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Ageless Anderson lights it up

There's perhaps only one person who truly believes Jerry Anderson has a shot at winning the Southern Oregon Golf Tournament, and that's Jerry Anderson.

At the age of 60, Anderson is the oldest player competing in the men's regular division, and he would become the oldest to win it ' by eight years ' if he can scratch out five more victories.

Ed Godden was 52 when he took the title in 1979.

If Father Time is chiseling away at Anderson's game, it doesn't show. The former all-state athlete at Medford High charged to a 5-and-4 victory over Jerry Eklund during the opening round of match play Thursday at Rogue Valley Country Club.

Today, Anderson meets former champion Brad Bills, a 5-and-4 winner over Ken Rhodes.

If you're a betting person, you can probably get some good odds on me, Anderson said with a chuckle. But when I bring my 'A' game, I feel like I can play with anyone out here.

I didn't give the club &

36;225 (the price of the entry fee) just to play on my own course. I came out here thinking I can win.

It's that kind of supreme confidence that helped Anderson earn first-team all-state honors in football, basketball and baseball while leading Medford High to state championships in all three sports during the 1959-60 school year.

Anderson was so busy playing baseball during the spring and summer months as a youth that he had little time to play golf. He later became a teacher and a coach, and those time-consuming pursuits continued to put golf on the back burner.

But Anderson always had a knack for the game ' he finished runner-up in the pee-wee division at the OGA state junior tournament in his first competition.

Once he retired from teaching and began playing golf regularly, Anderson began to shoot in the mid- to low-70s and his handicap dropped to a one.

He also works out three times a week at Superior Gym, and at 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds looks as though he could line up at tight end for the Black Tornado and hold his own.

The truth of the matter is, I'm in better shape now than I was at 50, said Anderson, who shot a 7-under-par 65 at RVCC last week. I feel great.

Anderson is old enough to play in the junior-senior and senior divisions but scoffs at the idea.

It's like choosing between the 4A level and 2A level, he said in reference to high school classifications. I want to run with the big dogs.

The only glitch in Anderson's game is his putting, but he's worked hard to improve it. A new Odyssey 2-ball putter has also helped.

I didn't have any three-putts today, said Anderson, who routinely drives the ball 260 to 270 yards. Maybe there's hope for my short game.

Bills, meanwhile, made short work of Rhodes, thanks to a red-hot putter. Bills drilled putts of 30, 25, 20, 17 and 15 feet to finish at 3-under par through 14 holes and earn his date with Anderson.

That's about as good as I can putt, said Bills, who won the title in 1993 and was runner-up in 1998. I added up the distance to all my putts and it came out to 110 feet.

I didn't strike the ball all that well but the key is getting it in the hole.

In other matches of note Thursday, defending champion Kevin Klabunde downed Tim Booher, 1-up; former three-time champ Doug Olson beat Eric Ford, 4-and-2; co-medalist Jon Levin defeated John Adiar, 7-and-6; and co-medalist Brooks Newsom routed Brian Maxwell, 6-and-5.

Also, it was Scott Tuttle over Jason Cox, 1-up; Kevin Dixon over B.J. Boeck, 2-and-1; Eric Austad over Bill Maentz, 5-and-4; Dave Schoenmann over Raef Lillesve, 2-and-1; Justin Wise over Mark DeBoer, 1-up; Ian Parent over Dane Smith, 1-up; Bret Breeze over Jack Peat, 3-and-2; and Riley Eccles over Marty Morlan, 3-an-2.

Klabunde labored to his worst round in a month ' 5-over par ' but it was good enough to move him to the second round against Clark.

My iron play was bad and I just didn't get any breaks, Klabunde said. I was fortunate to win.

Clark made one of the best shots of the day when he punched a 7-iron under a big oak tree 135 yards to the green on the seventh hole. The shot landed within 6 feet of the cup and enabled Clark to win the hole.

I was just going to punch the ball out but my caddie (Terry Anderson) wouldn't let me, Clark said.

The biggest upset of the day came in the junior-senior division, where Scott Mayfield edged defending champion Greg Miller on the 20th hole.

I'm a 10-handicapper, and a bad one at that, said Mayfield, who nailed a 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th to send the match to extra holes. That's the best golf I've ever played in my life.

Mayfield, who shot an 80 in qualifying, was 3-over par on the day.

In the senior division, defending champion John Dunkin downed Bob Bassett, 3-and-2, but medalist Ron Dixon wasn't so fortunate, losing 1-up to Jim Quincy.

Defending women's champion Johnna Nealy rolled to an easy win over Paula Cracraft and medalist Trina Rasmussen registered a 5-and-4 victory over Winnefred Wyckoff.

The weeklong tournament continues through Monday.

