Benny the Beaver would feel right at home at Rogue Valley Country Club today.
Benny the Beaver would feel right at home at Rogue Valley Country Club today.
The four remaining golfers in the Southern Oregon Golf Championships men's regular division all have connections with Oregon State University.
Defending champion Kevin Murphy has verbally committed to play there, Mike Barry and Joey Rossknecht both competed there and R.O. Gamez is working alongside a former Beaver and SOGC competitor — Casey King — at Tokatee Golf Club.
They'll all be showing off what they've learned today in the semifinals, where school spirit should be just as high as competitive spirit.
The 18-year-old Murphy, who will be a senior at Rogue River High, beat Jimmy White, 3 and 2 on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Rossknecht was a 2-up winner over Brandon Taylor, Barry downed Daniel Schuler, 4 and 3, and Gamez picked up a 2-and-1 victory over Jon Robinson.
The four survivors will tee off at 1:10 p.m. today on the original course.
Murphy was successful in what he described as a day-long damage-control situation. His drives were off, he said, but his short game forgave those long-distance transgressions.
His circumstance may have been best encapsulated on No. 15. Murphy, who led by three strokes, found himself in the sand with a tree directly in front of him after he went with a rarely used hybrid club off the tee box. His bunker shot left him about 25 feet away from the cup, but the future Beaver worried not, smoothly draining the jaw-dropping putt.
A hole later, Murphy had to take a drop after he pulled his approach shot, which drifted onto the cart path. But his ensuing chip dazzled, falling to within two feet of the pin.
White conceded the hole and was just off on his eagle putt, which he needed to perpetuate play.
"What was working was my short game for sure," said Murphy, who starts school on Wednesday. "I was getting everything up and down. I didn't hit very many greens today, which was the exact opposite of yesterday. Yesterday I wasn't really making putts but was hitting a lot of greens. Today I was not hitting the ball well, but was getting up and down and making some long putts."
Murphy took the lead on No. 9, went up 2 on No. 12 and then increased his advantage to 3 on No. 13.
Next up for the teenager is Rossknecht, the boys golf coach at North Valley High and a former OSU golfer.
Like Murphy, Rossknecht's key moment came on No. 15. Up 2, he faced an eight-foot putt for par and Taylor faced a 10-foot putt for birdie. Rossknecht made his and Taylor missed, giving him a three-stroke lead with three holes to go.
But Taylor eagled the next hole and Rossknecht birdied it. To make matters worse for Rossknecht, he three-putted on No. 17 for bogey, and suddenly was only up 1 entering the last hole.
"And then surprisingly I was relatively calm and made birdie on the last hole and won the match," he said. "Based on past years, I have had trouble closing out matches. The situation gets the best of me. I doubt myself. I've made bogey on 18 for the last three years in position to win or close out the match. I've made a bogey and then lost the playoff hole ... (Today) I wasn't all that optimistic, but for whatever reason I hit some good shots and rolled in a birdie putt. It was redemption."
In an upset, Jay Klemp defeated former champion Brad Bills 2-up in the junior-senior championship flight.
Klemp said a strong start helped set the tone for his memorable day with his friend, whom he plays with often at Centennial Golf Club in Medford. The two, along with Glen Clark, enjoy a skins game on Friday afternoons.
"Brad made some great putts that just didn't go in," Klemp said.
Now, Klemp and others will be looking for some Sunday and Monday enjoyment.
S.O. Golf Championships
MEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT
Kevin Murphy d. Jimmy White, 3 and 2; Joey Rossknecht d. Brandon Taylor, 2 up; Mike Barry d. Daniel Schuler, 4 and 3; R.O. Gamez d. Jon Robinson 2 and 1.
MEN'S FIRST FLIGHT
Alex Hobson d. Alfonoso Powers, 2 and 1; Taylor Garbutt d. Kevin Blum, 1 up; Ryan Schaefer d. Michael Standfield, 4 and 3; Ryan Hawkins d. Brandon Fields, 6 and 5.
MEN'S SECOND FLIGHT
Jamie Burton d. Taylor Klemp, 1 up; Jerry Johnson d. Mark Wilson, 4 and 2; Erik Hill d. Trevor Telford, 2 and 1; Jeremy Burrows d. Ty Kohler, 3 and 2.
MEN'S THIRD FLIGHT
Justin Wise d. Michael Boffin 1 up; Orette Facey d. Jake Grondin, 2 and 1; Eric Engelbach d. Mike Payne, 20th, Benjamin Wright d. Charlie Moore, 4 and 3.
