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Newsom, others win handily in S. Oregon

Brooks Newsom's stroll up the 12th hole at Rogue Valley Country Club told the story of Thursday's opening round of the Southern Oregon Golf Tournament.

The defending champion in the men's championship flight looked anything but stressed as he and his wife, Katie, ambled along the cart path chatting more about their two-week-old son, Coleman, than golf strategy.

Newsom was one of 25 golfers able to keep their matches from going the distance on the first day of match play. The former Medford resident topped Bob Kellington, 8 and 7, in one of the day's largest margins. Medalist Kevin Klabunde also won his match, 8 and 7, over Raef Lillesve.

Despite his dominance, Newsom wasn't willing to pronounce himself the championship flight favorite.

Coming into it, I viewed Tommy Smith as the favorite of the tournament, so that kind of takes the pressure off of me, said Newsom. I've always felt Tommy was the best player in the Rogue Valley. I think Tommy can take it lower than anyone else around here.

Smith did nothing to test that theory, beating Bruce McDonald, 6 and 5. With the likes of Klabunde, Smith, Brad Bills and Ian Parent each advancing, Newsom's challenge to repeat as champion is as daunting as ever.

There's enough people here able to win it where you don't start looking too far ahead in the bracket, he said.

Newsom meets David Kaplan today. Kaplan, who won 4 and — over Doug Engle, won the men's first flight last year and finished second the previous year.

Newsom's game apparently is in gear for another run at the title. He was — under par when his match ended, and that's not counting the two putts for birdie inside 10 feet that he picked up.

I wasn't hitting the ball real well coming down here, but I shot a 67 in my practice round (Tuesday) and that helped me feel real good heading into the tournament, said Newsom. If I keep it in the fairway, I'll be OK.

In women's championship flight action, Amanda Nealy, Trina Rasmussen, Luneta Ah Sam, Heather Holte, Reena Eklund, Kristin Couch, Jennifer Ausland and Linda Johnson each advanced to Saturday's second round.

Rasmussen's 2 and — win over Laura Pinkham marked a clean sweep for the Rasmussen family. Kelly Rasmussen, Trina's brother, won 4 and — in the men's championship flight and his father David Rasmussen advanced on the 19th hole in the seniors' fourth flight.

There was only one reasonable surprise in the men's championship flight, that coming when Pat Moore edged perennial contender Doug Olson, 2 and 1. The pair played even through 10 holes before Moore gained the advantage.

I felt good going in, but some days it just doesn't happen, said Olson. Pat had it today and I didn't.

The loss drops Olson into the men's first flight and into a rematch with Ryan Schaefer of Grants Pass. Schaefer knocked Olson out of last year's Southern Oregon in the second round.

Bills, last year's runner-up and the 1993 champion, fell behind early against Ryan Suvoy before fighting back for a 5 and 4 victory. Suvoy was 1-up after three holes, but Bills found his groove, winning five straight holes, including the eighth, where he chipped in for birdie to go 4-up.

Bills was 5-up through 10 but missed a chance to extend his lead when Suvoy drained a 12-foot birdie putt on the 11th hole.

The 6-foot-4 Suvoy played even with Bills on 12 and 13, even though Bills came up with the shot of the day on 13.

After misplaying a cut shot into the 13th, Bills found himself flanked by a tree to his right and on a downslope with the cart path and 15 feet of grass between him and the green. Undaunted, Bills calmly skimmed a 6-iron over the cart path curb and neatly through the fringe to within 10 feet of the cup. Bills slid the ensuing putt inches under the hole, and Suvoy converted his par to halve the hole.

A Bills birdie at No. 14 closed out Suvoy.

I felt like I hit the ball pretty solid and made a few putts, said Bills. I'm working on a bit of a setup change which will hopefully help me hit the ball a little more solid than I have been.

Like Newsom, Bills says it's pointless to look too far ahead.

Realistically, you just want to make it to Sunday and then see what happens, said Bills. There's a lot of good players out here. Anybody can beat anybody in match play. There really isn't a clear-cut favorite this year, and there really hasn't been for the last couple years.

