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.
Brooks Newsom, Colombia Edgewater, d. Mike Spiegel, Harding Park, 7 and 6.
Ryan Hawkins, Grants Pass, d. Mark Wilson, Medford, 2 and 1.
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.
Kevin Clugage, Tilden Park, d. Derek Schweitzer, Spring Hill, — and 1.
Third Flight Consolation
Chris Adderson, RVCC, d. Hank Munn, Cedar Links, — up.
Kevin Tucker, Overlake, d. Chris Lallo, Cedar Links, — up
Fourth Flight Consolation
Jim Hauck, Willamette Valley, d. Greg Jacobs, Cedar Links, 4 and 2.
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.
Tim Gallagher, Portland, d. Scott Sherbourne, RVCC, — up.
Sixth Flight Consolation
Thomas Hamlin, RVCC, d. Joe Hunter, Medford, — up.
Jay Audia, Brokentop, d. Gary Loeb, Tuscon National, 13 and 11.
David Orr, RVCC, d. Jerry Eklund, RVCC, — up.
Steve Wood, Dayton Valley, d. Benny Sullivan, RVCC, — up.
Billy Crenshaw, Arrowhead, d. Gary Glass, RVCC, 4 and 3.
Tim Mort, RVCC, d. Jim Botsford, RVCC, 4 and 3.
Greg Lathrop, Eagle Point, d. John Brittain, RVCC, 2 up.
Bob George, RVCC, d. Chuck Carnese, Colombia Edgewater, — up.
Jerry Johnson, Jacksonville, d. John Zupan, RVCC, 1up.
Gregg Rupert, Cedar Links, d. Tom Groves, Juniper, 2 up.
Fred Moran, RVCC, d. Mike Snyder, Legacy, — up.
Jim Smith, RVCC, d. Terry Anderson, RVCC, — up.
Bob Harrell, RVCC, d. Randy Loyd, RVCC, 2 and 1.
Mike Hornbeck, RVCC, d. Larry Brown, Eugene, — up.
Paublo Barbera, Contra Costa, d. Steve Ausland, Grants Pass, 2 and 1.
Dick Sorenson, Waverley, d. Dick Entinger, RVCC, 2 and 1.
Bob Bassett, Shadow Hills, d. Gary Redden, RVCC, — up.
Jim Cox, RVCC, d. Pete Amorde, Eagle Point, 4 and 3.
Bob Crews, RVCC, d. Pete Puljan, Riverview, 2 and 1.
Mike Brown, Oregon City, d. Tom Hitzelberger, RVCC, 1up.
Jerry Bramwell, RVCC, d. Louis Burns, RVCC, — up.
James Huston, RVCC, d. Ron Lillesve, RVCC, — and 2.
Bob Reed, RVCC, d. Bob Hutchins, RVCC, — up.
Nettie Morrison, Bend, d. Nikki Mack, Colombia Edgewater, — up.
Joanne Beyer, Overlake, d. Missy Coombs, Willow Creek, 4 and 3.
Kelly Loeb, Tuscon National, d. Diane Tucker, RVCC, 5 and 3.
Cris Kohler, RVCC, d. Barb Stormo, RVCC, — up.
Carmen Akins, Cedar Links, d. Nancy Breitenstein, Bend, 4 and 3.
Debbie Cordell, RVCC, d. Gayle Jantzer, RVCC, 2 and 1.
Judy Entinger, RVCC, d. Pat Humphrey, RVCC, 4 and 2.
Yvonne Schlafke, RVCC, d. Maggie Kilroy, RVCC, 1up.
Reach reporter Kevin Goff at 776-4483 or e-mail .