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Double eagle helps Rogue River teen tie Barry

Double eagles are supposed to be rare.

But only three days after Mike Barry made an astounding albatross in the city golf tournament, 16-year-old Kevin Murphy pulled off the feat in the qualifying round of the Southern Oregon Golf Championships Wednesday.

"That's the first time I've ever even come close to doing that," Murphy fairly gushed. "You hardly ever see it on TV, then it happens. Pretty neat."

Murphy, who will be a sophomore at Rogue River High School, made a 2 on the 523-yard par-5 first hole at Rogue Valley Country Club.

He followed that with a birdie-3 on the second hole, which measures 372 yards.

Murphy's score for two holes added up to 5. If, say, you put the holes together, you could surmise he parred an 895-yard behemoth.

That was the highlight of the round for the youngster, who, for the first time, is old enough to play in the long-running tournament. The fast start got him to 4 under par, and that's where he finished, shooting 68 to tie for medalist honors in the men's division with — you guessed it — Barry, who qualified on Tuesday.

Ties for medalist will be broken with a nine-hole playoff Friday afternoon.

Also on Wednesday, which is qualifying for women and out-of-town players, three-time men's champion Brooks Newsom was a stroke back at 69.

Bill Crenshaw fired a 71 to take medalist honors in junior-senior men's.

Former champion Linda Johnson shot a 1-under-par 72 to become medalist for the first time in the women's division.

Deborah Cordell topped the senior women's class with a 79.

The 81st annual event resumes today with match play and continues through championship rounds in all divisions Monday.

Murphy's first hole began with a 313-yard drive to the left side of the fairway. Then he rifled in a 5-iron from 210 yards.

"It was going straight for the pin and disappeared," said Murphy. "I didn't know. It's not that likely that it went in. Then I saw a guy hold up two fingers."

After the birdie at No. 2, Murphy realized he'd never been 5 under after three holes.

It wasn't to be, however, as he bogeyed the third and fourth holes.

A flourishing finish enabled him to catch Barry. Murphy birdied three of the final four holes, making a 4-foot putt on No. 18 to get back to 4 under.

Casey King, the defending champion who didn't need to qualify, played in the group.

"I was going to the tee and Casey said, 'You know you need to birdie this, right,'" said Murphy. "Afterward, I'm like, it's pretty amazing that I actually did it."

Now he and Barry will go at it for medalist.

"It's gonna be pretty crazy," said Murphy, who placed second in the Class 3A/2A/1A state tournament as a freshman. "I'm just a sophomore in high school and he's already graduated from Oregon State. He's one of those players you look at and go, 'Geez, I'd love to be able to play like him someday."

On this day, that's exactly what he did.

Johnson, a three-time women's division finalist and the champion in 2007, came very close to not even entering.

Feeling burnt out on the game, she put away her clubs in October. It wasn't until a friend urged her to get back into it that she did in July.

Regular play and scores of 71 at both Centennial and Stone Ridge golf clubs gave her the bug.

"Honestly, I was a last-day entry," she said. "I didn't feel like I had a lot of games underneath me. I decided at the last minute to play. (Husband) Bob said you've got to play, there aren't that many women playing."

Her game rounded into form the past couple weeks, but her mind-set was such that she could shoot "83 just as well as 73."

"I didn't have any expectations," she said, "and that probably helped me relax a little bit. I knew it was in me, but you never know with this game. I say that to protect myself. It gives me a little leeway to go out and relax."

Johnson was steady throughout, hitting all but two fairways and all but two greens.

She made three birdies and two bogeys.

"My iron play was excellent," she said. "And it (her score) could have been better. I missed about three putts from 6 or 7 feet. It's nice when you're hitting greens and putting them close because those greens are a little bit fast."

Johnson hadn't been medalist before, but she'd put up good numbers the past three years, including a 72 and a 74.

"Being the No. 1 seed is always nice," she said. "You're always in good position there to begin and get into match-play mentality. Then if you're fortunate enough to make it to Sunday and Monday, you're prepared."

