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  • GOLF

    Maentz brings back that winning feeling

    Local man secures third championship at SOGC, adds to lifetime of fond memories
  • Bob Maentz was just 15 when he played in his first Southern Oregon Golf Championships.
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    • SOGC WINNERS
      JUNIOR-SENIOR: Dan Gorman def. Dan Westbrook 9 & 7.
      • SENIOR MEN: Mark Wilson def. Steven Wood, 5 & 4.
      • SUPER SENIOR MEN: Bob Maentz def. Dan Dixon, 3 & 2.
      • WOMEN: Terry Le...
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      SOGC WINNERS
      JUNIOR-SENIOR: Dan Gorman def. Dan Westbrook 9 & 7.

      • SENIOR MEN: Mark Wilson def. Steven Wood, 5 & 4.
      • SUPER SENIOR MEN: Bob Maentz def. Dan Dixon, 3 & 2.
      • WOMEN: Terry Levis def. Trina Jones, 2 up.
      • SENIOR WOMEN: Claudia Robbs def. Toni Anderberg, 3 & 2.
  • Bob Maentz was just 15 when he played in his first Southern Oregon Golf Championships.
    Twelve years passed before the local man won his first SOGC title, in the men's division in 1964.
    Forty-three years later, Maentz captured the senior crown.
    On Monday, the 76-year-old clinched his third career SOGC title with a 3 and 2 triumph over Dan Dixon in the super senior final at Rogue Valley Country Club.
    He added to his vast collection of memories in the process.
    In other championship matches, Terry Levis of Eagle Ridge Golf Club in Gilroy, Calif., defeated RVCC's Trina Jones, 2 up, in the women's division; Don Gorman, of Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Wash., defended his junior-senior title after cruising past RVCC's Dan Westbrook, 9 and 7; Claudia Robbs of Overlake Golf & Country Club in Medina, Wash., topped RVCC's Toni Anderberg, 3 and 2, in the senior women's division; and Umpqua Valley Country Club's Mark Wilson beat RVCC's Steve Wood, 5 and 4, to defend his 2012 senior crown.
    For men like Maentz, the game is like a calendar that marks golfing moments down to the tee. It's a way for him to remember that, in 1964, his son was 3 and that he secured his first SOGC title. Or that the hat he wore on Monday — a classic white cap that would have made Payne Stewart proud — was the same one he sported in 2007, when he claimed the senior championship.
    And based on his 18-hole match against Dixon, Maentz is far from finished making fine memories on the links. His game was as sound as a dollar, particularly on the greens, as he built a 3-up advantage after four holes. Dixon — now a six-time runner-up at the SOGC — could not say the same, struggling uncharacteristically with his short game yet still only trailing by one entering the 13th hole.
    But Maentz earned Nos. 13 and 14 to go back up by 3. The two men halved No. 15 before the dormie Maentz and Dixon halved No. 16, putting an end to the matchup.
    Most frustrating to Dixon was No. 13, when he set himself up well before three-putting during a very pivotal moment.
    Dixon, who began playing golf in his mid 30s and fell in love with it, three-putted four times on the day.
    "It's usually a strong part of my game," said Dixon, 67. "I putted well all week and today I don't know what happened."
    An aggravating moment for Maentz came on No. 12, when his drive strayed short and right. To make matters worse, his next shot sailed over the cart path and off the map. He took a drop and salvaged a useful chip, but it wasn't enough.
    He was back on track soon enough though.
    "Bob is a really good player and he played solid," Dixon said. "You do the best you can do and then you move on."