MEN'S FOURTH FLIGHT
M. Eschenbacher d. Jordan Anderson, 1 up; Bobby Foote d. Matt Stringer, 1 up; Jeff Barry d. Michael Richardson, 1 up; Ryan Suvoy d. Tom Leavens 1 up.
MEN'S FIFTH FLIGHT
Steve Bernard d. Derron Moreland, 5 and 4; Ryan Kantor d. James Jones, 1 up; Tony Fazzolari d. Jonathan Portz, 2 and 1; Curtis Wagoner d. Rick Nelson, 4 and 2.
MEN'S SIXTH FLIGHT
Chad Cota d. Eric Baker, 3 and 2; David Cuttrell d. Joe Arensen, 1 up; John Murphy Jr. d. Alan DeCourcey, 5 and 4; Scott Weiland d. Cody Stover, 1 up.
MEN'S SEVENTH FLIGHT
Brady Rice d. Brian Carr, 3 and 2; Chase Schumacher d. Colln Krueger, 19th, Jonathan Purtzer d. Ralph Wallis III, 4 and 3; Darrell Flora Jr. d. Scott Hansen, 1 up.
MEN'S EIGHTH FLIGHT
Jon Ausland d. Steve Ferreira, 1 up; Daryn Clark d. Rick Lozano, 1 up; Matt Hansen d. Phillip Heiner, 3 and 2; William Riddle d. Josh Huffman, 7 and 5.
MEN'S NINTH FLIGHT
Andy McHugh d. Thomas Hamlin, 1 up; Greg Jacobs d. Dave Barney, 2 and 1; Richard Buchler d. Craig Brown, 4 and 2; Jim Corbett d. Don Shanklin, 5 and 4.
MEN'S TENTH FLIGHT
Scott Entiger d. John Hernandez, 1 up; Jad Dckson d. Scott Sterton, 21st; Tanner Lawton d. Kevin Anderson, 1 up; Scott Anderson d. Chris Miller, 4 and 2.
MEN'S ELEVENTH FLIGHT
Jim Stormo d. Steve Mast, 3 and 2; Lynn Knight d. Mathew Daniken, 1 up; Ben Humphrey d. Nic Corbett, 5 and 4; Josh Godfrey d. Jeremy Ross, 6 and 5.
JR./SR. CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT
Jay Klemp d. Brad Bills, 2 up; Don Gorman d. Hank Munn, 2 and 1. Erick Doolen d. Tim Hornecker, 21st; Keith Dierkes d. Tommy Smith, 2 up.
JR./SR. FIRST FLIGHT
Bret Breeze d. David Culbertson, 2 and 1; Steve Taormino d. Dale Eklund, 2 up; Todd Neilson d. Jason Cox, 1 up; Mark Holden d. Derek Davis, 21st.
JR./SR. SECOND FLIGHT
Brian Adolph d. Rob Neff, 20th, D. Robinson d. Steve Connell, 1 up Glenn Kilroy d. Todd Otenson d. 1 up; Rick Jackson d. Craig Knips, 4 and 3.
JR./SR. THIRD FLIGHT
Dave Judd d. M. Laurance, 6 and 5; Eddie Bostwick d. Eric Artner, 4 and 3; Brent Barr d. Kevin Jones 1up; D. Westbrook d. Kevin Jones 1up.
JR./SR. FOURTH FLIGHT
Rich Warner d. Scott Reed, 1up; Dennis Richards d. Gregg Hall, 1up; Alex Mann def. Tom Jones, 3 and 2; G. Humphrey d. Jerry Quast, 5 and 4.
JR./SR. FIFTH FLIGHT
John Hall d. Les Cracraft, 1 up; James Parsley d. John Walker, 1 up; Joe Mahar d. Jerome Kersey, 1 up; Matt Sorenson d. Terry Clement, 1 up.
JR./SR. SIXTH FLIGHT
Bud Bowie def. Lance Hunter, 1 up; Brian Mosier d. Mike Jones, 2 and 1;Don Boucher d. Jim Retzlaff, 1 up; Tony Nieto d. Michael Diehl, 1 up.
JR./SR. SEVENTH FLIGHT
C. Carrigan d. James Figueroa, 3 and 2; J. Salamone d. Kevin Gowland, 3 and 2; Jack Lewis d. Mark Chatelain, 5 and 4; Mike Snyder d. Jeffrey Adamson, 5 and 3.
SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT
Kevin Klabunde d. Alex Merkner, 3 and 2; Mark Wilson d. Bob Cox, 7 and 6; Glen Clark d. Robert Husel, 2 and 1; Steven Wood d. M. Holman, 19th.
