• GOLF

    Batch of Beavers advance at SOGC

    Murphy, Barry, Rossknecht — all past or future OSU golfers — advance to semis
  • Benny the Beaver would feel right at home at Rogue Valley Country Club today.
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  • 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
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
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