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Teacher fends off ex

Teacher fends off ex-student in Southern Oregon

Chalk one up for experience.

Kevin Klabunde, 45, used his edge in years to hold off a hard-charging Justin Wise in a teacher-versus-student second round matchup Friday in the Southern Oregon Golf Tournament.

Klabunde, an assistant golf coach at North Medford High, outlasted his 18-year-old former pupil for a 2 and — match-play victory. Last year's junior-senior champion, Klabunde will face B.J. Boeck today at 10:10 a.m. in the third round at Rogue Valley Country Club.

He really played a great match, Klabunde said of Wise. He should feel really proud of himself.

I knew it was going to be a battle. He played a little inconsistent (Thursday), but I know he's very capable of playing well. I knew that if I had a bad day, then I was going to get beat.

Although Wise did his best, no major upsets were carded during Friday's action in the men's championship flight. Defending champion Brooks Newsom advanced along with last year's runner-up, Brad Bills, and last year's medalist, Ian Parent.

Tommy Smith and Mark DeBoer also advanced to set up an interesting pairing of former professional golfers today at 10:30 a.m.

In senior championship action, Dick Swanson and Pam Hubbard continued their assault on back-to-back titles in their respective men's and women's flights.

After having Friday off, the women's championship flight will return to the course for today's quarterfinals around 9 a.m. Amanda Nealy and Trina Rasmussen will face off in a foursome that includes Luneta Ah Sam and Heather Holte.

The foursome behind them will pit last year's runner-up, Reena Eklund, against Kristin Couch and Jennifer Ausland against Linda Johnson.

Klabunde managed a 1-up lead over Wise through 11 holes but was thwarted in his attempt to go 2-up when Wise calmly drained a 6-footer to save par at the 12th hole.

The 1999 North Medford High graduate couldn't carry that momentum over to his next shot, however. He squirted his tee shot wide left at 13, and Klabunde followed with a steady, pin-high tee shot that stopped 20 feet above the hole.

Faced with a treacherous second shot over 40 feet of grass split by a cart path and flanked by a tree, Wise punched an iron shot through the green and into the side bunker. After Wise chipped out of the sand trap, Klabunde lagged his putt within two feet of the hole and was eventually conceded the hole for a 2-up lead.

Wise appeared to be in great shape to trim Klabunde's lead, but a missed 15-foot putt and errant 5-foot comebacker left the door open for Klabunde, who calmly drained a 4-footer to go 3-up with four to play.

Klabunde returned the favor on the 15th hole, flubbing three straight chip shots in allowing Wise to win the hole.

Wise missed a chance to trim Klabunde's lead on 16 when he missed a 15-footer for eagle. Klabunde had missed a 30-footer for eagle.

Needing to win the last two holes to extend the match, Wise didn't have enough pace on his curling 15-footer to halve the 17th.

I didn't capitalize, Wise said. I had my chances, but it just didn't happen. He played really well.

Wise did give notice that he's to be reckoned with in the future.

This is my first year, so I can't be too disappointed, he said.