Thursday's Results

MEN'S REGULAR

Championship Flight

Kevin Klabunde, RVCC, d. Tim Booher, Bend G&CC, 1-up; Glen Clark, RVCC, d. Kelly Owen, RVCC, 1-up; Bill Cox, RVCC, d. Scott Hall, Willow Run, 6-4; Ryan Schaefer, Grants Pass GC d. Tim Gallagher, Portland, 7-6; Brad Bills, Stoneridge GC, d. Ken Rhodes, Windsor GC, 5-4; J. Anderson, RVCC, d. Jerry Eklund, RVCC; David Schoenmann, RVCC, d. Raef Lillesve, Broken Top CC, 2-1; Todd Couch, Medford, d. Scott McDowell, Springsfiels CC, 8-7; Chris Daggitt, Cedar Links, d. Brent Orrico, Aldarra, 4-3; Mike Spiegel, Shoreline GC, d. Scott Lewis, Costa Mesa, 6-5; Don Gorman, Plateau Club, d. Ryan Adkisson, Bend G & CC, 4-3; Justin Wise, RVCC, d. Mark DeBoer, RVCC, — up; Ian Parent, Medford, d. Dane Smith, RVCC, 1-up; Bret Breeze, RVCC, d. Jack Peat, Castle Pines GC, 3-2; Riley Eccles, Reames GC, d. Marty Morlan, Eagle Point GC, 3-2.

Erik Pederson, Reames G & CC, d. S. Swendiman, Riverview, 2-up; Jon Levin, Sea Cliff CC, d. John Adair, Eugene, 7-6; Doug Olson, RVCC, d. Eric Ford, Eagle Point GC, 4-2; Casey Primasing, Pineway, d. Mike Finnell, Country Club of the Desert, 6-5; Tom Killingswoth, Buck Sands GC, d. Craig Tomlins, RVCC, 3-2; Doug Engle, Stoneridge GC, d. Roger Colwell Sr, White Eagle GC, 3-2; Larry Miller, Reames, d. David Kaplan, RVCC, 7-up; Rick Abel Shadow Hills GC, d. Ralph Wallis, Medford, 3-1; Scott Tuttle, RVCC, d. Jason Cox, Vancouver, 1-up; Brooks Newsom, Col-Edgewater, d. Brain Maxwell, Dutcher Creek, 6-5; Kevin Dixon, RVCC, d. B.J. Boeck, Herron Lakes, 2-1; Doug Luther, Col-Edgewater, d. Mark Decker, Woodcreek GC, 5-4; Eric Austad, RVCC, d. Bill Maentz, RVCC, 5-4; Rick Dimick, Medford, d. Jeff Barry, RVCC, 2-1; Matt Stringer, Columbia Edgewater, d. Ted Stark, Portland, 1-up; Kurt Schneider, Oswego Lake CC, d. John Ross, RVCC, 9-8; Steve Wood, Dayton Valley CC, d. Geoff Davis, Grants Pass, 2-1.

Third Flight

Dan Wayman, RVCC, d. Jim Mansfield, La Mirroa, 2-1; John Barry, RVCC, d. Jim Palazzolo, Stewart Meadow, 20th; Matt Miller, Medford, d. Derek Schweitzer, Springhill CC, 1-up; Paul Chitwood, RVCC, d. Matt Finch, Cedar Links, 1-up; Gary Sterton, San Juan CC, d. Travis Brink, RVCC, 2-up; Jon Ausland, Grants Pass GC, d. Chris Adderson, RVCC, 2-1; Kevin Jones, Torrey Pines, Rick Hutchins, RVCC, 1-up; Rick Nelson, Dutcher Creek, d. R.J. Glover, Eagle Point GC, 3-2.

Fourth Flight

Bryan Brutke, RVCC, d. Anthony Decker IV, Hidden Valley, 5-3; Norman Veronneau, RVCC, d. Rich Warner, RVCC, 1-up; David Ruegg, Oak Knoll, d. Zack Osborn, Talent, 4-3; Scott Reed, RVCC, d. Craig Fox, Cedar Links, 20th; Travis Boersma, Dutcher Creek, d. Andy Luther, Grants Pass, 5-4; Jon Stark, Seattle, d. Tony Nieto, RVCC, 6-4; Brian Bronson, Charbeneau, d. Brian Schmitz, RVCC, 7-up; Matt Sorenson, Pumpkin Ridge, d. Fritz Schuler, RVCC, 1-up.

