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Steady Morrison records monumental win at SOGT

It took Nettie Morrison nearly her entire golfing career to find the Southern Oregon Golf Tournament.

But in less than a week of play at the tournament, the former Oregon Golf Association and Pacific Golf Association champion cemented her name in SOGT lore.

The 59-year-old Morrison, who turns 60 on Thursday, became the oldest competitor to win the women's division title on Monday at the 75th annual tournament with a 1-up, 36-hole victory over Nikki Mack at Rogue Valley Country Club.

Bend's Jay Audia rolled to a 13-and-11 victory over Gary Loeb to win the junior-senior division, while Jim Smith beat Terry Anderson, 1-up, to claim the senior men's title and Carmen Akins cruised to a 4-and-3 victory over Nancy Breitenstein in the senior women's championship.

Morrison clung to a slim advantage in the women's finale for most of the match, then held off the hard-charging Mack to claim the victory.

— The only thing I have over these younger girls is consistency, said Morrison, a retired college professor from Bend. I just tried to keep the pressure on and sometimes they get too careful.

The contrast in age ' Mack being 20 ' wasn't noticeable on the course, but the differences in style was glaring.

Morrison consistently hit the fairways with her less-than-overpowering tee shots and used a strong short game to keep the pressure on.

Mack, who won the event two years ago, hadn't picked up a club in nearly a year before Tuesday's qualifying round. She lined up and blasted impressive drives time after time but struggled with her irons and putter.

Mack's bread-and-butter tee shots, however, failed the Santa Clara University student at key times.

Morrison grabbed a 1-up lead after the morning round of 18 and increased her advantage to 3-up on the 10th hole in the afternoon round.

Mack found herself chipping out of several precarious positions following an errant tee shot.

It was just one of those days where nothing came together, said Mack, whose father, brother and two of her sisters have won SOGT events. (Morrison) was very consistent the whole day.

But once Morrison grabbed a seemingly comfortable lead with only eight holes to play, the wheels started to fall off.

Mack won three straight holes and capped the rally with a little luck on the 13th to even the match.

Her tee shot on the 115-yard par — hole sailed left but caromed off a tree and landed smack dab in the middle of the fairway. Mack sent her second shot on to the green to force her opponent's hand.

Morrison left her second shot well short of the green and missed a pair of lengthy putts to bring both sides even.

I started to coast out there when I went 3-up, said Morrison. That was a bad idea.

Morrison regained the lead on the 15th hole but immediately lost the advantage on the next when Mack nailed a difficult 15-foot putt.

Mack's struggles off the tee reared its ugly head again, however, when she sailed her shot well left of the fairway. Morrison played it safe and grabbed the lead for good.

Her driver was not good to her today, said Morrison of Mack's struggles off the tee. She found herself in some pretty sticky spots out there.

I just tried to make par on some holes late and put some pressure on her.

Audia's win in junior-senior came after an impressive round of golf.

I played very good today, he said. Really, I putted well all week ... I tend to like the faster greens.

Audia birdied holes 7-10 to gain an advantage he wouldn't let go.

Akins, who won the city championships one week ago for the second straight year, claimed her first Southern Oregon title.

Smith's win in the senior men's group was his second. He won the 2002 title in only his second year playing in the senior division.

Monday's Results

REGULAR MEN

Championship Flight

Brooks Newsom, Colombia Edgewater, d. Mike Spiegel, Harding Park, 7 and 6.

First Flight

Ryan Hawkins, Grants Pass, d. Mark Wilson, Medford, 2 and 1.

Second Flight

Erick Doolen, Corvallis, d. Joe Rossknecht, Grants Pass, 4 and 3.

Second Flight Consolation

Adam Mitchell, Roseburg, d. Stephen Grove, Stewart Meadows, 2 and 1.

Third Flight

Kevin Clugage, Tilden Park, d. Derek Schweitzer, Spring Hill, — and 1.

Third Flight Consolation

Chris Adderson, RVCC, d. Hank Munn, Cedar Links, — up.

