

Vilseck's Anniston Fees watches her putt roll towards the hole in opening day action at the DODEA-Europe high school golf championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Oct. 9, 2019. Fees scored a modified Stableford 19 points to lead going in to Thursday's final round. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)

Ramstein's Ben Todman follows his tee shot on the first day of the DODEA-Europe high school golf championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Oct. 9, 2019. Todman is in second going in to tomorrow's final round with a Stableford 37.

Ramstein's Ben Todman follows his tee shot on the first day of the DODEA-Europe high school golf championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Oct. 9, 2019. Todman is in second going in to tomorrow's final round with a Stableford 37. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)

Ramstein's Harley Parks is in second place going in to Thursday's final round of the DODEA-Europe high school golf championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Oct. 9, 2019. She scored a modified Stableford 16 points on opening day.

Ramstein's Harley Parks is in second place going in to Thursday's final round of the DODEA-Europe high school golf championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Oct. 9, 2019. She scored a modified Stableford 16 points on opening day. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)

Ramstein's Micah Webb makes a putt in opening day  action at the DODEA-Europe high school golf championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Oct. 9, 2019. He is third going in to Thursday's final, three points behind the leader after posting a modified Stableford 36 points.

Ramstein's Micah Webb makes a putt in opening day action at the DODEA-Europe high school golf championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Oct. 9, 2019. He is third going in to Thursday's final, three points behind the leader after posting a modified Stableford 36 points. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)

Kaiserslautern's Mathias Perrin watches his tee shot on the par-4 eighth hole on opening day action at the DODEA-Europe high school golf championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Oct. 9, 2019. His shot landed less than a foot from the cup and he sank the putt for an eagle.

Kaiserslautern's Mathias Perrin watches his tee shot on the par-4 eighth hole on opening day action at the DODEA-Europe high school golf championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Oct. 9, 2019. His shot landed less than a foot from the cup and he sank the putt for an eagle. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)

Lakenheah's Prasila Castro watches her chip fly towards the hole during opening day action at the DODEA-Europe high school golf championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Oct. 9, 2019. Castro scored a modified Stableford 3 points on the day.

Lakenheah's Prasila Castro watches her chip fly towards the hole during opening day action at the DODEA-Europe high school golf championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Oct. 9, 2019. Castro scored a modified Stableford 3 points on the day. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)

Spangdahlem's Aspen Thomas chips to the green on opening day of the DODEA-Europe high school golf championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Oct. 9, 2019.  She scored a modified Stableford 5 points for the day.

Spangdahlem's Aspen Thomas chips to the green on opening day of the DODEA-Europe high school golf championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, Oct. 9, 2019. She scored a modified Stableford 5 points for the day. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)

Ramstein's Matt Miller putts on the day's final hole at the DODEA-Europe high school golf championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, as teammate Chris Angeles, Stuttgart's Jonathan Keathley and Kaiserslautern's Mathias Perrin watch. The tourney wraps up tomorrow, Oct. 10 at Rheinblick Golf Club.

Ramstein's Matt Miller putts on the day's final hole at the DODEA-Europe high school golf championships in Wiesbaden, Germany, as teammate Chris Angeles, Stuttgart's Jonathan Keathley and Kaiserslautern's Mathias Perrin watch. The tourney wraps up tomorrow, Oct. 10 at Rheinblick Golf Club. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)

WIESBADEN, Germany — The rain set in about halfway through Wednesday’s opening round of the 2019 DODEA-Europe good championship tournament, turning an already sluggish day on the links into a full-on slog.

Inclement weather threatened all morning as the boys and girls players embarked on a methodical circuit around a Rheinblick Golf Course already saturated with the rainwater of preceding days. The steady gloominess gave way to a regulation downpour soon after the leading foursomes had made their turn to the second set of nine holes.

The golfers admitted that the conditions had a real impact on their games.

“I think most of it was mental,” Ramstein junior Micah Webb said. “It kind of messes with your head.”

But Webb, one of two Royals in Wednesday’s top foursome as the school defends its European team title, ended up in a good place both psychologically and statistically.

“I made a plan of what I was going to do and I stuck to it,” said Webb, who fulfilled his goal of cracking the top three at the midway point. “I got right where I wanted to be...I was happy.”

Wiesbaden contender Clayton Shenk was dealing with the pressure of his DODEA-Europe postseason debut along with the suboptimal conditions. But the Warrior freshman persevered, producing a modified Stableford score of 39 points that landed him atop the leaderboard entering Thursday’s final 18 holes.

“I guess the weather did kind of affect me,” Shenk said. “But there’s always going to be weather. So you just have to learn to fight through it.”

Shenk produced one of the day’s signature highlights, placing his approach shot on the final hole within four feet of the hole and capping his round with a birdie putt he hopes provides “a good boost for tomorrow.”

The freshman frontrunner will need more of that to hold off the field. Ramstein’s Ben Todman, the tournament’s top returning performer after a third-place showing a year ago, is lurking just two points off the pace at the midway point of the tournament, while teammate Webb is just three points behind. Vilseck’s Rian Ritter played his way up from the tournament’s fourth group with a strong 31-point showing. On the girls side, returning contenders Anniston Fees of Vilseck and Harley Parks of Ramstein resumed what Fees called a “super-friendly” rivalry after battling for third place a year ago. Fees turned in a 19 and Parks posted 16 points on Wednesday to set up Thursday’s battle for the individual title.

“Whoever wins, wins,” Fees said. “It’ll be fun.”

While she faced the same cloudy adversity as anyone else on the course Wednesday, Fees responded by radiating positivity.

“It’s raining, it’s wet, it’s hard to grip your club. Nothing goes quite right.” Fees said. “We kept our heads on straight and did the best with what we had.

“I just kept smiling.”

broome.gregory@stripes.com Twitter: @broomestripes


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