Fifth Flight

Mitch Parsons, Eagle Point GC, d. Scott Sterton, Seattle, 1-up; Tim Lernihan, Cinibar Hills, d. Darrell Hunt, Twin Lakes CC, 1-up; William Westerheide, Deerwood CC, d. Matt Smith, RVCC, 4-3; Kevin Tucker, Overlake, d. Russ Batzer, RVCC, 2-1; Ken Harle, Lake Forest CC, d. Keith Dierkes, Quail Point, 1-up; Keith Lallo, Stone Ridge, d. Tom Jones, Eagle Point, 19th; Mark Laurance, RVCC, d. Greg Jacobs, Cedar Links, 5-4; Ron Moore, Cedar Links, d. Stephen Grove, Stewart Meadow, 6-up.

JUNIOR-SENIOR MEN

Championship Flight

Scott Mayfield, Grants Pass GC, d. Greg Miller, RVCC, 20th; Kelly Rasmussen, RVCC, d. Bob Dickey, RVCC, 2-1; Kyall McGee, Roseburg CC, d. Terry Faulkner, Grants Pass GC, — up; David Street, RVCC, d. Tom Deatherage, Bend CC, 2-1; Gary Loeb, Tuscon National, d. Pat Moore, Cedar Links, 3-1; Steve Johnson, Napa GC, d. Mike Derryberry, RVCC, 2-up; Buck Brigham, RVCC, d. Gary Wood, Franklin Canyon, 1-up; Brian Adolph, RVCC, d. Gary Glass, RVCC, 3-1; Doug Ward, Overlake G & CC, d. Dave Koch, Grants Pass, 2-1; Ken Stringer, Columbia Edgewater, d. Tom Powley, Reames G & CC, 1-up; Vaughn Schneider, Oswego Lake CC, d. David Orr, RVCC, — up; Bob Wright, Sahalee CC, d. John Johnson, RVCC, 6-5; Keith Valk, RVCC, d. David Timmins, RVCC, 9-8; Bob Cox, RVCC, d. Ric Metzger, Overlake G & CC, 2-1; David Boals, RVCC, d. Don Pinkham, RVCC, 5-4; Dave Wittkopf, Grants Pass GC, d. Craig Galpern, RVCC, 1-up.

Sixth Flight

Steve Rodermund, Seal Beach Navy CC, d. Sid DeBoer, RVCC, 1-up; Frank Holminski, Mount Shasta Resort, d. Randy Hall, Medford, 1-up; Scott Weaver, RVCC, d. Steve Skinner, Arrowhead GC, 4-3; Jim Cox, RVCC, d. Richard Dent, Eagle Point GC, 3-2; Larry Boeck, RVCC, d. Tom Groves, Juniper GC, 1-up; Wayne VanWey, RVCC, d. Del Nickols, Medford, 4-3; Kirk Straw, Contra Costa CC, d. Les Cracraft, RVCC, default; Jerry Johnson, Ruch, d. Mark Clarke, RVCC, 1-up.

Eighth Flight

Tim Hornecker, Eugene, d. Fred Moran, RVCC, 1-up; Chuck Carnese, Col-Edgewater, d. Craig Prewitt, RVCC, 2-1; Kelly Timmins, Tigard, d. Michael Diehl, Eugene, 5-4; Manava Siliga, Stoneridge, d. Anthony Decker III, Hidden Valley GC, 1-up; Mike Kirkpatrick, RVCC, d. Mike Snyder, Desert Willow, 2-1; J.J. Jones, Stewart Meadow, d. B.D. Mitchell, RVCC, 2-1; Steve Watkins, RVCC, d. Ron Burgess, RVCC, 1-up; Tom Mayer, RVCC, d. Dave Blake, Riverridge, 2-up.

SENIOR MEN

Championship Flight

John Dunkin, RVCC, d. Bob Bassett, RVCC, 3-2; Bill Doss, Eagle Point GC, d. Phil Austin, Eagle Point GC, 1-up; Jim Quincy, RVCC, d. Ron Dixon, RVCC, 1-up; Jerry Cochrane, RVCC, d. Howard Phearson; Bob Maentz, RVCC, d. Steve Ausland, Grants Pass GC, 3-1; Terry Newsom, Col-Edgewater, d. Robert Buck, RVCC, 19th; Jim Smith, RVCC, d. Steve Ariens, Oswego Lake CC, 1-up, Hal Light, Tualatin CC, d. Wayne Chamberland, Running Y Ranch, 1-up; Dan Dixon, RVCC, d. Vance Hickin, RVCC, 3-2; Mike Austin, Cedar Links, d. Larry Garvin, RVCC, 2-1; Richard Hassmann, Red Tail GC, d. Mike Miller, 2-1; Mike Morris, RVCC, d. Bob Kaczor, RVCC, 2-1; Dick Swanson, RVCC, d. Don Rose, Eugene CC, 19th; Tom Hamlin, RVCC, d. Bruce McDonald, Tacoma G & CC, 1-up; Bob Harrell, RVCC, d. David Twedell, Traces GC, 5-4; Rich Rise, Tampa Palms G & C, d. Dick Sorenson, Waverly CC, 1-up.

