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Browne bags medalist but Roseburg wins SOC boys title

ROSEBURG ' North Medford had it all at the Southern Oregon Conference boys golf championships.

Almost.

It had the individual champion in Adam Browne.

It had the low man for the day in Mike Barry.

It had opportunity galore to win its first league crown in a dozen years, but in the end, all it really had was a back seat to Roseburg.

— The Indians, deadlocked with North entering the last of seven counting rounds that determined the overall season champion, got a long, improbable birdie putt from Tyler Robinson on the 18th hole Tuesday at Roseburg Country Club to eke out the title by one shot.

Roseburg, with Robinson and Pat Jovin shooting 74s, crafted its best team score of the SOC campaign, 303.

It qualifies as the SOC's No. — team to state next Monday and Tuesday at Trysting Tree Golf Course in Corvallis. North Medford, the runner-up by five shots at the two-day district tourney, goes as No. 2.

In addition, the top five individuals qualified.

For them to beat us by one stroke hurts a lot more than if they had beaten us by 20, said the senior Browne, whose district tournament proved bittersweet. It just hurts right now.

It stood to reason the championship would come down to the very end between the two powers. North coach Kevin Klabunde said as much at the beginning of the season.

I just didn't realize I would be that prophetic, he sighed. It's a tough loss.

With players scattered all over the course, it was difficult to tell exactly where the contenders stood in relation to one another. All they knew was that it was close.

Robinson, playing in the next-to-last group with Barry, watched all day as the North junior, who won district two years earlier, played steadily hole after hole, making eagle at one point and getting to 2 under par through 13 holes.

When their group came to the finishing hole, a 537-yard par 5 that some players threatened to reach in two, Robinson's view of the big picture was cloudy.

He was long of the back pin placement in three and faced a nearly 30-foot, left-to-right breaker for birdie.

I knew I had to make it personally, said Robinson, referring to making the individual cut to state. But I didn't know about the team.

He lined up, gave the ball a rap and, summoning all the necessary body language, helped coax the ball into the hole.

As it got closer, he said, I thought I missed it high. But it just kept falling down, and I kept backing up, trying to pull it down, and it went in.

Barry was waiting off to the side, mulling his own 3-footer for birdie.

I would have never guessed he would have made that in a 100 years, said Barry.

The Tornado standout, whose conference-leading scoring average was under 72, then ran his by the cup, settling for par and an even-par 72.

That's the difference between tying for first and finishing second, said Barry.

The matter wasn't yet decided, however, as the final group, which included Browne, came up the fairway.

Like Barry, Browne was just short of the green in two. Like Robinson, his third shot left him behind the cup, about 20 feet. But Browne's birdie attempt dove just below the hole, preventing North from tying for the title.

Every shot at the end counted, said Klabunde. We had our opportunities and didn't make them pay.

In addition to Browne and Barry, North got a 1-over 36 on the front from Mark Wilson and 38s on the back from Dave Mayer and Chris Oetinger. They just didn't put the whole package together.

Browne, who has played second banana to Barry and was disqualified, along with Barry, at district last year for a rules violation, had reason to be happy.

He shot 75, giving himself a two-day total of 148 and a two-shot win individually over Barry and Robinson.

That part feels good, said Browne.

He looked as if her were going to stumble coming in, bogeying the 15th and 16th holes with wayward tee shots and loose iron play. But he righted the ship by stuffing his tee shot on the 179-yard 17th hole to within — feet below the hole, leading to birdie.

I just didn't let 15 and 16 get to me, said Browne, who will attend Oregon State next year with designs to walk on to the golf team. I knew I bogeyed them, and I knew I put myself two shots back, but I didn't let it bother me. It's too important when it's very, very, very close to think that you don't have it. I knew if the rest of the team was thinking that way, we would win.

Well, almost.

South Medford placed third at district, shooting 315 Tuesday, and tied Klamath Union for third overall.

Brodie Sullivan led the Panthers with a 76, followed by Spencer Hunter (78) and Nick Nieto (79).

SEASON STANDINGS ' Roseburg 2,140, North Medford 2,141, (tie) Klamath Union and South Medford 2,236, Grants Pass 2,316, Ashland 2,416, Eagle Point incomplete.

TEAM SCORES ' 1. Roseburg, 307-303-610; 2. North Medford, 311-304-615; 3.South Medford, 323-315-638; 4. Klamath Union, 325-314-639; 5. Grants Pass, 332-328-660; 6. Ashland, 347-337-684; 7. Eagle Point, 382-386-768.

TOP 10 FINISHERS ' 1. Adam Browne, NM, 73-75-148; 2. (tie) Tyler Robinson, Ros, 76-74-150, Mike Barry, NM, 78-72-150; 4. Pat Jovin, Ros, 77-74-151; 5. Jay Kirkwood, GP, 73-79-152; 6. (tie) Kameron Gordon, KU, 77-77-154, Nick Nieto, SM, 75-79-154; 8. Marc Goodell, Ros, 75-82-157; 9. (tie) Marc Palotai, Ros, 79-79-158, Derek Rampersaud, Ros, 82-76-158, Dave Mayer, NM, 80-78-158.

ROSEBURG (303) ' Pat Jovin 38-36-74, Marc Palotai 37-42-79, Tyler Robertson 39-35-74, Derek Rampersaud 37-39-76.

NORTH MEDFORD (304) ' Adam Browne 37-38-75, Mike Barry 35-37-72, Dave Mayer 40-38-78, Mark Wilson 36-43-79.

KLAMATH UNION (314) ' Jason Doby 42-42-84, Kameron Gordon 40-37-77, Sam Stewart 40-37-77, Drew Crawford 41-35-76.

SOUTH MEDFORD (315) ' Nick Nieto 39-40-79, Brodie Sullivan 38-38-76, Spencer Hunter 38-40-78, Ryan Mort 42-40-82.

GRANTS PASS (328) ' Jay Kirkwood 38-41-79, Andy Mophet 39-39-78, Mike Leonard 40-40-80, Calen Nickolson 47-44-91.

ASHLAND (337) ' Joel Salmond 42-39-81, Ben Wright 42-42-84, Austin Harfst 41-47-88, Will Murphy 43-41-84.

EAGLE POINT (386) ' Josh Dale 46-43-89, Brian Burns 46-47-93, Trevor Lopez 46-50-96, Brian Lew 54-54-108.

Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 776-4479, or e-mail