    It appeared Jones had another comeback in her on Monday, falling behind by four after 18 holes before turning on a rally that extended to the 36th hole. On Sunday, she went 5 down to Rosie Cook but managed a 1-up victory.
    On the 35th hole, Jones sent her drive into the sand before hitting out and onto the green and knocking down a breathtaking nine-footer for the win. The shot cut the deficit to a single hole entering the pressure-packed 36h hole, where Jones suddenly found herself in the trees. After four swings, Jones' ball found its way near the green. Meanwhile, Levis used a big drive and strong approach shot to roll within 15 feet of the pin, sealing the winning deal.
    "We kept going back and forth and back and forth all day," Levis said. "I had some good tempo and timing that first round and when we took that break, I got kind of tired and my tempo got off. And then I was struggling the whole last 18. It just seemed like I'd hit a good shot and then wouldn't."
    Levis, back for her second straight year, said the tournament is exceptional.
    "I told everybody I know to come up and play in this," said Levis, who is the mother of three teenagers. "Great golf, great price, nice people and good food."
    Like Levis, Maentz has his calendar marked for next year.
    "I'll play until I think I can't win it," he said. "It could be next year or the year after that, or who knows."
    Southern Oregon Golf Championships
    JUNIOR-SENIOR
    CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT — Dan Gorman def. Dan Westbrook 9 & 7.
    FIRST FLIGHT — Duke DeBernardi def. Robert Neff 4 & 3.
    SECOND FLIGHT — Craig Knips def. Brian Edwards 1 up.
    THIRD FLIGHT — Bret DeForest def. Paul Chitwood 2 up.
    FOURTH FLIGHT — Kevin Jones def. Phil Heiner 2 & 1.
    FIFTH FLIGHT — Tom Jones def. Joe Mahar 1 up.
    SIXTH FLIGHT — Tom Mayer def. Jack Lewis 19th.
    SEVENTH FLIGHT — Michael Diehl def. Chris Miller 5 & 4.
    SENIOR MEN
    CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT — Mark Wilson def. Steven Wood 5 & 4.
    FIRST FLIGHT — Doug Ward def. Ken Van Daam 2 up.
    SECOND FLIGHT — Steve Watkins def. Michael Bauer 2 & 1.
    THIRD FLIGHT — Steve Boldish def. Scott Swendiman 1 up.
    FOURTH FLIGHT — Brent Orrico def. John Zupan 3 & 2.
    FIFTH FLIGHT — William Milimuka def. Michael Armitage 3 & 2.
    SIXTH FLIGHT — Dan Marshall def. Jeff Blum 1 up.
    SEVENTH FLIGHT — Mike Jantzer def. Mike Confer 19th.
    EIGHTH FLIGHT — Al Proctor def. Ron Moore 1 up.
    NINTH FLIGHT — Dan Fowler def. Cliff Barnett 1 up conceded.
    SUPER SENIOR MEN
    CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT — Bob Maentz def. Dan Dixon 3 & 2.
    FIRST FLIGHT — Michael Miller def. Tom Hamlin 1 up.
    SECOND FLIGHT — Dick Brekke def. Bruce Hanson 4 & 3.
    THIRD FLIGHT — Michael Goldman def. Bernie Fraser 2 up.
    FOURTH FLIGHT — David Rasmussen def. Michael Trovato 1 up.
    FIFTH FLIGHT — Harvey Myers def. Leon Flinchpaugh 3 & 2.
    SIXTH FLIGHT — Gordie Carrigan def. Raymond Smith 2 & 1.
    SEVENTH FLIGHT — Tom Barry def. Jim Quinn 1 up.
    WOMEN
    CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT — Terry Levis def. Trina Jones 2 up.
    FIRST FLIGHT — Jessica Young def. Julia Tissen 9 & 8.
    SECOND FLIGHT — Melinda Heiner def. Michele Rostron 1 up.
    THIRD FLIGHT — Dana Carrigan def. Bridgitte Griffin 1 up.
    SENIOR WOMEN
    CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT — Claudia Robbs def. Toni Anderberg 3 & 2.
    FIRST FLIGHT — Nancy Moore def. Jan Selby-Hughes 1 up.
    SECOND FLIGHT — Sheri Driskill def. Janet Stark 2 up.
    THIRD FLIGHT — Sue Flinchpaugh def. Alice Hunt 1 up.
    Reach reporter Dan Jones at 541-776-4499, or email djones@mailtribune.com
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