MXS’ short game puts brakes on OSS

MXS’ Kyle Westerman attempts a par-3 putt on the eleventh hole as teammate Tyler Wilson watches quietly from behind at the Tinker Golf Course, May 31. (Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Elliott Scott)

MXS’ Kyle Westerman attempts a par-3 putt on the eleventh hole as teammate Tyler Wilson watches quietly from behind at the Tinker Golf Course, May 31. (Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Elliott Scott)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --

It took just four holes recently to determine what sort of match play it would be between MXS and OSS at the Tinker Golf Club.

Halfway through the back nine, 552nd Maintenance Squadron led by seven and was on their way to a 12-point sweep of Operations Support Squadron in a little more than four hours May 31.

The battle was quietly won thanks largely to MXS’ Tyler Wilson’s consistent putting that spearheaded a team total of six pars and two birdies.
Wilson’s go-to on the green was a customized Cure Putters RX3 with weight added to the heel to compensate for a tendency to push left. “I’m a lefty, so I hit away from me,” said Wilson. “Having more weight on the inside edge allows me to keep my putter straighter and gives me a better hit off the face and better roll ultimately.”

OSS’ Joshua Joseph drove just under 321 yards to cement in one of two sand traps north of the putting green on the 11th hole. OSS had a par 5 to finish 2-up for the round after two rolling putt attempts.

The less-than-ideal placement continued to plague OSS on the 12th hole. Joseph battled the tree line inches from a potential out-of-bounds hazard to find purchase deep in the fairway. Because of match play rules, OSS coach Tim Hyland, whose tenure in intramural golf began in 1986, played his teammate’s ball from the fairway with a power swing to get onto the putting green, only to lose to MXS’ par.

Match play is based on the number of individual holes won instead of overall score. MXS and OSS pitted two teams each against each other: Teams A and Teams B. Two points are awarded to the team with the most holes won on the front nine, the back nine and the most holes won of the 18 played. With two teams, a total of 12 points can be awarded.

Match play adds an additional level of competitiveness to the intramural golf league, said MXS’ Cameron Wight. Not only are players vying against their opponents, but they’re also trying to outperform their teammates who are playing in other matches.

Perhaps it was this same level of competitiveness that drove MXS’ James Emery on Hole 3.

With 4 points having been awarded in the back nine, MXS’ James Emery decided the front nine would be his to lose. A 267-yard tee was the start of a spree that earned his team a birdie with all three strokes belonging to Emery.

Having lost to Emery’s 1-under-par 4, OSS’ John Roe was feeling extra motivated. A sharp, low cut at tree level from the tee, put OSS in place to score a birdie on the 562-yard, par-5 fourth hole. On the third stroke, Roe’s teammate, Ken Landburg, wedged within three feet of the hole for a successful birdie attempt.

Their 1-under-par on the 4th hole was OSS’ last victory of the day.

OSS fell 20-under-par at the clubhouse as a result of unforgiving tee offs and an oh-so-close short game. MXS birdied to earn all possible match play points.

OSS will go for redemption June 14 against the 964th AACS with a scheduled start time of noon on the Tinker Golf Course. MXS is pitted against the 965th AACS on the same day with a start time of 12:40 p.m.