If Ryan Hawkins starts hitting the golf ball in places you think he ought not to, don't be alarmed.
"That's my game a little bit," said the Grants Pass player. "It never looks too smooth."
This is a bit of an overstatement, of course, because Hawkins, 37, has had his share of success in the 84th Southern Oregon Golf Championships, and he's still going strong following Friday's second round of matches in the men's division championship at Rogue Valley Country Club.
Hawkins defeated Michael Payne, 3 and 2, on the Rogue Course to set up a dandy matchup today against three-time champion Mike Barry. Barry downed Thomas Avalon, 6 and 5.
Hawkins and Barry have something in common: Each made it to the finals recently and was beaten by reigning champion Kevin Murphy, Hawkins in 2011 and Barry last year.
They meet at 10:20 a.m. today. Also in the marquee group will be Jimmy White taking on Mark Wilson.
Hawkins and White tied for the low qualifying round of 70, and in a three-hole playoff Friday, Hawkins emerged victorious.
"I'm looking forward to playing Mike," said Hawkins. "He played really well today and made some birdies. I'll definitely have to play better tomorrow. I have to make sure I don't give him anything and make it as hard as I can on him. If I make some putts, it could be a good match."
In other men's matches, Murphy advanced with a 2-and-1 win over David Cuttrell; three-time winner Brooks Newsom topped Scott Wise, 2 and 1; and Wilson needed 21 holes — his second straight match that went extras — to edge Daniel Schuler.
In men's junior-senior, defending champion Don Gorman went 19 holes to beat Doug Engle, and Ken Stringer prevailed 2 and 1 over Kevin Klabunde, one of only three players to win men's regular, junior-senior and senior titles.
In men's senior, 2012 champion Mark Wilson defeated Alex Merkner, 4 and 3, and Glen Clark rallied from a four-hole deficit to edge medalist Marty Morlan, 2 and 1.
In men's super senior, defending champion George Mack beat Larry Garvin, 1 up, and Dan Dixon won 2 and 1 over Doug Olson, a three-time men's regular winner who switched divisions this year.
In women's senior, medalist Claudia Robbs beat Teri Mayer, 7 and 6, and Pam Schepis posted a 2-up victory over Nancy Moore, who tied for the low qualifying round before losing a playoff for medalist honors.
Matches continue today through Monday's finals.
Hawkins has been striking the ball well of late. When he referred to occasional erratic play, he spoke of the qualifying round, when he shot 70 despite making two double bogeys and two bogeys. His card also showed six birdies and an eagle.
He had seven 3s on his card on the front nine.
"It was a wild round," said Hawkins.
He wasn't as sharp Friday as he was earlier in the week.
"I missed a couple putts early," he said. "I wasn't quite hitting the ball as well as I had been, but I finished strong with a couple birdies to finish off the match."
Hawkins made bogey to lose the par-3 13th hole and drop his lead to 1 up. But he responded by chipping in for birdie from behind the green on No. 14.
After he and Payne each missed birdie putts at No. 15, Hawkins made a two-putt birdie on the par-5 16th to close out the match.
A key for Hawkins today against Barry will be to get off to a good start and not pay too much attention to what his opponent is doing.
"I know he hits it a long way," said Hawkins, who isn't a short hitter himself. "It's not an intimidation factor, but obviously you can't help but watch and be surprised at how far he hits it. I just have to play my own game."
Regarding his success in the SOGC, Hawkins said, "I can kind of draw on that."
Speaking of success, Clark and Morlan have each had plenty of it on the golf course.
On this day, Morlan looked like he was in control, getting to 4 under par through seven holes while building a 4-up lead.
Clark was 1 over after nine but didn't win his first hole until Morlan double-bogeyed the ninth.
"Normally at 1 over, you're going to be competitive," said Clark, "but Marty has been playing great golf, unbelievable golf."
Clark said he "pulled out all the stops," including grabbing refreshment from the beverage cart.
"I grab a beer and go, 'You know what, I'm going to try anything I can to try to swing something around,'" he said.
Morlan cooled off a bit and Clark continued his steady play.
A "bomb" of a putt at No. 13 got Clark a birdie and made him 1 down. He pulled even when Morlan bogeyed No. 15, then went 1 up by chipping in for eagle the 16th.
A par on No. 17 for Clark ended the match as Morlan went long on his approach and didn't get up and down.
Clark plays Jerry Eklund, a 1-up winner over Jim Anderson, today.