Second Flight

Dick Brekke, RVCC, d. Mike Jantzer, RVCC, 1-up; John Kruesi, RVCC, d. Mike Trovato, RVCC, 1-up; Larry Brown, Eugene CC, d. Dan Cochrane, Contra Costa CC, 2-1; John Humphrey, RVCC, d. Dick Entinger, RVCC, 2-1; Ken Bailey, RVCC, d. Dennis, McManus, Butte Creek CC, 2-up; Lee Ramage, RVCC, d. Mike Hornbeck, RVCC, 2-up; Jim Stough, RVCC, d. Steve Goodrich, Wigwam CC, 1-up; Chas Werner, Riverview CC, d. Ron Primasing, Cedar Links, 1-up.

Fourth Flight

Dave Rasmussen, RVCC, d. Chuck Adams, River Bend CC, 2-up; Pete Puljan, Riverview CC, d. J.B. Wyckoff, Briarwood CC, 2-1; Jerry Bramwell, RVCC, d. Bob Salsedo, Medford, 2-1, Tom Hitzelberger, RVCC, d. Fuzz Primasing, Bend, default; Ed Setzler, RVCC, d. Lee Flink, RVCC, 1-up; Terry Tallis, Corvallis CC, d. Jim Hauck, Willamette CC, 2-1; Fred Johnson, RVCC, Harvey Myers, Monterey CC, 2-up, Sixto Rodriguez, Eagle Point GC, d. John Anhorn, RVCC, 6-5.

Sixth Flight

Mike Parsons, Eagle Point, d. A.S. Milne, Bellevue Club, 1-up; John Jensen, RVCC, d. Bill Deatherage, RVCC, 6-5; Dave Mansfield, Sunnyvale GC, d. Bert Putney, RVCC, 4-3; Wendall Towe, Napa GC, d. Mike Arant, RVCC, 2-up; Fred Ilacqua, Stone Ridge, d. John Nelson, RVCC, 3-1; Tal Kaylor, Oak Knoll GC, d. Doug Gardiner, RVCC, 1-up; Bill Ellsworth, Arrowhead CC, d. Bob Reed, RVCC, default; Tim Darland, Quail Point, d. John Root, Roseburg CC, 1-up.

Eighth Flight

Wally Hicks, RVCC, d. John Herbert, Issaquah, 1-up; Jim Huston, RVCC, d. Gerald Schatz, RVCC, 1-up; Ron VanVleet, Pineway GC, d. Gary Bendickson, RVCC, 1-up; Jack Sherman, RVCC, d. Jerry Darby, RVCC, 4-3; Chuck Marrs, Stewart Meadow, d. Steve Root, Eugene, 3-2; Ted Hughes, Illahe Hills CC, d. John Kilroy, RVCC, 1-up; Tony Decker, Woodcreek GC, d. David Hyatt, RVCC, 3-2; Bill Keenan, Auburn Valley CC, d. Roger Franklin, RVCC, 1-up.

WOMEN

Championship Flight

Johnna Nealy, Grants Pass, GC, d. Paula Cracraft, RVCC; Linda Johnson, RVCC, d. Jenn Ausland, Grants Pass GC, 4-2; Luneta Ahsam, Bear Creek, d. Laura Pinkham, Stewart Meadow, 7-6; Nikki Mack, Col-Edgewater, d. Marn Johnson, Reames GC, 3-2; Trina Rasmussen, RVCC, d. Winnefred Wyckoff, Briarwood CC, 5-4; Norma Luther, RVCC, d. Maureen McFaddin, Twin Lakes CC, 1-up; Amanda Nealy, Grants Pass GC, d. Nancy Gish, Cedar Links, 6-4; Pam Hubbard, Yakima CC, d. Nancy McDonald, Tacoma G & CC, 6-5.

Second Flight

Alison Myers, Monterey CC, d. Patti Ward, Overlake G & CC, 1-up; Maggie Kilroy, RVCC, d. Coral Edwards, RVCC, 1-up; Diane Tucker, RVCC, d. Gloria Tyson, RVCC, 6-5; Janet Stark, RVCC, d. Alice Petrich, Twin Lakes GC, 20th; Joan Peek, Bear Creek GC, d. J.J. Mitchell, Medford, 5-4; Becky Barry, RVCC, d. Ginger VanWey, RVCC, 1-up; Pat Humphrey, RVCC, d. Barb Stormo, RVCC, 2-up; Nita Adams, River Bend CC, d. Rhonda Gorman, RVCC, 4-3.

Reach reporter Don Hunt at 776-4469, or e-mail