Fourth Flight

Kevin Tucker, Overlake, d. Chris Lallo, Cedar Links, — up

Fourth Flight Consolation

Jim Hauck, Willamette Valley, d. Greg Jacobs, Cedar Links, 4 and 2.

Fifth Flight

Daryn Clark, Tapps Island, d. Darrell Hunt, Twin Lakes, 4 and 3.

Fifth Flight Consolation

Chris Ginger, Stoneridge, d. Scott Sterton, Bellingham, 2 and 1.

Sixth Flight

Tim Gallagher, Portland, d. Scott Sherbourne, RVCC, — up.

Sixth Flight Consolation

Thomas Hamlin, RVCC, d. Joe Hunter, Medford, — up.

JUNIOR-SENIOR

Championship Flight

Jay Audia, Brokentop, d. Gary Loeb, Tuscon National, 13 and 11.

First Flight

David Orr, RVCC, d. Jerry Eklund, RVCC, — up.

Second Flight

Steve Wood, Dayton Valley, d. Benny Sullivan, RVCC, — up.

Third Flight

Billy Crenshaw, Arrowhead, d. Gary Glass, RVCC, 4 and 3.

Fourth Flight

Tim Mort, RVCC, d. Jim Botsford, RVCC, 4 and 3.

Fifth Flight

Greg Lathrop, Eagle Point, d. John Brittain, RVCC, 2 up.

Sixth Flight

Bob George, RVCC, d. Chuck Carnese, Colombia Edgewater, — up.

Seventh Flight

Jerry Johnson, Jacksonville, d. John Zupan, RVCC, 1up.

Eighth Flight

Gregg Rupert, Cedar Links, d. Tom Groves, Juniper, 2 up.

Ninth Flight

Fred Moran, RVCC, d. Mike Snyder, Legacy, — up.

SENIOR MEN

Championship Flight

Jim Smith, RVCC, d. Terry Anderson, RVCC, — up.

First Flight

Bob Harrell, RVCC, d. Randy Loyd, RVCC, 2 and 1.

Second Flight

Mike Hornbeck, RVCC, d. Larry Brown, Eugene, — up.

Third Flight

Paublo Barbera, Contra Costa, d. Steve Ausland, Grants Pass, 2 and 1.

Fourth Flight

Dick Sorenson, Waverley, d. Dick Entinger, RVCC, 2 and 1.

Fifth Flight

Bob Bassett, Shadow Hills, d. Gary Redden, RVCC, — up.

Sixth Flight

Jim Cox, RVCC, d. Pete Amorde, Eagle Point, 4 and 3.

Seventh Flight

Bob Crews, RVCC, d. Pete Puljan, Riverview, 2 and 1.

Eighth Flight

Mike Brown, Oregon City, d. Tom Hitzelberger, RVCC, 1up.

Ninth Flight

Jerry Bramwell, RVCC, d. Louis Burns, RVCC, — up.

10th Flight

James Huston, RVCC, d. Ron Lillesve, RVCC, — and 2.

11th Flight

Bob Reed, RVCC, d. Bob Hutchins, RVCC, — up.

WOMEN

Championship Flight

Nettie Morrison, Bend, d. Nikki Mack, Colombia Edgewater, — up.

First Flight

Joanne Beyer, Overlake, d. Missy Coombs, Willow Creek, 4 and 3.

Second Flight

Kelly Loeb, Tuscon National, d. Diane Tucker, RVCC, 5 and 3.

Third Flight

Cris Kohler, RVCC, d. Barb Stormo, RVCC, — up.

SENIOR WOMEN

Championship Flight

Carmen Akins, Cedar Links, d. Nancy Breitenstein, Bend, 4 and 3.

First Flight

Debbie Cordell, RVCC, d. Gayle Jantzer, RVCC, 2 and 1.

Second Flight

Judy Entinger, RVCC, d. Pat Humphrey, RVCC, 4 and 2.

Third Flight

Yvonne Schlafke, RVCC, d. Maggie Kilroy, RVCC, 1up.

Reach reporter Kevin Goff at 776-4483 or e-mail .