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Four share first-day lead at RVCC

Newsom, Clark, Nieto, Dimick fire 2-under-par 70s on opening day of qualifying at Southern Oregon golf tourney

It was rather crowded at the top of the leader board during first-round qualifying at the Southern Oregon Golf Tournament on Tuesday.

Brooks Newsom, Glen Clark, Nick Nieto and Rick Dimick all fired 2-under-par 70s in the regular men's division on the No. — course at Rogue Valley Country Club.

Today, the out-of-town golfers will get their chance at medalist honors and the women take their turn at qualifying.

Match play in the 75th annual event kicks off Thursday.

Newsom, the 1998 champion and 1999 runner-up, hit two drives out of bounds over the first four holes and was 3-over-par at that juncture. But he heated up with seven birdies over the final 14 holes to walk off the course with a respectable score.

— I felt like I was playing catch-up the whole way, but I was pleased at the way I fought back, said Newsom, who lives in Portland and is the regional manager at Pacific Office Automation.

Newsom didn't play much golf early this summer but has teed it up and fared well in recent weeks. He finished fifth at the Oregon Stroke Play Championships in Klamath Falls Aug. 13-15, snagged one of four berths in the prestigious U.S. Mid-Amateur tournament when he shot 71 at a qualifier at Tualatin Country Club one week later and finished second to Bret Breeze with rounds of 72 and 67 at last week's Rogue Valley Stroke Play Championships at Cedar Links.

I wasn't feeling good about my game a month ago, but I feel like I've gotten into a groove the last month, the 35-year-old Newsom said. The repetition obviously helps.

My wife and I had our third child eight months ago and I've been busy coaching T-ball for my daughter. Your family takes out a big chunk of your time, and I'm not going to ignore them for my golf game.

Clark, a two-time semifinalist seeking his first S.O. title, was the steady linksman of the day, generating 14 pars to go with three birdies and one bogey. His lone hiccup came when he hit out of bounds on No. 8.

Nieto, an 18-year-old who just became eligible for the tournament, admitted he was a little nervous prior to his round but still birdied the first hole.

I'm happy with the way I played, said Nieto, a senior-to-be at South Medford High. I've played on this course a lot and I just tried to think of it as another tournament.

Nieto, who putted poorly in the Rogue Valley Stroke Play Championships, spent more than an hour on his short game Monday, using a putting drill that he picked up from Clark.

I think it helped, Nieto said. I only had 31 putts today.

Dimick, meanwhile, used a hot start en route to his good round. He eagled the par-5 first hole and was 4-under through 12 holes.

But what could have became an extraordinary qualifying round faded on his way to the clubhouse as Dimick suffered three bogeys on his final six holes.

I just couldn't get anything going on the way in, said Dimick, who knocked Newsom from the tournament in the first round of match play last year. I should have shot in the 60s, but I'm playing well right now and I'm confident heading into match play.

The roller coaster round of the day belonged to Justin Wise. The 2002 semifinalist carded seven birdies and five pars but the good holes were counteracted by four bogeys and two double bogeys. He finished with a 74.

I went from 2-under to 3-over in three holes, said Wise, who encountered OB adversity on the 10th and 12th holes. I wasn't decisive on my club selection during that stretch and I let it get to me.

But I regrouped with two straight birdies (on Nos. 13 and 14) and I felt good about that. I just said to myself, hey, you've been playing well, just settle down and hit the ball like you know how.

Trailing the four leaders was two-time semifinalist Breeze, who shot even-par 72. Adam Browne, David Mayer and Phil Cardin were another shot back at 73.

In the junior-senior division, Jerry Eklund fired an even-par 72, while Terry Anderson led the first-day qualifying for the senior division with a 71.

Anderson, who won the city senior title last week and the RVCC senior men's club championship last month, was 4-under through 14 holes but, as he put it, leaked a little oil coming in.

Known for his lights-out putting, Anderson needed just 12 putts on the front nine and 16 putts through 13 holes.

I got a couple of 15-footers to drop and that always helps, Anderson said. But I three-putted the 15th hole and missed a short birdie putt on 16, so I'm hardly perfect.

The 440-player tournament lasts through Labor Day.

Tuesday's Qualifying Results

REGULAR MEN

Glen Clark 70, Rick Dimick 70, Brooks Newsom 70, Nick Nieto 70, Bret Breeze 72, Adam Browne 73, Phil Cardin 73, David Mayer 73, Kevin Klabunde 74, Marty Morlan 74, Aaron Rayburn 74, Justin Wise 74, Tim Croft 77, Craig Galpern 77, Jim Parrish 77, Jerry Anderson 79, Brad Bills 79, Doug Engle 79, Marshall Holman 79, Mark Wilson 79.