Southern Oregon Golf Championships

Second Day Qualifying

Men

REGULAR — Casey King D.C., Brooks Newsom 69, Scott Sterton 89, Warren Wagner 85, Kevin Murphy 68, Ryan Schaefer 75, Cody Stoffel 81, Greg Findley 83, Peyton Lindbloom 84, Ryan Melnychuk 76, Joey Rossknecht 74, Brandon Fields 79, Don Gorman 79, Ryan Hawkins 77, Jon Robinson 82, Kyle Blesser 76, Dalton Durrell 86, Sean McGlinn 86, Kurt Schneider 77, Jon Ausland 90, Rick Lozano 95, Michael Riley 87, Josh Huffman 91, Justin Azevedo 77, Brad Pederson 95, Michael Schmidt 95, Todd Basgen 92, Rick Nelson 87, Brian Otis 85, Erik Pederson 80, Matt Deatherage 75, Garret Doolen 81, Adam Huycke 84, Geoff Loomis 87, Brooks Gard 82, John Hernandez 92, Lynn Knight 103, Jim Stormo 93, Rick Buchler 91, Jim Corbett 87, Perry Hunt 82, Jesse Taylor 85, Nic Corbett 102, Matt Es 79, Jon Portz 87, Daryn Clark 86, Tony Ghiz 83, RJ Glover 85, Casey Primasing 87.

JUNIOR-SENIOR — Chris Miller 106, Tom Groves 94, Gary Sterton 82, Greg Rupert 94, Brent, Orrico 90, Scott Swendiman 85, Rick McCabe 81, Chet Gonczeruk 80, Bill Crenshaw 71, Scott Mayfield 82, Mike Diehl 93, Kevin Aguirre 90, Tim Hornecker 84, Tom Jones 92, Ked Lindbloom 96, Eric Hansen 89, Brad Heilman 91, Steve Ausland 82, Tommy Smith 75, Gary Lueb 83, Ken Stringer 74, Joe Jessel 85, Jim Mansfield 86, Erick Doolen 82, David Kaplan 75.

WOMEN — Linda Johnson 72, Amanda Nealy 78, Trina Jones 79, Jen Ausland 81, Kelly Loeb 85 Cassandra Carothers 85, Lori Humphrey 85, Tracie Armitage 88, Toni Winters 92, Karen Buchler 93, Mo McFaddin 94, Leslie Gainey 98, Michele Belieu 99, Makenna Clark 100, Hannah Barr 101, Cathy Trower 106, Tonia Waldron 110, Barb Stormo 117.

SENIOR — Gibb Mitchell 92, Bill Replogle 97, Mike Kirkpatrick 89, John Rowan 97, Vaughn Schneider 85, Darrel Hunt 88, John Barker 87, Wah Lee 93, John Tomlin 82, Clint Laird 94, Jim Smith 80, Al Proctor 95, Chuck Kenney 81, Nick Hodel 90, William Milimuka 88, Mark Fawver 90, Brian Odell 80, Terry Newsom 82, Doug Ward 76.

SUPER SENIOR — Warren Parke 96, Fuzz Primasing 92, Ron Van Vleet 103, Fred Ferriera 90, John Root 98, Gary Mahn 87, Bob Hannah 90, Gerald Maddams 88, Dean Keller 92, Howard Phearson 87, Ken Gilmore 96, Mike Parsons 103, George Parsons 93, Bob Pond 84, James Achenbach 79, Dodd Samuel 77, Howard Tomlinson 75, Wendall Towe 85, Bruce McDonald 87,Dave Mansfield 92, Dick Sorenson 88, Tom Stenzel 77, John Dunkin 70.

SENIOR WOMEN — Bogey Loyd D.C., Deborah Cordell 79, Judy Johnson 82, Claudia Robbs 87, Deb Stuart 88, Marianne Metzger 89, Bonnie Stenzel 89, Judy Entinger 90, Cindy Fortier 91, Ellie Mitchell 91, Pam Turnipseed 91, Mary Botsford 92, Vicki Moffatt 92, Joanie Hannah 93, Janis Crenshaw 93, Teri Mayer 94, Rosemary Harrington 94, Coral Edwards 97, Peggy Tomlins 98, Gail Jones 98, Maggie Kilroy 101, Stephanie Heilman 102, Sandra Wagner 102, Diana Lee 108, Tina Mickelson 110, Sandy Darland 111, Alice Petrick 114, Becky Barry 111.

Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479, or e-mail ttrower@mailtribune.com