Southern OregonGolf Championships
MEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP — Kevin Murphy def. David Cuttrell 2 & 1, Steve Taormino def. Ryan Schaefer 2 & 1, Trevor Telford def. Jon Robinson 2 up, Brooks Newsom def. Scott Wise 2 & 1, Jimmy White def. Kevin Wu 1 up, Mark Wilson def. Daniel Schuler 21st, Ryan Hawkins def. Michael Payne 3 & 2, Mike Barry def. Thomas Avalon 6 & 5.
MEN'S FIRST — Jake Quast def. Tom Leavens def. 5 & 4, Derek Zwagerman def. Drew Telford 2 & 1, Brandon Crosier def. Robert Galli 1 up, Ryan Kantor def. Matt Stringer 1 up, Joey Rossknecht def. Jon Portz 5 & 4, Edward Pulpan def. Daniel Wozniak 3 & 2, Rich Owens def. Jerom Gilbert 21st, J.T. Compher def. Bobby Foote 8 & 6.
JUNIOR SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP — Don Gorman def. Doug Engle 19th, Kevin Croucher def. Todd Dixon 4 & 3, Michael Riley def. David Kaplan 2 & 1, Tommy Smith def. Gary Loeb 1 up, Ken Stringer def. Kevin Klabunde 2 & 1, Kelly Owen def. Bret Breeze 19th, Dan Westbrook def. Brent Barr 1 up, Brad Bills def. Erick Doolen 4 & 3.
JUNIOR SENIOR FIRST — Hank Munn 1 up def. Mark Hash 1 up, Brooks Gard def. Eric Austad 20th Brian Odell def. John Buda 2 & 1, Duke DeBarnardi def. Rick McCabe 1 up, Geoff Loomis def. Dennis Richards 1 up, Robert Neff def. John Justin 3 & 2, Kevin Dixon def. Richard Warner 1 up, Joel Jessel def. Todd Osterson 2 & 1.
JUNIOR SENIOR SECOND — Tim Trower def. Paul Chitwood 20th, Jim Multeret def. Steve Bernard 19th, Brian Edwards def. Mark Weiss 3 & 2, Eddie Bostwick def. Dave Card 2 & 1, David Culbertson def. Erick Hansen 4 & 2, Brian Adolph def. Jim Mansfield 1 up, Craig Knips def. Kevin Jones, Richard Lozano def. Bret DeForest 1 up,
JUNIOR SENIOR FOURTH — Kevin Jones def. Joe Davis 1 up, Tim Hornecker def. Alex Mann 2 & 1, Dewayne Robinson def. Tom Jones 2 & 1, Scott Reed def. Greg Jacobs 2 & 1, Phil Heiner def. Jim Retzlaff 1 up, Matt Hansen def. Don Boucher 2 & 1, Eric Artner def. Joe Mahar 3 & 2, Gordon Humphrey def. Steve Ferreira 3 & 2.
JUNIOR SENIOR SIXTH — Tom Mayer def. James Figueroa 1 up, Lance Hunter def. Mark Hardin 2 & 1, Tony Nieto def. Chris Miller 1 up, Rick Dyer def. Bill Powell 1 up, William Trott def. Matt Stormberg 2 &1, Christian Carrigan def. Michael Diehl 1 up, Brian Sherrill def. Jason Miller 5 & 4, Jack Lewis def. William Stewart 1 up.
SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP — Mark Wilson def. Alex Merkner 4 & 3, Bryan Schlafke def. Billy Crenshaw 1 up, Craig Galpern def. David Street 2 & 1, Marshall Holman def. Steven Welch 7 & 6, Glen Clark def. Marty Morlan 2 & 1, Jerry Eklund def. Jim Anderson 1 up, Jim Hoffman def. Steve Lovich 1 up, Steven Wood def. Greg Miller 3 & 2.
SENIOR FIRST — Scott Mayfield def. Ron Howard 1 up, Vaughn Schneider def. Terry Newsom 1 up, Ron Lewis def. Chris Littleton 1 up, Ken Van Daam def. Robert Tennant 1 up, Terry Buntin def, Chet Gonczeruk 1 up, Doug Ward def. Bob Cox 1up, Robert Hyer def. John Given 3 & 2, Gary Bates def. John Brittain 1 up
SENIOR SECOND — Paul Reynolds def. Ron Harvey 1 up, Michael Bauer def. Terry Smith 5 & 4, Steve Watkins def. Scott Weaver 2 up, Jerry Sessions def. Gary Sterton 2 & 1.
SENIOR THIRD — Charlie Tissen def. Mark Artner 1 up, Steve Boldish def. James Mulhall 1 up, Doug Hartley def. Gene Allred 1 up, Scott Swendiman def. Roger Peck 19th.