Results

Thursday's Results from the Southern Oregon Golf Tournament held at the Rogue Valley Country Club:

MEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT

Brooks Newsom d. Bob Kellington, 8 and 7; David Kaplan d. Doug Engle, 4 and 3; Ian Parent d. Mike Finnell, 4 and 3; Michael McCann d. Greg Findley, 5 and 4; Doug Luther d. Jon Woods, 5 and 4; Stephen Wood d. Gene Allred, 1-up; Mike Spiegel d. Ron Siegrist, — and 2; Ted Stark d. Mark Decker, 1-up; Rick Dimick d. David Luther, 2 and 1; Phil Cardin d. Scott Ashpole, 1-up; Pat Moore d. Doug Olson, 2 and 1; Eric Austad d. Ryan Schaefer, 2 and 1; Brad Bills d. Ryan Suvoy, 5 and 4; Mike Derryberry d. Todd Neilson, 2 and 1; Bret Breeze d. Norm Veronneau, 7 and 6; Gregg Niles d. Dave Ruegg, — and 2; Kevin Klabunde d. Raef Lillesve, 8 and 7; Justin Wise d. Brent Barr, 2 and 1; B.J. Boeck d. Brent Orrico, 4 and 3; Kelly Rasmussen d. Scott Reed, 4 and 3; Glen Clark d. Jerry Sessions, 2 and 1; Tommy Smith d. Bruce McDonald, 6 and 5; Craig Knips d. Lynn Conway, 8 and 7; Marty Morlan d. Ron Tycer, 20th; Greg Jones d. Scott Swendiman, — and 2; Todd Dixon d. Noah Schwartz, 1-up; Steven Wood d. Dick Condon, 5 and 4; Mark DeBoer d. Jeff Williams, 1-up; Kelly Owen d. Tim Fischer, 5 and 4; John Barry d. David Orr, — and 2; Bill Cox d. Dane Smith, 20th; Kevin Dixon d. Chris Honingford, 5 and 4.

MEN'S THIRD FLIGHT

Jason Cox d. Bobby Jones, 4 and 3; Kevin Jones d. Gary Sterton, 19th; Greg Jacobs d. Hank Munn, 21st; Doug Burwell d. Stephen Grove, — and 2; Terry Newsom d. Tom Jones, 4 and 3; Brooks Gard d. Kevin Aguirre, 5 and 4; Jerry Johnson d. Rick Setzler, 2 and 1; Andy Luther d. Mike Munden, — and 2.

MEN'S FOURTH FLIGHT

Jim Hauck d. Steve Hartzell, 2 and 1; Fritz Schuler d. Jasin Owen, 5 and 4; Darrell Cooper d. Matt Sorenson, 2 and 1; Jim Johnson d. Derek Schweitzer, 5 and 4; Jon Ausland d. Tim Gallagher, 2 and 1; Aaron Rayburn d. John Decker, 5 and 3; Bill Maentz d. Gary Redden, 1-up; Dave Mettler d. Steve Switzer, 1-up.

MEN'S FIFTH FLIGHT

Tony Nieto d. Russ Batzer, 1-up; Matthew Van Sant d. Scott Sterton, 4 and 2; Curtis Burrill d. Jeff Stirewalt, 2-up; Jeff DeBoer d. Will Ferguson, 1-up; Thomas Leach d. Philip Raykovich, 2 and 1; Paul Chitwood d. Craig Prewitt, 3-up; Hal Hartzell Jr. d. Roger Colwell, 19th; Kevin Tucker d. Mike Fischer, 2 and 1.

WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT

Amanda Nealy d. Judy Lockwood, 6 and 5; Trina Rasmussen d. Laura Pinkham, 2 and 1; Luneta Ah Sam d. Bogey Loyd, 7 and 5; Heather Holte d. Maureen McFaddin, 1-up; Reena Eklund d. Tracie Armitage, 1-up; Kristin Couch d. Linda Edwards, 2 and 1; Jennifer Ausland d. Denise Benson, 6 and 5; Linda Johnson d. Carmen Akins, 1-up.

WOMEN'S SECOND FLIGHT

Barb Pinkham d. Barbara Stormo, 7 and 6; Judy Plummer d. Margaret Kilroy, 2 and 1; Demi Waliser d. Lela Larkin, 8 and 7; Anne Reynolds d. Becky Barry, 4 and 2; Katie Doyle d. Kim Brockie, 6 and 4; Carol Fischer d. Gloria Tyson, 1-up; Diane Tucker d. Donna Dixon, 1-up; Alison Myers d. Jan Madsen, 2-up.

JUNIOR-SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT

Greg Miller d. Dave Shellhorn, 4 and 3; Arnold Lockwood d. Scott Weaver, 2 and 1; Dan Gamba d. Ted Decker, 1-up; Gary Kaufman d. Mike Hornbeck, 19th; Craig Galperin d. Chuck Kenney, 2 and 1; Gary Loeb d. Richard Brekke, 1-up; Keith Valk d. Steve Boldish, 8 and 6; Gred Gilleland d. Jim Towns, 1-up; Doug Ward d. Jim Hansen, 2 and 1; Jake Watkins d. Fed Johannsen, 6 and 5.

