Fort Sill duo captures Labor Day Golf Championship

Albert Johnson, left, and Kolby Seals discuss strategy on the green during the Labor Day Golf Tournament at the Tinker Golf Course on Sept. 3. (Air Force photo by John E. Banks)

Albert Johnson, left, and Kolby Seals discuss strategy on the green during the Labor Day Golf Tournament at the Tinker Golf Course on Sept. 3. (Air Force photo by John E. Banks)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE -- While most of the Tinker workforce was experiencing the enjoyment of sunny skies and calm waters on the lakes of Oklahoma or the fresh smell of barbeque, a select group of golfers were testing their wares at Tinker Golf Course during the 2007 Labor Day Championship.
   The tournament is an annual event with golfers from Fort Sill, Altus Air Force Base and Tinker competing in three separate rounds of golf. The first round was a best ball format, the second round was an alternate shot format and the third was a combination of the first two.
   The tournament was divided into three flights: Augusta, Southern Hills and Oakmont.
   The first round of the Augusta Flight saw the duo of Albert Johnson and Kolby Seals outdistancing the field by shooting a team score of 68, four under par. This put them six shots ahead of their nearest competition of Mike Harris and Bryan Tatum, who shot a 74.
   As both groups headed into the second round, each was extremely confident.
   "I feel great today and with my power hitting teammate, I think we can stay with these guys," Harris said.
   Harris and Tatum took advantage in the first three holes of the second round. But, Johnson and Seals took over with a birdie on the fourth hole, while Harris and Tatum scored a quintuple bogey.
   "It was an uphill battle after that mental mistake," said Harris.
   In the final round, Johnson and Seals continued their dominance with a 6-under par 30 for the front nine.
   "We were able to hit every shot we wanted and we made no mental errors," said Johnson.
   They were paired against David Frost and Brian Valdez, who played consistent golf but were unable to make any headway.
   "We could not buy a putt and they nailed everything in sight," Frost said.
   The great play of Johnson and Seals continued through the back nine as they birdied the first six holes. The final round score of 60 was one of the lowest ever recorded at the Tinker Golf Course.
   "The key to victory was playing with a great partner," Johnson said. "We were able to drive the ball well and that made our short game and putting that much easier."
   Harris and Tatum took second place in the Augusta Flight and Frost and Valdez finished third.
   The other two flights also crowned their champions. The Southern Hills Flight winner was Bo Hart and Neal Miller, shooting a score of 228. Hart also received the closest to the pin award on hole No. 2 with a first-round shot that landed 3 feet from the cup.
   Tom Hesslink and Richard Ogger, who finished the championship with a score of 234, were winners of the Oakmont Flight. The top three finishers all received gift certificates from the Tinker Golf Course along with a sleeve of golf balls.