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Roseburg rules opening round

Jovin's journey on 18th helps Indians wrap up dominant first-day performance at RVCC

Had this been a baseball game, Pat Jovin's lofty shot on the 18th fairway at Rogue Valley Country Club would have been ruled a ground-rule double.

But this was golf, and Jovin's approach shot looked like sure trouble as it flew the green, bounced off the blacktop and onto the clubhouse roof.

As a couple dozen curious onlookers on hand to watch the final hole of Friday's opening round of the Southern Oregon Invitational watched in disbelief, the ball spun backwards off the roof, hit the pavement a second time and rolled onto some grass a short distance from the green.

— Jovin got up-and-down from there to make bogey and salvage a round of 6-over-par 78, helping Roseburg High take the lead over nine other schools.

The second and final round of the tournament begins today at noon at Grants Pass Golf Club.

Roseburg used rounds of 77 by Ryan Malone and Marc Goodell and got 78s from Jovin and Mark Pulotia to finish with an aggregate score of 310, 14 strokes better than South Medford's 324 and 15 better than Sheldon's 325.

North Medford is in fourth place with a 327.

Jovin is making a habit of the spectacular this year. In February, the 17-year-old junior carded a 9-under-par 63 to break the course record at Roseburg Country Club.

And I missed a 2-foot putt on the last hole, he said.

Friday, Jovin struggled a bit with the fast greens and difficult pin placements at RVCC ' he had plenty of company in that regard ' but was a respectable 5-over-par heading into the 18th hole.

After hitting his tee shot into some trees along the fairway, Jovin flew his approach shot over the green and onto the pavement in front of the clubhouse.

I almost killed four people, Jovin said. I almost died from embarrassment.

But the golf gods were on his side as the ball continued on its journey to the roof and back and then back into play.

Pat (Jovin) easily could have made a triple (bogey) on that hole, Roseburg first-year coach Lonnie Lee said. That's what I would call a great bogey.

North Medford's Mike Barry and North Eugene's Ed Farrington each shot 77s to tie Roseburg's Goodell and Malone for first-day medalist honors.

Barry was far from pleased, however. The battle-tested sophomore was 2-over heading into the par-5 16th hole, the easiest on the course.

Barry hit his second shot into a pond that guards the left side of the green. To make matters worse, he became inattentive and missed a tap-in putt that caused a double-bogey, one of two on the day.

I struggled with my putter, said Barry, who won the Southern Oregon Conference individual district title last year as a freshman. And I just got frustrated on the 16th. My previous putt had lipped out, and I got a little careless (with the tap-in).

I've got to learn from that.

The Black Tornado was missing Adam Browne, who finished tied for fourth at the Class 4A state tournament last spring but has been inconsistent this season. Browne, a junior, failed to make the varsity after shooting an 84 during a team qualifier earlier this week.

North Medford coach Kevin Klabunde allows exemptions for his top three players from the previous tournament. Browne was the No. 4 man during that tourney, then failed to gain either of the two remaining spots during the qualifier.

Seven guys were playing for two spots, and he got third, Klabunde said. It makes me question my process, but hopefully this will make him work a little harder.

South Medford wound up second as a team Friday even though its No. — player, sophomore Brodie Sullivan, limped in with an 87.

Picking up the slack was senior Ryan Ulbricht, who struggled to a six-over-par 42 on the front side of RVCC's outside course but played even par on the back with seven pars, one birdie and one bogey.

My approach shots got a lot better on the back nine, Ulbricht said. I missed some short birdie putts, but it felt good to get all those pars.

Friday was the second of seven tournaments that will determine the SOC team championship. Roseburg took over the lead with 628 total strokes, followed by South Medford with 633 and North Medford at 645.

North Medford?s Mike Barry chips to the 15th hole during Friday?s Southern Oregon Invitational at the Rogue Valley Country Club. Barry tied for medalist honors with a 77. Mail Tribune / Jim Craven - Mail Tribune Jim Craven