Heinz retains boys’ golf crown, remains undefeated

Stuttgart’s Mark Heinz tees off on the 11th hole Thursday during the DODEA European Golf Championships at Rheinblick Golf Course in Wiesbaden, Germany. (Matt Wagner/Stars and Stripes)

WIESBADEN, Germany – Winning an individual title in any sport isn’t easy. Winning twice in a row is even harder.

Not only did Stuttgart’s Mark Heinz do just that, but he can also say no one beat him in his high school golf career.

The Panther sophomore won a second straight DODEA European Golf Crown on Thursday with a total of 80 points at Rheinblick Golf Course in Wiesbaden, Germany. This extended his unbeaten streak to two consecutive years.

“Really special,” Heinz said of the streak. “It feels really good to (be undefeated).”

Heinz opened day two of the tournament with an eight-point advantage in the modified Stableford scoring system that gives the most points to those with the fewest strokes.

He continually increased that lead until it increased to 21 points after leaving the green on the 18th hole. Casper Waldeck of Napoli was second with 59 points, while Tristin Kim of Wiesbaden came third with 55.

While the course proved to be a challenge for many, it was sometimes the shorter holes that gave Heinz his biggest problems, he said.

The sophomore bugged and doubled the 156-yard, par-3 No. 11 hole over the two days. He said he hasn’t hit his irons well lately, which is why he struggled there.

Aviano's Brian Sanderson prepares to putt on the 18th green Thursday during the DODEA European <a class=Golf Championships at Rheinblick Golf Course in Wiesbaden, Germany.”/>

Aviano’s Brian Sanderson prepares to putt on the 18th green Thursday during the DODEA European Golf Championships at Rheinblick Golf Course in Wiesbaden, Germany. (Matt Wagner/Stars and Stripes)

Heinz made up for it on other holes. On another par-3 in Wednesday’s action, the No. 4 hole, he landed his drive near the pin and managed to collect a birdy.

It’s the kind of performance that Stuttgart coach Herb Silio expects from Heinz.

“He’s just dedicated,” Silio said. “I see his seriousness about it. I see he goes there at least four, five days a week and just works on his game, works on his technique, and we see the dividends. He has a certain natural ability, but he knows he has to devote hours to it. That’s how he gets it.

Now Heinz can focus on getting a rare hat-trick. The sophomore, who said he wanted to play golf in college, said that was the next goal.

“I would love that, yeah,” Heinz said. “I think I have a solid chance of doing it.”

In the team event, Ramstein entered Thursday behind Wiesbaden by 10 points.

Wiesbaden's Jonah Harvey, left, and Napoli's Christian Waldeck watch Harvey's tee shot on the 18th hole Thursday during the DODEA European Golf Championships at Rheinblick Golf Course in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Wiesbaden’s Jonah Harvey, left, and Napoli’s Christian Waldeck watch Harvey’s tee shot on the 18th hole Thursday during the DODEA European Golf Championships at Rheinblick Golf Course in Wiesbaden, Germany. (Matt Wagner/Stars and Stripes)

At the end of the day and after a nervous count by both teams, the Royals were leading the Warriors, 178-171.

First-year coach Kent Enyeart said the Royal golfers told him on the bus ride to Ramstein on Wednesday that they were going to bounce back. Led by Christian McHugh, tied for sixth, the Royals scored 98 points for the comeback win.

“It’s pretty special,” Enyeart said. “We struggled yesterday, but they never lost faith. On the way back they assured me, ‘Hey, don’t worry, coach, we’ve got this.’ I knew it would be close. I know Wiesbaden has a very strong team, but in the end the boys made it.

This was the second consecutive European Golf Championship for the Ramstein Boys. The Royals did so by registering four players in the top 10, despite having only one medalist. The first six were rewarded with medals.

“I was an assistant coach last year, and to be able to carry on the tradition of what Ramstein is and win is really special,” Enyeart said. “Obviously it’s a joy to coach these amazing kids – not just the ones who made the tournament here, but our whole team, the ones we had to leave behind.”

Stuttgart's Mark Heinz swings out of the bunker on the 11th hole Thursday during the DODEA European Golf Championships at Rheinblick Golf Course in Wiesbaden, Germany.  The second Panther repeated as the individual champion.

Stuttgart’s Mark Heinz swings out of the bunker on the 11th hole Thursday during the DODEA European Golf Championships at Rheinblick Golf Course in Wiesbaden, Germany. The second Panther repeated as the individual champion. (Matt Wagner/Stars and Stripes)

Ramstein 178, Wiesbaden 171, Lakenheath 90

1. Mark Heinz (Stu) 36-44_80; 2. Casper Waldeck (Nap) 24-25_59; 3. Tristin Kim (Wie) 26-29_55; 4. Christian Waldeck (Siesta) 28-24_52; T-5. Jonah Harvey (Wie) 26-21_47; T-5. Christian McHugh (Aries) 21-26_47; T-7. Ethan Kim (Ram) 23-22_45; T-7. Colton Lucas (Aries) 19-26_45; 9. Jonas Rothas (Lak) 21-20_41; 10. Liam O’Brien (Ram) 14-24_38.