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Wu enjoys stellar week in junior tourneys

Dylan Wu has played some high-level golf in his short career, so it says something if he's had perhaps his best week.

Wu, whose 13th birthday was less than three weeks ago, won a couple more Oregon Golf Association events this week in the Intermediate Boys Division for ages 12 and 13.

He shot even-par rounds of 72-72 for a 144 and a nine-shot victory Tuesday in the two-day Portland City Bob Allard Memorial at Rose City Golf Course. The course played to 6,179 yards.

The next day, he enjoyed his best round to par, shooting a 3-under 69 at Diamond Woods Golf Course in Monroe. He crafted a 69 once before, but it was on a par-70 course in San Jose, Calif.

Wu has won 10 of 13 OGA events this summer in his division. He also entered the state stroke-play championships against a field of juniors up to five years his senior.

"My goal that week was to make the cut," he says.

He did that by two shots and placed 25th. The juniors play tees at about 6,500 yards, but Wu practices at Rogue Valley Country Club from a similar distance, so he adapted easily.

Wu will be an eighth-grader at St. Mary's School. He credits his recent solid play to returning to lessons. He'd gone a couple months without and felt his swing get away from him.

"I'm hitting the ball more solid and putting better," he says. "I think just changing my swing has felt much better."

His approach shots are improved because they're easier, he says, after getting a new TaylorMade r9 driver that has added 20 to 30 yards off the tee.

In Portland, he won the tournament for the first time in his fourth trip there. His brother Jeremy won the Pee Wee Division (ages 8-11) with a 5-over score for two nine-hole rounds.

A day later, Dylan Wu took down Diamond Woods, a tight, hilly course outside Eugene that also played about 6,100 yards.

"It's not open. There are a lot of trees and water," says Dylan Wu. "But it plays shorter if you hit it straight."

He did, getting to 2 under through eight holes before bogeys at Nos. 9 and 10 put him back at even. Then he holed out from 120 yards on the 11th for eagle and birdied the par-5 13th hole.

On 11, his drive found the left side of the fairway on the dogleg right. He feathered an 8-iron in, watched it hop once and disappear into the cup.

On 13, he had 200 yards left on his second shot and used a smooth 3-wood to reach the green in two. He missed his first putt of 30 feet but had a tap-in birdie.

Wu has four more tournaments before he starts school in late August.

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THE CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT of the men's regular division of the Southern Oregon Golf Tournament has been cut in half to 32.

The committee that oversees the tournament at Rogue Valley Country Club made the decision this week in the face of lower entries. It's the first time the marquee flight has been reduced.

As of Thursday, there were about 320 entries for the tourney. The maximum is 416.

Sign-ups will be taken for another week-and-half or so before qualifying times must be determined.

There is room for more players in each division: men's, junior-senior men's, senior men's, women's and senior women's.

"We're still accepting entries, but they need to be turned in as soon as possible," says Jim Wise, RVCC head pro. "There has to be a deadline sometime, we're just not sure when that will be."

It'll be sometime soon after the club championship Aug. 14-16, he says.

To register, call 772-5965, or download an entry form at www.rvcc.com.

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A LAST-MINUTE arrangement to buy a raffle ticket paid off nicely for Ashland's Ryan Suvoy.

It turned into a ticket to the Masters in April in Augusta, Ga., and that turned into the experience of a lifetime.

Suvoy, 30, had seen a list of one writer's opinion of the top 10 things to do in sports, and attending the Masters was No. 1.

"It lived up to it," says Suvoy. "It's so pristine, it blows your mind. Being right there in Georgia, Southern hospitality is alive and real and authentic."

Suvoy didn't actually win a raffle. His friend, Dolf May, of Scottsdale, Ariz., did.

The tickets were sold as part of the Red Cross fundraiser golf tournament. Buy one of 200 tickets for $100 and take your chances. Suvoy already had his when a friend called trying sell more as the deadline approached. Suvoy phoned May and urged him to buy one. Their deal: If either won, they'd take the other.

"That gets your chances down to one in 100," says Suvoy. "And that's not too bad of odds."

The subject comes up now because the Red Cross is gearing up for its tournament Sept. 25 at Centennial Golf Club, and the same raffle is under way.

Suvoy is a big enough believer in the event that he's committed to selling 20 of them.

"It's absolutely the trip of a lifetime," he says.

Among the things that stood out: how fan-friendly the event is, how inexpensive things are and the undulation of the grounds.

Not only is it fan-friendly, but it's fan-regulated. If someone shouts, "You da man!" or "Go in the hole!" after a tee shot, they are roundly rebuked.

Suvoy and May bought folding chairs for $26, placed them behind the 12th and 18th greens, and the chairs stayed there, undisturbed, through Sunday's final round as the twosome followed action on other holes. They caught up with Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods after the former made his fifth birdie in seven holes to start the round.

"The situation was special enough we had to follow them," says Suvoy.

They got to the 12th and sat in their chairs. Then they did the same at No. 18 "and watched the drama unfold."

Suvoy also marveled at the prices. Nothing seemed overpriced.

"They don't gouge you anywhere," he says. "You end up gouging yourself in the merchandise tent."

And the elevation changes are dramatic compared to what TV viewers detect.

"It's definitely spectacular," says Suvoy.

And worth another shot in the raffle this year.

Anyone interested in buying a ticket can call the Red Cross office at 779-3773.

Have a local golf story idea? Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 776-4479, or e-mail ttrower@mailtribune.com