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Hammericksen cruises to city golf crown

The sting of having her high school golf season quashed by the coronavirus has subsided for Baylee Hammericksen, in part because other tournaments have come along to fill the void.

Such as, the Rogue Valley Stroke Play Championships.

“Exactly,” she said after the final round at Centennial Golf Club on Sunday. “Basically, it’s anything available, anything I can get my hands on, I’m entering it.”

What she got her hands on was the women’s division championship trophy.

Hammericksen, a two-time state champion for St. Mary’s who is entering her senior year, followed a stellar first round with a scrambling, 1-under 71 in the second round to run away with the title in her first foray into the city tournament.

On the strength of an opening 66, she fashioned a 137 over the weekend and triumphed by 12 shots over Terry Levis, whose 78 gave her a 149. Two other players, Riley Hammericksen — Baylee’s sister — and defending champion Payton Canon tied for third at 151.

In men’s divisions, Kevin Geniza repeated as the championship winner, finishing six shots clear of the field; Jamie Burton took the open title with an even-par weekend; Johnny Mansfield completed a wire-to-wire victory to defend his senior title with a 71; Glen Clark played the back nine in 3 under to hold off Kevin Klabunde in the super senior; and Jon Paauwe shot a 76 to surge to victory in the legends.

Hammericksen looked forward to her junior season this past spring and a potential third Class 4A/3A/2A/1A individual crown when prep sports were scrapped.

“When the season was canceled, I was definitely upset by it,” she said. “I really wanted to win four state championships, so I was pretty sad about it at first. But once other tournaments started opening up, I tried to think more positively. It was like, hey, some tournaments are open, at least I’m playing in something; something’s better than nothing.”

Only one girl, regardless of classification, has claimed state four times since championships began in 1971. Summit’s Madison Odiome did it, her last win coming in 2015.

Hammericksen set the 4A/3A/2A/1A state record for lowest two-day score in 2019 when she had a 5-under 139.

Among the tournaments that took her attention away from the prep season were the Oregon Golf Association Stroke Play and Public Links championships. She placed second in each.

Hammericksen is holding out hope she’ll have a senior golf season. In the meantime, she continues to take care of business.

On Sunday, Hammericksen made five birdies and four bogeys. That came on the heels of Saturday’s bogey-free gem.

“No complaints about yesterday,” she said. “Today was definitely a little tougher. I seemed to find every bunker on the golf course. I was getting a little creative that way. But it was great. I think every once in a while, playing tough greens is great. It’s good for you.”

She found a fairway bunker on her first shot of the day, but she knocked a wedge to 8 feet from 85 yards out and began with a birdie.

“That was a really good highlight for me, even though that was the beginning of the round,” she said. “It kind of gave me confidence.”

From there, it was a bit of roller coaster.

“I think my putting was the biggest thing for me,” she said. “That’s what was holding everything together.”

Clark shot a 69 to finish at 139, two shots ahead of Klabunde, who finished with a 70.

They began the day as part of a logjam near the top of the super-senior leaderboard. Five players were within two strokes of the lead, and three others were another two shots back.

Steady play over the front nine — all pars — kept Clark in it, then a big putt on the 10th hole kick-started his back side. His approach left him pin high to a back hole location on the par 4 but about 40 feet away.

To that point, said Clark, “There were some putts I probably should have made that I didn’t. Then on 10 I made something that you don’t expect.”

He followed with another birdie at the 11th, sinking about a 10-footer.

Clark and Klabunde weren’t in the same group but chatted during the round.

Klabunde was also even through the first nine, and there remained a couple prime scoring holes “I knew he could do some real stuff with,” said Clark. “So I’m thinking, you know, you better play good coming in.”

“I know Kevin,” he added. “In this valley, when you play golf, he’s the guy who’s always going to be there. On occasion, you get lucky.”

Clark got to 3 under on his round with an uphill, 15-foot birdie on the par-3 17th.

He saved the day with a difficult bunker shot and 8-foot par putt on 18.

“Over that putt, I’m thinking, you know, if you don’t make this, you might not win,” said Clark. “Either that or you may be in a playoff.”

The only mistake he made on the weekend that sent him backwards was a poor chip on No. 4 Saturday that led to a double bogey.

