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Oh brother: Younger Mansfield ousts defending SOGC champ

Jim Mansfield got to live every younger brother’s dream Saturday afternoon in the 91st annual Southern Oregon Golf Championships.

Facing his brother Johnny, who is 14 months his elder, in the quarterfinals of the junior-senior championship flight, Jim Mansfield accomplished something he had never done in all their years of competition on the course: He won.

It wasn’t easy and it certainly was also bittersweet, but the 54-year-old golfer was able to drain a 10-foot birdie putt on the 19th hole to dispatch his brother, who also served as the SOGC junior-senior defending champion.

All of it happening with their parents watching as their supporting caddies.

“When I won it, I loved it,” said Jim Mansfield, “but my Pops hated it because he didn’t want us to play against each other unless we waited until the finals. It was a great feeling to get the win.”

“I’m more of a basketball player, he’s the golfer,” he added, “so this was the first time I ever beat him in a golf match.”

In all reality, Johnny Mansfield hasn’t taken too many losses on the golf course in some time now. The 55-year-old Jacksonville resident has won the past two Rogue Valley Stroke Play Championships titles and, last year, was a runaway winner in his SOGC championship match against Scott Wise, going 8 up after 18 holes before winning 11 and 9.

“It’s funny because he was the defending champ and he’s been killing everybody up here,” said Jim Mansfield, who lives in Placentia, California. “He won the city championships at Centennial last week and no one could beat him so afterwards a bunch of the guys were telling me thanks for taking out the defending champ because we can’t beat him, so thanks for taking him out for us.”

Jim Mansfield, who lost in the 2009 championship flight semifinals, will get another shot at advancing to Monday’s finals when he takes on Todd Couch today at Rogue Valley Country Club. Couch advanced to the semifinals with a 4-and-3 win over Richard Owens.

Also advancing to the junior-senior semifinals were Greg Findley, who won 2 and 1 over Paul Weinhold, and Eric Linderud, who edged David Cuttrell on the 19th hole.

In other marquee matches, defending champion Johnna Nealy joined former women’s champions Terry Levis and Trina Jones in advancing to today’s semifinals with Baylee Hammericksen, who was medalist and is seeking her first SOGC crown.

In the men’s championship flight, medalist Bryce Wortman was 1 up over Jeremy Wu to earn his spot into today’s semifinals, while 2015 SOGC champion Chris Polski earned his spot with a 3-and-2 win over Cole Weinhold. Also advancing to the semifinals were Joshua Wu, who won 3 and 2 over Ethan Devore, and Kevin Geniza, who was a 4-and-3 winner over Bryce Stiemert.

Kevin Klabunde maintained his chance at a seventh senior men’s championship when he edged Billy Anderson, 1 up, to advance into Monday’s finals, where he will face Marty Morlan, who also won 1 up over Craig Knips.

The legends division will see a first-time champion after Mike Simmons was able to topple two-time defending champion George Mack, 1 up, in Saturday’s semifinals. Simmons will face Al Raduski in Monday’s championship after he scored a 3 and 2 win over Larry Garvin.

The Mansfield brothers each got off to a rough start in Saturday’s quarterfinals before Jim was able to go 2 up through eight holes. Johnny stormed back by chipping in on the 10th hole and, with his par on the 11th, he suddenly found himself 1 up. It soon returned to all square, and stayed that way despite each brother making eagle on the par-5 16th hole.

Showing his mettle, John drained a challenging 15-foot downhill putt for birdie on the 17th hole to go 1 up, but little brother would not go away quietly as he made a 6-foot birdie on the 18th hole to send their match into extra holes.

On the fateful 19th hole, a replay of No. 1, Johnny saw his 20-footer for birdie lip out of the cup and that’s when Jim seized his opportunity from 10 feet away.

“I knew if he got up on me I was in trouble so I had to get an early lead to hang on,” said Jim. “I kind of just had nothing to lose. I wasn’t expected to win so I just played free out there.”

The Mansfield boys grew up with some good one-on-one battles on the basketball and tennis courts, and also played Little League baseball together. The Mansfield family has been competing at the Southern Oregon Golf Championships for decades, with Jim saying their father Dave Mansfield has made the trek from California for 40 years now.

