Jan. 6, 2014
Air Force senior Kyle Westmoreland made the most of his holiday break by winning the prestigious Patriot All-America Golf Invitational on the Gold Course at The Wigwam in Litchfield Park, Ariz. Westmoreland, one of 84 participants in the tournament, defeated University of Texas senior Toni Hakula on the sixth playoff hole after each finished 54 holes with a five-under par total of 205.
Westmoreland, who led by one shot after the second round, fired a one-under par 69 in the final round Tuesday and birdied the 18th hole to force the playoff. Hakula, who birdied the final two holes of regulation play to get to -5, is the eighth-ranked amateur golfer in the world according to GolfWeek Magazine and was the runner-up at the 2013 British Amateur Championships earlier this year.
“I can’t say enough about Kyle,” said Air Force head coach George Koury. “Chris (Wilson, AFA assistant coach) and I are very proud of him. His accomplishments on the course are amazing, but the way he represents the Academy on a daily basis is unmatched. This is by far the biggest win in the history of our program.”
In cooperation with the Folds of Honor Foundation, each participant in the tournament represents a fallen service member. Westmoreland is representing Air Force Major Lucas Gruenther, an F-16 pilot stationed at Aviano Air Force Base and a 2003 graduate of the Air Force Academy, who was killed on Jan. 28, 2013 during a training mission over the Adriatic Ocean in Italy. Gruenther was a team manager for the golf team all four years at the Academy.