“I hit the ball good the last couple days,” he said.

Mansfield began the day with a four-shot cushion after a 67. His 138 total put him ahead of John Kandaris (144) and Marty Morlan (145).

Mansfield had four birdies and three bogeys. He birdied the first hole, calming his nerves, then followed with a bogey, then a birdie.

“It seemed like everytime I made a bogey I’d bounce back and make a birdie, which is nice,” he said.

Mansfield hasn’t played a lot this year because of a busy work schedule, but he did claim the Centennial club championship.

He didn’t take his first-day lead for granted.

“I’ll tell you, man, there’s a lot of good players at Centennial,” he said, “and the way they set the course up, there’s no comfortable lead, that’s for sure.”

Geniza, who played for the University of Oregon before his senior season was canceled this spring, shot a 71 Sunday to finish with a 138 total. Mark L. Wilson also shot 71 and was at 144, as were Michael Gray and Ryan Schaefer, who fashioned final-round 72s.

Geniza made 15 pars in a workmanlike round. He birdied the ninth and 16th holes, both par 5s, and bogeyed No. 3.

Burton shot a final-round 71 for a 144, four shots ahead of Jeremiah Paladino (75). Burton was 1 over on his round before playing the final 11 holes in 2 under. He was even on the back with all pars.

Paauwe (78) trailed Norm Hall (77) by one stroke entering Sunday’s round, then pulled away.

Paauwe had a 154 total, five shots ahead of runner-up Rich Larsen’s 159. Hall and Nick Viani tied for third at 161.

ROGUE VALLEY STROKE PLAY CHAMPIONSHIPS

Sunday’s Final Round (Top 10)

MEN'S CHAMPIOSHIP

Kevin Geniza 67-71—138, Mark L. Wilson 73-71—144, Michael Gray 72-72—144, Ryan Schaefer 72-72—144, Michael Leonard 71-74—145, Seth King 73-73—146, Taylor Klemp 72-74—146, David Murphy 71-76—147, Kolby Boisen 70-77—147, Travis Campoy 75-73—148.

MEN’S OPEN

Jamie Burton 73-71—144, Jeremiah Paladino 73-75—148, Brandon Crosier 79-74—153, Kristopher Kaufman 79-76—155, Michael Forney 79-78—157, Tony Conklin 80-78—158, Alex Jacobberger 79-79—158, David Husel 77-81—158, Chris Wood 80-79—159, Anthony Ulloa 79-80—159.

MEN’S SENIOR

Johnny Mansfield 67-71—138, John Kandaris 75-69—144, Marty Morlan 74-71—145, Rick Dollarhide 76-71—147, Dave Schoenmann 72-75—147, Craig Vogensen 74-74—148, Cameron Mitchell 73-77—150, Jay Klemp 78-73—151, Dan Keck 71-80—151j, Robert Stassi 74-78—152.

MEN’S SUPER SENIOR

Glen Clark 70-69—139, Kevin Klabunde 71-70—141, David George 70-75—145, John Robinson 75-71—146, Marshall Holman 73-73—146, Steve Wood 73-73—146, Bruce Hart 69-77—146, Jim Hoffman 75-72—147, Mark Wilson 74-75—149, Pat Daggitt 78-75—153, Chris Littleton 73-80—153.

MEN’S LEGENDS

Jon Paauwe 78-76—154, Rich Larsen 80-79—159, Nick Viani 82-79—161, Norm Hall 77-84—161, Duane Nelson 80-83—163, Bob Harrell 82-82—164, Bill Doss 85-80—165, Rod Reid 81-86—167, John Ferris 85-88—173, Lael Collins 87-89—176.

WOMEN’S

Baylee Hammericksen 66-71—137, Terry Levis 71-78—149, Riley Hammericksen 77-74—151, Payton Canon 76-75—151, Lindsey Crosier 75-84—159, Leslie Gainey 79-82—161, Carolyn Turner 81-84—165, Laurel Kiichli 102-90—192, Mindy Ferris 97-96—193, Darla Allen 99-101—200.

Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479 or ttrower@rosebudmedia.com.

Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune Baylee Hammericksen hits off the 18th tee Sunday at Centennial Golf Club.
Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune Glen Clark laughs after winning the Super Senior division Sunday at Centennial Golf Club.