SENIOR FIRST FLIGHT
Jerry Eklund d. Bob Crews, 1 up; Terry Anderson d. Howard Hunt, 1 up; Ken Stringer d. Larry Garvin, 9 and 8; Jim McCabe d. Mel Friend, 1 up.
SENIOR SECOND FLIGHT
Norm Veronneau d. Ron Howard, 3 up; Mark Slezak d. Dane Smith, 3 and 2; Ron Harvey d. Steve Ausland 2 and 1; Ron Lewis d. Gary Gage, 2 and 1.
SENIOR SIXTH FLIGHT
Shane Thurston d. Mark Fawver, 1up; John Lawton d. Brad Heilman, 2 up; Dan Marshall d. D. Heatherington, 2 and 1; Kevin Aguirre d. James Palazzolo, 2 and 1.
SENIOR SEVENTH FLIGHT
Michael Armitage d. Ralph Perry, 2 up; Tom Jamison d. Mike Confer, 6 and 4; Darrell Hunt d. Jeffrey Blum, 3 and 2; Chuck Cranese d. Al Proctor, 2 up.
SUPER SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT
George Mack d. Tom Fischer, 2 and 1; Bob Harrell d. Dan Dixon, 2 and 1.
SUPER SENIOR FIRST FLIGHT
James Achenbach d. Dick Brekke, 4 and 3; Fred Ferreira d. Thad Hodgdon, 3 and 2.
SUPER SENIOR SECOND FLIGHT
Michael Miller d. Dave Mansfield, 4 and 3; Arn Whitol d. John Kruesi, 3 and 2; Bruce MacDonald d. Dick Entinger, 3 and 2; Jim Hatton d. Mike Hornbeck, 2 and 1.
SUPER SENIOR THIRD FLIGHT
Ron Primasing d. Mike Anthony, 1 up; Harvey Myers d. Tom Hamlin, 1 up; Larry Schmaltz d. Chuck Kenney, 4 and 2; Gary Mann d. Dennis Ramsden, 2 and 1.
SUPER SENIOR FOURTH FLIGHT
Ron Dixon d. David Rasmussen, 1 up; M. Goldman d. John Root, 1 up.
SUPER SENIOR FIFTH FLIGHT
Fuzz Primasing d. Dick Kari, 3 and 2; Robert Methvin d. G. Carrigan,4 and 3.
SUPER SENIOR SIXTH FLIGHT
Bob Hutchins d. John Anhorn, 4 and 3; Bob Ferrari d. Ray Smith, 1 up.
SUPER SENIOR SEVENTH FLIGHT
Bob Reed d. Ronald Van Vleet, 1 up; James Adamson d. Bob Glover, 1 up.
WOMEN CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT
Kelly Loeb d. Amanda Nealy, 3 and 2; Tiffany Schoning d. Nettie Morrison, 3 and 2; Trina Jones d. Calista Crenshaw, 5 and 4; Amy Anderson d. Terry Levis, 1 up.
WOMEN FIRST FLIGHT
Tracie Armitage d. McFaddin, 1 up; Jennifer Ausland d. Melinda Heiner, 2 up; Lori Humphrey d. Julia Tissen, 3 and 2; Leslie Gainey d. Makenna Clark, 2 up.
WOMEN SECOND FLIGHT
Eileen Whitten d. Barbara Stormo, 1 up; Tonia Husel d. Cathy Trower, 4 and 3; Lindsey Stockton d. Heather Wise, 3 and 1; Bridgitte Griffin d. Cortney Hall, 2 up.
SENIOR WOMEN CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT
Shelley Lehrkind d. Judy Slater, 2 and 1; Deb Cordell d. Barb Pinkham, 1 up; Claudia Robbs d. Gail Jones, 3 up; Deb Stuart d. Sue Hunter, 3 and 2.
SENIOR WOMEN FIRST FLIGHT
M. Metzger d. Cindy Fortier, 4 and 3; A. Van Daam d. Janet Stark, 3 and 1; Alison Myers d. Sharon Krauss, 1 up; Janis Crenshaw d. Alice Hunt, 1 up.
SENIOR WOMEN SECOND FLIGHT
Dana Carrigan d. Teri Mayer, 8 and 6; Tory Nieto d. Tina Blum, 1 up; Jan Selby-Hughes d. Lee-Ann Loftin, 2 and 1; Cathy Dunlap d. Tammie Allen, 22nd.
SENIOR WOMEN THIRD FLIGHT
Peggy Tomlins d. Sharon Swartsley, 19th; Julie Austad d. R. Harrington, 1 up; Sandra Wagner d. Coral Edwards, 6 and 4; Maggie Kilroy d. Nancy Gish, 1 up.
Reach reporter Dan Jones at 541-776-4499, or email email@example.com