Brooks Newsom felt as uncomfortable on the golf course Sunday as a polar bear feels on the equator.

Brooks Newsom felt as uncomfortable on the golf course Sunday as a polar bear feels on the equator.

Newsom sprayed his driver all over Medford's Centennial Golf Club but strong iron play and some lights-out putting allowed the Portland resident to win the Rogue Valley Stroke Play Championships for the second time in three years and the fourth time overall.

Newsom shot a 1-under-par 71 for the second straight day to finish at 2-under 142.

Marshall Holman and Rick Dimick tied for second at 1-over 145 while first-day leader Ross Jesswein and Phoenix High student J.T. Compher tied for fourth at 147.

"I really struggled with the driver both days," said Newsom, who hit only 26 of 36 greens during the two rounds. "I never felt comfortable off the tee, but this is a wide-open course and, unlike last year, the rough was cut pretty short. Had the rough been longer, I'm sure I would have hit some 3-woods off the tee."

Newsom sank a 10-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole Sunday to get to 2-under and made routine pars on the next two holes, but bogeyed the 18th when he three-putted while going up and over a mound from about 25 feet.

"I wanted to make sure to get over that mound and just pounded that putt and then had a long one coming back," he said. "It wasn't a good way to close out the tournament but fortunately I had some wiggle room."

Newsom, a regional manager for Pacific Office Automation, said he'll head back to Portland and get on the driving range before returning to Medford for the Southern Oregon Golf Tournament, which starts Tuesday at Rogue Valley Country Club. Newsom is the defending champion in the Southern Oregon tourney and has won it three times overall.

"I won't be able to spray my driver around on that course (RVCC)," Newsom said. "It's a lot tighter."

The spirited battle Sunday was for second place. It looked like Dimick, who closed with a 3-under 69, would have it to himself but Holman birdied the final three holes to shoot a 2-under 70 Sunday.

Dimick and Holman each carded 145s over the two days but Holman was handed the second-place trophy based on his final nine-hole score — a 33 to Dimick's 35.

Holman, a former standout on the Professional Bowlers Association tour, wrapped up the tournament by sinking a spectacular 30-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole and a 20-footer on the 18th.

"I'll never be as comfortable with a golf club in the my hands as I am with a bowling ball, but that was fun," Holman said of his sizzling finish. "I guess my competitive streak kicked in a little bit."

Holman said his golf swing "was a mess" less than a month ago but a series of lessons from Medford teaching pro Ed Fisher has helped to straighten it out.

"It's still a work in progress but it's going in the right direction, thanks to Ed," Holman said.

Jesswein, meanwhile, ballooned to a 78 Sunday after shooting a 69 Saturday. The difference was his putting: he needed just 27 putts to get through 18 holes Saturday but required 37 Sunday.

"I lost my confidence," said Jesswein, a former Grants Pass High and Oregon State golfer who regained his amateur status this year. "At the end of my round today I was just glad to get down in two."

Jesswein double-bogeyed the third and eighth holes but settled down after that, parring his final 10 holes.

"I got so sloppy that I missed a tap-in on the eighth hole," Jesswein said. "But I regrouped on the back nine. I'm playing in the Southern Oregon this week and I didn't want the worst round of my career leading into it."

Compher fared quite nicely for a high school senior, but he wasn't happy with his 74 Sunday that saw him miss several putts between 6 and 15 feet.

"I started out birdie, par, birdie, but then just couldn't make a putt," Compher said. "It was so frustrating."

In other divisions, Mark Ranallo won the seniors with a 149, Bob Harrell ruled the super seniors with a 142 and Stephanie Johns claimed the women's title with a 149.

Sunday's Results

Two-day totals

CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT

GROSS — Brooks Newsom, 71-71—142; Marshall Holman, 75-70—145; Rick Dimick, 76-69—145; Ross Jesswein, 69-78—147; J.T. Compher, 73-74—147; Ken Stranger, 73-76—149; Jay Klemp, 75-75—150; Brad Bills, 75-76—151; 9, Glen Clark, 74-77—151; Derek Zwagerman, 75-76—151; Ted Atkins, 76-76—152; 12, Kelly Rasmussen, 75-78—153.

MEN'S FIRST FLIGHT

GROSS — Rick Lloyd, 76-79—155; Sean Byrne, 78-79—157; D.L. Richardson, 79-79—158; Stephen Grove, 80-82—162; Craig Knips, 78-83—163.

NET — Bob Holland, 68-69—137; Steve Robertson, 67-75—142; Robin Blanks, 72-73—145; Ron Harvey, 73-72—145; DeWayne Robinson, 70-76—146.

MEN'S SECOND FLIGHT

GROSS — Tim Rouhier, 84-78—162; Dave Earnhardt, 81-83—164; C.J. Knips, 86-80—166; Dale Monteleone, 83-86—169; Jim Palazzola, 85-86—171.

NET — Dan Neves, 62-72—134; Richard Scruggs, 72-65—137; Jerry Johnson, 70-68—138; Roger Schnoes, 69-71—140; Kim Hurley, 68-72—140.

SENIOR'S FLIGHT

GROSS — Mark Ranallo, 75-74—149; Pat Daggitt, 75-75—150; Dan Dixon, 75-78—153; Duane Nelson, 78-77—155; Phil Iantosca, 78-77—155; Ken Peterson, 75-81—156; Andy Schnieder, 79-81—160; Gary Brock, 81-83—164.

NET — Craig Galpern, 69-66—135; Art Hughes, 68-71—139; Jan Ritter, 68-71—139; Tom Jarvis, 70-71—141; Jim Hatton, 74-68—142; Arn Wihtol, 71-72—143; Ed Murphy, 72-71—143; Toshio Miyake, 70-73—143.

SUPER SENIORS FLIGHT

GROSS — Bob Harrell, 69-73—142; Bill Seymour, 75-73—148; Doug Rowe, 81-77—158.

NET — Bill Doss, 70-69—139; 2, Ken Bailey, 69-70—139; John Bayer, 74-69—143.

WOMEN'S FLIGHT

GROSS — Stephanie Johns, 78-71—149; Linda Johnson, 76-81—157; Gayle Jantzer, 83-83—166.

NET — Suzanne Lantosca, 69-70—139; Debbie Cordell, 73-71—144; Joy Sims, 77-68—145.

Reach reporter Don Hunt at 776-4469, or e-mail dhunt@mailtribune.com