Brent Barr 80, Bryan Brutke 80, Eric Ford 80, Michael Galante 80, Kim ung 81, Kevin Dixon 81, Todd Dixon 82, Jason Cox 82, Jay Christensen 83, Ron Moore 83, Rich Warner 83, Jeff Barry 84 Bobby Foote 84, Scott Handen 84, Tom Willis 84, Rick Dyer 85, Chris Lallo 85, Jeremiah Paladino 85, Mitch Parsons 85, Rob Neff 85, Dustin Riggs 85, Scott Reed 85.

Sid DeBoer 86, Al Satterfield 86, Ralph Wallis 86, Chris Adderson 87, Chad Cota 87, Keith Lallo 87, Matt Miller 87, John Ross 87, Fritz Schuler 87, Dan Westbrook 87, Al Cartwright 88, Rich Hutchins 88, Hank Munn 88, Cary Preston 88, Brad Galpern 89, RJ Glover 89, Stephen Grove 89, John Barry 90, Tim Trower 90, Thomas Hamlin 91, Steven Ekwall 91, Scott Knight 91, Chris Ginder 92, David Culbertson 94, Greg Jacobs 96, Dennis Richards 96, Craig Moser 97, Tim Heim 98, Todd Holton 98, Joe Hunter 98, Scott Sherbourne 100, Steve Lytle 101, Dan O'Connor 104 Matt Smith 104, Steve Switzer 106, Eric Foster 109.

JUNIOR SENIORS

Jerry Eklund 72, David Street 75, Greg Miller 76, Steve Boldish 76, Bob Dickey 77, David Orr 77, Buck Brigham 78, Kelly Owen 78, Paul Chitwood 79, Chris Wetle 80, Dane Smith 80, Kelly Rasmussen 81, Brian Aldolph 81, Pat Morre 81, Wayne VanWey 83, Timothy Mort 83, Benny Sullivan 84, Norm Veronneau 84, Jerry Johnson 84, Jim Botsford 85, Bret DeForest 85, Roy Cruz 85, Doug Hartley 86, Steve Watkins 86, Mike O'Grady 86, Mike Bottjer 86, Chuck Wiley 86.

Chuck Kinney 87, Scott Cordeiro 87, Greg Lathrop 87, Gary Redden 87, Gary Glass 88, John Brittman 89, John Brittain 89, Tom Mustard 89, Jeff Works 89, Brian Schmitz 89, Brad Pederson 91, John Zupan 91, Jim Palazzolo 91, Dave Timmins 92, Terry Driskill 93, Gregg Rupert 94, Les Cracraft 94, Ed Murphy 95, James Brekke 95, Tom Mayer 95, Mike Kozlosk 95, Manava Siliga 96, JJ Jones 96, Fred Moran 96, Brent Michell 96, Rick Dent 97, Bob George 99, Mark Wickman 99.

SENIORS

Bob Maentz 72, Jim Smith 73, Dick Brekke 75, Tom Hamlin 76, Mike Austin 79, Larry Garvin 79, Rob Primasing 79, Jim Quincy 79, Justin Smith 79, John Johnson 80, Alan Schneider 80, Ken Bailey 81, John Humphrey 81, Dick Melville 81, Bernie Fraser 82, Randy Lloyd 82, Scott Weaver 82, Phil Akerman 83, Bruce Hanson 83, Bob Shevlin 83, John Kruesi 84, Terry Newsom 84, Bob Doolen 85, Ron Dixon 85, Dick Entinger 85.

Jim Cox 86, Gary Jones 86, Pete Amorde 87, Tom Barry 87, Mike Hornbeck 87, Gary Klouda 87, Mike Morris 87, Arn Wihtol 87, Larry Boeck 88, Fred Johnson 88, Mike Kirkpartick 88, Jerry Bramwell 89, Tom Hitzelberger 89, John Anhorn 90, Phil Austin 90, Mike Jantzer 90, Ray White 90, Mike Connors 91, Gary Bonner 92, Louis Burns 92, Tal Kaylor 93, Bob Crews 94, Roland Dow 94 James Huston 94, Ron Lillesve 94, Wally Hicks 95, John Jensen 95, Ed Setzler 95, Robert Sevcik 95.

Charlie Michelson 97, Bob Reed 97, Jim Barry 98, Tim Darland 98, Michael Parsons 98 Gary Bendickson 99, Bob DuMilieu 99, Bill Deatherage 100, Ron Weinhold 100, John Kilroy 102 Larry Bennett 103, Thomas Click 108, Bob Hutchins 108.

WOMEN

Diane Tucker 98.

SENIOR WOMEN

Mary Botsford 99, Carol Jones 99.

Medford?s Kevin Klabunde blasts out of a sand trap and onto the green during Tuesday?s qualifying round for local men at Rogue Valley Country Club. Mail Tribune / Jim Craven - Mail Tribune Jim Craven