JUNIOR-SENIOR SIXTH FLIGHT

Tal Kaylor d. Michael Farthing, 2 and 1; Jodie Griffin d. George Mercier, — and 2; John Kruesi d. Fred Moran, 4 and 2; Ralph Perry d. Bill Heyerman, 19th; Buck Brigham d. Chris Wetle, 1-up; Robert George d. Jim Cox, 6 and 5; James Baumoel d. Mark Orrico, 5 and 4; Jeff Benson d. Wayne Logemann, 1-up.

JUNIOR-SENIOR EIGHTH FLIGHT

Russ Stocek d. Don Lesh, 7 and 6; Jack Durante d. Bob Reed, 7 and 6; Steve Skinner d. Mike Kirkpatrick, 2 and 1; Larry Boeck d. Tom Mayer, 1-up; Winston Tucker d. Gregory Swank, 1-up; Delbert Nickols d. Cleve Tooker, 4 and 3; John Barker d. Keith Rogers, 1-up; Chuck Carnese d. Kurt Boyd, — and 2.

SENIORS CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT

Dick Swanson d. Roger Winslow, 6 and 4; Gary Stein d. Mike Morris, 2-up; John Annin d. Don Rose, 2-up; Justin Smith d. Larry Hannan, 4 and 3; Mike Trovato d. Robert Buck, — and 2; Gary Jones d. Jim Quincy, 20th; Dale Lingenbrink d. Bruce McDonald Sr., 5 and 4; Bill Daves d. Steve Ausland, 2 and 1; John Dunkin d. Hal Light, 8 and 6; Michael Austin d. Tom Hitzelberger, 1-up; Tom Hamlin d. Larry Brown, 2 and 1; Jim Howe d. Fred Johnson, — and 2; Bob Harrell d. Bill Berry, 1-up; Larry Collins d. Jim Stough, 2 and 1; Ron Dixon d. David Engleson, 4 and 2; Tom Hoagland d. David Rongerude, 2 and 1.

SENIORS SECOND FLIGHT

Ed Setzler d. Lee Ramage, 1-up; Charlie Mickelson d. Rick Brockie, 5 and 3; Gerry Osterland d. Glenn Lund, — and 2; Jerry Dillen d. Alan Schneider, 2 and 1; Sid Field d. Len Merryman, 1-up; Dick Sorenson d. Jim C. Johnson, 20th; Jerry Adams d. Al Thelin, 1-up; Chuck Miller d. Dean Keller, — and 2.

SENIORS FOURTH FLIGHT

Nick Karrick d. Tom Pantich, 1-up; James Nixon d. Lorin Jacobs, — and 2; David Rasmussen d. Bill Keenan, 19th; Bill Hoagland d. John Nelson, 6 and 5; Jay Gum d. David Oas, 4 and 3; Howard Phearson d. Gary Bonner, 1-up; Jim Huston d. Harvey Myers, — and 1; Dennis McManus d. Steve Henneberry, 1-up; Jerry Cochrane d. Terry Anderson, 2-up; Tom Deatherage d. Dave Wittkopf, 4 and 3; Dan Dixon d. Rick Metzger, 5 and 4; John T. Johnson d. Ron Primasing, 1-up; Brian Adolph d. Don Pinkham, — and 2; James McCabe Jr. d. Gary Wood, 19th.

SENIORS SIXTH FLIGHT

Gene Primasing d. Bert Putney, 2 and 1; Pete Puljan d. Robert Burgoyne; Rodney Adams d. Doug Gardiner, 5 and 3; Dick Entinger d. Lee Flink, 6 and 4; Mitch Buich d. Steve Goodrich, 19th; David Mansfield d. Ted Hughes, 5 and 4; Bruce Hanson d. Brent Mitchell, — and 2; Clarence Primasing d. Jerry Bramwell, 2 and 1.

SENIORS EIGHTH FLIGHT

Kenneth Gilmore d. Rick Harding, 1-up; Roland Dow d. Jack Sherman, 2 and 1; Tony Decker d. Wally Hicks, 6 and 5; John Root d. Clayton Lewis, — and 2; Bob Kaczor d. Don McCullough, 2 and 1; Phil Austin d. Sixto Rodriguez, 6 and 5; Burt Williams d. Bob Sevcik, 2 and 1; Toshio Miyake d. Dick Hackstedde, 8 and 7.

SENIORS TENTH FLIGHT

Roger George d. Scott Milne, 1-up; Chuck Marrs d. Ronald Van Vleet, 6 and 4; Ben Watrus d. John Kilroy, 5 and 4; Bob Bassett d. Jerry Darby, — and 2; Bill Deatherage d. Trenton Douglas, 1-up; Gerald Schatz d. Don Carroll, — and 2; Bill Mayer d. Bob Flora, 1-up; James McCabe Sr. d. Tony Brenneman, 1-up.