On Saturday, it felt as if the Mansfields had gone back in a time machine.

“It was just a lot of fun playing with my brother,” said Jim. “It was like we were playing like we did when we were teenagers back at the home course at Alta Vista Country Club. Johnny used to work there, but he would shoot 66 and I would shoot 86 back in the day.”

The brothers had wanted to be in different flights or at least on different ends of the bracket for this year’s tournament so they could caddy for one another. That didn’t happen, although now Jim will have some added motivation in his corner when Johnny serves as caddy for the semifinals.

“He told me now you better win this thing because you took me out and if you lose, I’m gonna kill ya,” Jim said with a laugh.

Tournament scoring can be followed on golfgenius.com with the sign-in code of SOGC2020.

Southern Oregon Golf Championships

Saturday’s Results

MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT

Bryce Wortman def. Jeremy Wu 1 up, Kevin Geniza def. Bryce Stiemert 4 & 3, Josh Wu def. Ethan DeVore 3 & 2, Chris Polski def. Cole Weinhold 3 & 2

MEN’S FIRST FLIGHT

Matt Preston def. Alex Jacobberger 7 & 6, Joey Rossknecht def. Ryan Suvoy 6 & 4, Tyler Franke def. Taylor Klemp 2 & 1, Mayson Tibbs def. Jared Charbonneau 4 & 2

MEN’S SECOND FLIGHT

Nicholas Daggitt def. Matthew Dachowski 19th, Jeremiah Paladino def. Jordan Jacobs 5 & 4, Kyle Oldfield def. Logan Artner 20th, Benjamin Purtzer def. Tyler Arnsberg 1 up

MEN’S THIRD FLIGHT

Scott Weiland def. Brian Murphy 1 up, Chris Wood def. Craig Fox 1 up, Jeremy Henson def. Matt Johnson 2 & 1, Ryan Cantor def. Ian Norgan 3 & 2

MEN’S FOURTH FLIGHT

Morgan Hawkins def. Michael Williamson 19th, Kos Ray def. Jason Hanlin 1 up, Chase Schumacher def. Levi Daily 6 & 5, Brandon Chun def. Owen Stark 5 & 4

MEN’S FIFTH FLIGHT

Charlie Walker def. Scott Mettler 1 up, Jeremy Ross def. Darrell Thompson 2 & 1, Patrick McCormick def. Matt Johnson 2 & 1, Andrew Curiel IV def. Kevin McDermott 3 & 2

MEN’S SIXTH FLIGHT

Jordan Anderson def. Devin Zupan 5 & 3, Connor Couch def. Immanuel Byrne 5 & 3, Anthony Marquez def. Taylor Quigley 9 & 8, Nicholas Jones def. Ryan Nichols 1 up

MEN’S SEVENTH FLIGHT

Aouriri Heykel def. Mick Hagert 1 up, Henry Jones def. Simon Ruiz 5 & 4, Collin Krueger def. Scott Sterton 2 & 1, Shawn Shumate def. Adam Reed 1 up

JUNIOR-SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT

Jim Mansfield def. Johnny Mansfield 19th, Todd Couch def. Richard Owen’s 4 & 3, Greg Findley def. Paul Weinhold 2 & 1, Eric Linerud def. David Cuttrell 19th

JUNIOR-SENIOR FIRST FLIGHT

Todd Dixon def. Ted Stark 1 up, Steve Taormino def. Bret Breeze 1 up, Mike Snowden def. Jeff Roberts 1 up, Jake Rockwell def. Brandon Crosier 1 up,

JUNIOR-SENIOR SECOND FLIGHT

James Russell def. Scott Knight 1up, Larry Miller def. Erick Pederson 1 up, Todd Ostenson def. Randy Croucher 1 up, Jeff Morgan def. Joe Bowles 2 & 1

JUNIOR-SENIOR THIRD FLIGHT

Kevin Jones def. Jonathan Stark 19th, Ralph Wallis def. Jason Rowan 1 up, Benny Shapiro def. Milo Smith 1 up, Joe Davis def. Jim Retzlaff 2 & 1

