Mack shoots into record books

Portland golfer picks up record-setting 11th SOGC title
George Mack tees off on the 17th hole during Monday's men's super senior championship match.Photo by Andy Atkinson

Much has changed for George Mack since he won his first title at the Southern Oregon Golf Championships in 1967.

Back then, he was 27 with three children. Now he's 72 with 10 grandchildren.

And back then he only had the one SOGC victory.

Now he has 11.

The Portland golfer made history on Monday at Rogue Valley Country Club, earning a 2-and-1 win over Bob Harrell in the super senior title match to break the tie he held with Ed Simmons for most championship flight victories.

"It was kind of my goal and now I'm kinda getting old," Mack said with a laugh.

In other championship matches, Tiffany Schoning orchestrated a comeback in the women's division to beat Amanda Nealy, 1 up, and Mark Wilson earned the men's senior title by topping Steven Wood, 5 and 4. Don Gorman was a 6-and-5 winner over Erick Doolen in the junior-senior men's division and Deb Cordell defeated Claudia Robbs, 1 up, in the senior women's championship.

Mack's first title came in the men's division. He picked up four straight victories in the junior-senior division from 1985-88 and secured two more junior-senior titles in 1991 and 1992. Mack then captured a senior championship in 1996 and has gone on to clinch every super senior crown since the division was created in 2010.

Which trophy was sweetest?

"I always think the first one you win is the best," Mack said.

Simmons won six men's titles from 1934-49 and four senior championships between 1968 and 1978.

Only Mack, Simmons and Kevin Klabunde have taken home titles in three different divisions, with Mack holding the unique title of a four-division champion.

In his final round with Harrell, Mack used what he described as the secret to his success — simple consistency — to edge his longtime friend and opponent in the 83rd edition of the tournament.

Mack rode a stretch of 36 straight holes without a bogey earlier in the tourney, and he and Harrell duked out pars and halved holes down the stretch. But Mack managed to maintain an advantage, leading by a hole throughout the back nine before sealing the triumph on No. 17.

"He doesn't make many mistakes," Harrell said of Mack. "You have to play your best to get him."

On the deciding hole, both men had exceptional drives and ended up on the green; however, Harrell's ensuing putt moved a little too fast and went farther than Mack's, which was only slightly short.

Harrell then overshot his second putt attempt to seal the victory for Mack, who was pleased and relieved to have set the record.

"I'm happy now because I don't have to worry about it," said Mack, who also has three daughters and a son who have won SOGC titles.

Schoning, a 23-year-old Portland State University graduate, denied Nealy a third women's title by rallying. She trailed by five holes with 18 to go, but gradually found her rhythm in her SOGC debut.

By the time the final back nine had rolled around, Schoning was even with Nealy.

The two went back-and-forth before Nealy missed a must-have putt.

"That putt could have easily fallen in and we could have easily been on the first hole again," said Schoning, a Bend Golf and Country Club member.

Schoning, who has been slowed by a stress fracture in her hip and a torn hamstring, next plans to become a professional and compete in the Cactus Tour.

So. Oregon Golf Championships

Monday's Results

JUNIOR-SENIOR

CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT — Don Gorman d. Erick Doolen, 6 and 5.

FIRST FLIGHT — Mark Holden d. Bret Breeze, 1 up.

SECOND FLIGHT — Brian Adolph d. Rick Jackson, 1 up.

THIRD FLIGHT — D. Westbrook d. Dave Judd, 5 and 4.

FOURTH FLIGHT — Rich Warner d. G. Humphrey, 1 up.

FIFTH FLIGHT — Joe Mahar d. John Hall, 1 up.

SIXTH FLIGHT — Tony Nieto d. Brian Mosier, 1 up.

SEVENTH FLIGHT — C. Carrigan d. Jack Lewis, 1 up.

SENIOR MEN

CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT — Mark Wilson d. Steven Wood, 5 and 4.

FIRST FLIGHT — Ken Stringer d. Terry Anderson, 5 and 4.

SECOND FLIGHT — Mark Slezak d. Ron Harvey, 2 and 1.

THIRD FLIGHT — Terry Smith d. Scott Weaver, 5 and 4.

FOURTH FLIGHT — Wm. Milimuka d. Billy Bednar, 1 up.

FIFTH FLIGHT — Gary Glass d. Chuck Bork, 1 up.

SIXTH FLIGHT — John Lawton d. Dan Marshall, 1 up.

SEVENTH FLIGHT — Darrell Hunt d. Michael Armitage, 4 and 2.

EIGHTH FLIGHT — Don Pinkham d. Cliff Barnett, 2 up.

NINTH FLIGHT — Lee Fortier d. Tom Groves, 19th.

SUPER SENIOR MEN

CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT — George Mack d. Bob Harrell, 2 and 1.

FIRST FLIGHT — Fred Ferreira d. James Achenbach, 20th.

SECOND FLIGHT — Bruce McDonald d. Arn Wihtol, 4 and 3.

THIRD FLIGHT — Gary Mann d. Harvey Myers, 1 up.


FOURTH FLIGHT — M. Goldman d. Ron Dixon, 1 up.

FIFTH FLIGHT — Fuzz Primasing d. Robert Methvin, 3 and 2.

SIXTH FLIGHT — Bob Hutchins d. Bob Ferrari, 2 up.

SEVENTH FLIGHT — James Adamson d. Bob Reed, 2 up.

WOMEN

CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT — Tiffany Schoning d. Amanda Nealy, 1 up.

FIRST FLIGHT — Jennifer Ausland d. Tracie Armitage, 2 and 1.

SECOND FLIGHT — Tonia Husel d. Barbara Stormo, 5 and 4.

SENIOR WOMEN

CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT — Deb Cordell d. Claudia Robbs, 1 up.

FIRST FLIGHT — A. Van Daam d. Alison Myers, 7 and 6.

SECOND FLIGHT — Dana Carrigan d. Cathy Dunlap, 3 and 2.

THIRD FLIGHT — Peggy Tomlins d. Julie Austad, 1 up.

Reach reporter Dan Jones at 541-776-4499, or email djones@mailtribune.com


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