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MailTribune.com
  • GOLF

    Klabunde finalist in Oregon Sr. Amateur

  • POWELL BUTTE — Medford's Kevin Klabunde won two matches Thursday — including one over the stroke-play medalist — to advance to the finals in the 30th Oregon Senior Amateur Championship at Brasada Ranch Resort.
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  • POWELL BUTTE — Medford's Kevin Klabunde won two matches Thursday — including one over the stroke-play medalist — to advance to the finals in the 30th Oregon Senior Amateur Championship at Brasada Ranch Resort.
    Klabunde defeated medalist Tim O'Neal, of Vancouver, Wash., in the semifinals, 1 up.
    In the morning quarterfinals, Klabunde downed Gregg Guernsey, also of Vancouver, 3 and 1.
    Klabunde will face Portland's Scott Hval, the two-time defending champion, for the title today. Hval beat Don Orrell, of Bend, 5 and 4.
    O'Neal was medalist with a 3-under-par 69, three shots better than Klabunde, who tied for third.
    But Klabunde got the better of it in their match, taking a 1-up lead with a par 3 on the 17th hole, then halving the 18th with a birdie to move on.
    Neither player had more than a 1-up advantage from the opening tee. All square through nine holes, Klabunde won the 10th, then maintained that lead for the next five holes.
    "I played in the mid-am here five, six years ago and really played pretty poorly," said Klabunde. "I just felt a lot more confident, hitting the ball good, my tempo is good, hitting the ball solidly and making some putts and that's the difference."
    Klabunde's putt on the final hole from just off the front of the green sealed the win.
    "I knew it was going to be fast once it got on the green," he said. "I just put a good stroke on it and at last gasp, I think, I scared it and it just fell in the front lip."
    Hval will attempt to win his third straight title. His previous wins were at Riverside Golf and Country Club in Portland in 2012 and at Astoria Country Club in 2011.
    "Coming into the week, my biggest concern was making Hudson Cup," said Hval. "I haven't had a good year. I haven't played well like I have the last couple of years. It'd be nice to win it three times in a row, I just feel so lucky to be here."
    Two other Medford players made it to match play.
    In the Round of 16, Brad Bills lost on the 19th hole to David Lydell, of Aloha, and Glen Clark lost 2 and 1 to Michael Kloenne, of West Linn.
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