JUNIOR-SENIOR FOURTH FLIGHT

Kevin Primerano def. Michael Burrill 7 & 5, Ron Stranahan def. Ceasar Espino 2 & 1, Mike Walker def. Scott VanWey 3 & 1, Chris DuFour def. Jason Miller 20th

JUNIOR-SENIOR FIFTH FLIGHT

Josh Godfrey def. Tim Price 4 & 3, Jad Dickson def. Philip Smith 20th, Frank Baracao def. Joe Hunter 10 & 8, Dean Kinney def. James Figueroa 5 & 3

SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT

Kevin Klabunde def. Billy Anderson 1 up, Marty Morlan def. Craig Knips 1 up

SENIOR FIRST FLIGHT

Stan Presley def. David Card 19th, Erick Doolen def. Evan McArthur 1 up

SENIOR SECOND FLIGHT

Kevin Dixon def. Tom Pepple 2 & 1, Jim Collman def. Anthony Marquez 1 up

SENIOR THIRD FLIGHT

Brian Adolph def. Rich Mettler 1 up, Joel Jessel def. Eric Hansen 1 up

SENIOR FOURTH FLIGHT

Eric Artner def. Carl Wolfe 1 up, Michael Schroeder def. Dave Mettler 1 up

SENIOR FIFTH FLIGHT

Gibb Mitchell def. Tom Mayer 19th , Bruce Mendelson def. John Sellers 1 up

LEGENDS CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT

Mike Simmons def. George Mack 1 up, Al Raduski def. Larry Garvin 3 & 2

LEGENDS FIRST FLIGHT

Bob Harrell def. Tom Hamlin 2 & 1, Bruce Van Zee def. James Thomason 5 & 3

LEGENDS SECOND FLIGHT

Dodd Samuel def. Dave Mansfield 1 up, Len Merryman def. Bruce McDonald 1 up

LEGENDS THIRD FLIGHT

Sid DeBoer def. Al Carlson 1 up, Ron Dixon def. Dar Wolber 1 up

LEGENDS FOURTH FLIGHT

Michael Trovato def. Alex Bellen 5 & 4, 1 up, Robert Hutchins def. Rich Karchmer 6 up

LEGENDS FIFTH FLIGHT

John Ferris def. Warren Parke 1 up, John Maurer def. David Rasmussen 5 & 3

WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT

Johnna Nealy def. Genna Mettler 4 & 2, Teri Levis def. Lindsey Crosier 1 up, Baylee Hammericksen def. Sandy Day 1 up, Trina Jones def. Marla Parmele 7 & 6

WOMEN’S FIRST FLIGHT

Linda Johnson def. Carolyn Turner 2 & 1, Stephanie Johns def. LaVone Kirkwood 6 & 5, Payton Canon def. Toni Doolen 7 & 6, Kirsten Reed def. Laura Rommes 2 & 1

WOMEN’S SECOND FLIGHT

Sue Hunter def. Francie Bostwick 1 up, Toni Watkins def. Cindy Cuttrell 19th, Melinda Heiner def. Sandra Medaris 3 & 1, Leslie Gainey def. Candy Burtis 6 & 5

WOMEN’S THIRD FLIGHT

Barb Pinkham def. Annette VanDaam 1 up, Jane Conrad def. Mindy Ferris 3 up, Dana Carrigan def. Pam Schepis 1 up, Deb Stuart def. Diane Plotts 1 up

WOMEN’S FOURTH FLIGHT

Jan Hughes def. Laurel Kiichli 4 & 2, Julie Schamanek def. Tonya Waldron 3 & 2, Macy Aguirre def. Cathy Trower 1 up, Darla Allen def. Deborah Martin 20th

WOMEN’S FIFTH FLIGHT

Deanna St. Martin def. Carolyn Collins 1 up, Judy Brown def. Fawn Jones 1 up, Molly Mettler def. Cindy Cravens 1 up, Shelli Bates def. Jeanne Lambson 2 & 1

Have a story idea? Reach reporter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, khenry@rosebudmedia.com, www.facebook.com/krishenryMT or www.twitter.com/Kris_Henry

Jim Mansfield