SENIOR FOURTH — Brent Orrico def. Neil Smith 2 & 1, Mark Binegar def. Howard Hunt 6 & 4, John Zupan def. Roger Schnoes 1 up, Al Raduski def. Bill Allen 1 up.
SENIOR FIFTH — Michael Armitage def. Time Wray 2 up, Lloyd Thompson def. B.G. Broseterhous 4 & 3, Don Mitchell def. Mel Friend 3 & 2, William Milimuka def. Dennis Slattery 2 up.
SENIOR SIXTH — Jeff Blum def. Mark Fawver 2 & 1, Steve Lavin def. Chuck Carnese 5 & 4, Darrell Hunt def. Mike Confer 1 up, Kenneth Linden def. Ralph Perry 7 & 6, Greg Stormberg def. Frank Lucas 2 up, John Lawton def. Mike Jantzer 1 up, Larry Schmaltz def. Steven Rodermund, 2 up, Dan Marshall def. Ed Knight 4 & 3.
SENIOR EIGHTH — Michael Jones def. Gibb Mitchell 2 up, Al Proctor def. Henry Burgoyne 1 up, Ron Moore def. Jim Hauck 1 up, Lee Fortier def. Kevin Aquirre 1 up.
SENIOR NINTH — Don Pinkham def. Steve Dabrowski 1 up, Dan Fowler def. Sam Cribbs 1 up, Craig Prewitt def. Scott Lubich 1 up, Cliff Barnett def. Darrell Flora Sr. 1 up.
SUPER SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP — George Mack def. Larry Garvin 1 up, Dan Dixon def. Doug Olson 2 & 1, Robert Maentz def. John Dunkin 7 & 6, John Johnson def. Terry Anderson 20th.
SUPER SENIOR FIRST — Tom Hamlin def. Bob Crews 1 up, Steve Warrington def. Bruce Van Zee 1 up, Michael Miller def. Jim Hatton 5 & 4, Gary Klouda def. Chuck Kenney 1 up.
SUPER SENIOR SECOND — Dodd Samuel def. Ron Primasing 2 & 1, Arn Wihtol def. Michael Goldman 4 & 3, Dick Brekke def. Richard Larsen 2 & 1, Bill Drewien def. Jim Kauffman 1 up, Dick Entinger def. Ron Dixon 2 & 1, Gary Mann def. Herb Crenshaw 1 up, Bruce Hanson def. Bernie Fraser 3 & 1, Fred Ferreira def. Bruce McDonald 1 up.
SUPER SENIOR FOURTH — Tom Riley def. Bob Barber 1 up, David Rasmussen def. David Mansfield 3 & 1, Rick Murdoch def. Gary Puente 8 & 6, Michael Trovato def. John Jenssen 1 up.
SUPER SENIOR FIFTH — Gary Bonner def. Dick Kari 5 & 4, Harvey Myers def. Alan Vogel 19th, Leon Flinchpaugh def. Pat O'Brien 4 & 3, Mike Arant def. George Parson 1 up.
SUPER SENIOR SIXTH — Raymond Smith def. John Root 5 & 4, Robert Given def. Walt Pckard 7 & 6, Donald Young def. Bob Glover 3 & 2, Gordie Carrigan def. Bob Reed 7 & 6.
SUPER SENIOR SEVENTH — Bob Hutchins def. Joe Sayre 5 & 4, Jim Quinn def. Phillip Gossner 2 & 1, C. Jan Garner def. Bob Ferrari 2 & 1, Tom Barry def. Roger Dawes 2 & 1.
SENIOR WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP — Pam Schepis def. Nancy Moore 2 up, Toni Anderberg def. Cathy Dunlap 2 & 1, Alison Myers def. Dianne Angelich 1 up, Linda Tungsvik def. Judy Slater 2 up, Claudia Robbs def. Teri Mayer 7 & 6, Gayle Jantzer def. Sue Hunter 3 & 2, Cindy Fortier def. Jan Selby-Hughes 1 up, Jennifer Owens def. Marianne Metzger 4 & 3.
SENIOR WOMEN'S SECOND— Rose Harrington def. Alice Petrich 1 up, Janet Stark def. Maggie Kilroy 1 up, Susie Daly def. Sue Flinchpaugh 1 up, Deb Anderson def. Becky Barry 5 & 4, Sheri Driskill def. Patti Simpson Ward 4 & 3, Diane Plotts def. Deb Stuart 20th, Peggy Tomlins def. Coral Edwards 1 up, Barbara Pinkham def. Alice Hunt.
Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479, or email firstname.lastname@example.org