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Hole lot of champion

Posted 11/23/2010   Updated 11/23/2010 Email story   Print story

    


by Senior Airman Claire Behney
193rd Special Operations Wing


11/23/2010 - LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. -- As a traditional Guardsman, Tech. Sgt. Brent Will, 193rd Special Operations Wing, command support staff, wears many hats - husband, father, son, Airman, friend, employee and most recently a 2010 Counseil International du Sports Militaire Golf Championship qualifier. When Sergeant Will started playing golf at age 16 he never thought that at age 35 he would be qualifying to represent the United States at the CISM Golf Championship, but on Oct. 26 at Langley Air Force Base, Va., he did just that. However, before Sergeant Will could boast the honor of being a 2010 CISM participant, he had to survive the selection process and overcome two major tournament challenges: the 2010 Air Force Golf Championship and the 2010 Armed Forces Golf Championship. Sergeant Will said he was shocked when he heard the news from Tech. Sgt. David Durham, Wing administrator, that he had made the cut and was selected to play in the 2010 Air Force Golf Championship. "I called my wife right away to tell her the news and she was excited for me- there really was just a whole lot of excitement," said Sergeant Will. While he displayed excitement when calling his wife, that wasn't immediately translated when Sergeant Durham delivered the news to Sergeant Will. "Sergeant Will has a very patient and calm demeanor, maybe that's why he has a zero handicap, but he later indicated that he was shaking with excitement," said Sergeant Durham of the phone conversation the two had. Having a zero handicap, meaning he shoots on average par every hole, certainly came in handy when it came to applying for the tournaments. An Airman must submit an Air Force Form 303, which Sergeant Will said is like applying for a job because a list of recent golf accomplishments is required as well as a block to explain why an individual should be selected to play. He applied in 2009, but was not selected. To be selected for these tournaments is an accomplishment in itself because they are open Air Force wide. For Sergeant Durham, Sergeant Will's selection as a participant was a reflection of his personal and Air Force principles. "I think it's another example of the diverse representation the 193rd Special Operations Wing provides," said Sergeant Durham. "Focus, skill-set and goal achievement are the tools Sergeant Will instills in his game play--which is expected coming from an organization that fosters these same ideals." About a month after being notified Sergeant Will, an Enola, Pa., resident, joined 29 other Airmen from around the world to compete in the 2010 Air Force Golf Championship hosted at Eaglewood Golf Course of Langley AFB. The top six men and top three women of the tournament advanced to represent the Air Force in the 2010 Armed Forces Golf Championship. "My goal going into the Air Force Championship was to make the Air Force team so I could participate in the Armed Forces Championship," said Sergeant Will, a civilian contractor with the Defense Information Systems Agency, Navy Depot, Mechanicsburg, Pa. After shooting four 18-hole-rounds of golf over the course of four days, Sergeant Will met his goal. He tied for fourth place at a score of 298, qualifying him to play on the Air Force team at the Armed Forces Golf Championship. A week later during the Armed Forces Golf Championship at Eaglewood Golf Course, Sergeant Will once again tied for fourth place with a score of 298 after four days of play. Finishing within the top six afforded him the opportunity to represent the United States in the 2010 CISM Golf Championship, Karachi, Pakistan, Nov. 25 - Dec. 2. However, due to security reasons the CISM tournament has been cancelled. "I think I played pretty well in both tournaments, but my nerves really got to me and affected my performance," said Sergeant Will, who tries to play golf at least once week. "On the fourth days of play the risk of not making the teams is really what led to me being nervous, but it all worked out." The Air Force golf team won the 2010 Armed Forces Golf Championship, Sergeant Will said. Sergeant Will is able to draw a parallel between his life as a golfer and an Airman, revealing that both require individual accountability and responsibility for the team. "As an Airman, I have individual priorities, but in the big picture I'm a part of a team or office," said Sergeant Will. "When something arises that I cannot address, I can turn to a fellow Airman and ask them for advice or assistance. In this instance, as an individual, I accomplished my goals of making the CISM team, but being a part of the winning team earned me a gold medal for our team efforts." Being a golf champion is nothing new to Sergeant Will. When he was in high school, attending Chestnut Ridge High School, New Paris, Pa., he made the school's district golf team and during his collegiate play, made the Clarion University all-conference team. He also won the title of club champion at Armitage Golf Club, Mechanicsburg, Pa., in 2006, 2008 and 2010. Sergeant Will said he usually finishes in the top 10 of local tournaments, most recently in the Harrisburg District Individual Amateur Championship and Harrisburg District Open Championship. As for a professional run, Sergeant Will said he's more focused on his family. "The people at the professional level are at a whole other degree higher than anyone can fathom," said Sergeant Will. "I'm just going to continue to play in amateur events and reapply in 2011 for the Air Force and Armed Forces Tournaments."



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