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Battle for first looms at RVSPC

Oshiro, Hammericksen are in tight competition to claim women’s title

The competition between Kiana Oshiro and Baylee Hammericksen lived up to the billing during the opening day of the Rogue Valley Stroke Play Championships, offering a glimpse of what could be a back-and-forth Sunday championship.

The two former local prep stars now playing college golf led the women’s flight Saturday at Centennial Golf Club, with Oshiro shooting a 4-under 68 and Hammericksen firing a 3-under 69.

They played in a group that also included Lindsey Crosier, who finished third in the flight with an 8-over 80. Oshiro and Hammericksen each birdied the par-5 second hole, before Oshiro added a birdie on the sixth hole and an eagle on the par-5 ninth hole.

A few moments, including bogeys on the seventh and 12th holes, left Oshiro feeling like her best golf is yet to come.

“I feel like I could’ve done better,” Oshiro said. “There were a lot of strokes I left out there.”

Hammericksen had four birdies through 13 holes, including back-to-back birdies on the 12th and 13th par-4 holes. The two were tied after Hammericksen bogeyed the 15th — her only bogey of the day — before Oshiro made birdie on the 16th hole to take a one-stroke lead.

“My ball-striking was good and I was hitting my lines on all my putts,” Hammericksen said, who’s the reigning women’s champion at the RVSPC and next week’s Southern Oregon Golf Championships. “I had so many putts come close, but not quite as many dropped as I was hoping. The hope and mentality that I’m adopting is that I was saving them all for tomorrow.”

Oshiro, a former state champion at Crater High, and Hammericksen, a two-time state champion with St. Mary’s High, relished the opportunity to play against each other as they prepare for their upcoming fall seasons.

Oshiro will play out her final year of eligibility at Oral Roberts following two each at LSU and Western Texas College.

“I just think it’s great competition, she’s a great competitor and I was excited to play with her because she’s also my friend,” Oshiro said.

Hammericksen will be joining the University of Oregon women’s golf team as an incoming freshman.

“I consider this a learning experience,” Hammericksen said. “Playing with girls like Kiana, who has been at LSU ... I’ve learned so much from watching them, what they do, how they handle situations, that’s what I kind of glean from it. We’ve known each other for quite a few years now, we’ve seen each other quite a bit at the golf course, so chatting with a friend is always fun.”

While Hammericksen is the defending champion, after shooting a combined 137 in the 2020 city championships, this year’s tournament is the first for Oshiro, who said she’s happy to be playing in it before leaving for Oklahoma. Her dad, Kevin Oshiro, is also serving as her caddie for the weekend.

“I hope that both Baylee and I play how we want to tomorrow, and I’m excited to see how it ends up,” Oshiro said. “I wish her luck this upcoming year and these upcoming four years for her. It’s great to see another female, young golfer from this area going into a Power 5 D-I school. I’m very excited for her.”

In the men’s championship flight, Mike Barry and Dayne Miller each shot 5-under 67 to claim a share of the lead. Miller led by one stroke, but finished with a bogey on the 18th hole. Corey Marineau sat alone in third place after shooting a 4-under 68.

Leading the men’s open was Kevin Pepper’s 69 in a round that included seven birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey. Tony Conklin and Jeremiah Paladino each shot 71 to tie for second.

Craig Vogensen’s 70 paced the men’s senior, while John Mansfield, last year’s champion, shot a 71.

The men’s super senior featured four players going under par, led by Kevin Klabunde’s 68. Lee Oltjenbruns and Kevin Croucher were at 69, while Scott Tuttle shot 70.

Jon Paauwe, the defending men’s legends champion, carded a 76 to lead the group. Norm Hall’s 77 and Dick Brekke’s 78 were close behind.

ROGUE VALLEY STROKE PLAY CHAMPIONSHIPS

Saturday’s First Round (Top 10)

MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP

Mike Barry 67, Dayne Miller 67, Corey Marineau 68, James Kelley 70, Michael Leonard 71, Richard Owens 71, Nick Galbreath 71, Camden Chose 71, Mason Snider 72, Jacob Gooding 72.

MEN’S OPEN

Kevin Pepper 69, Tony Conklin 71, Jeremiah Paladino 71, Ryan Paauwe 72, Alfonso Powers 76, Chad Dollarhide 78, Akex Brown 79, Brad Pederson 79, Alex Jacobberger 79, Gary Allen 79, Christian Espiritu 79, James Rudolph 79.

MEN’S SENIOR

Craig Vogensen 70, John Mansfield 71, George Lavalley 72, John Kandaris 73, Dave Schoenmann 73, Matt Grove 74, Marty Morlan 75, Bob Ledoux 75, Brad Bills 76, John Demario 76, Brian Paulsen.

MEN’S SUPER SENIOR

Kevin Klabunde 68, Lee Oltjenbruns 69, Kevin Croucher 69, Scott Tuttle 70, Marshall Holman 72, David George 72, Glen Clark 72, Pat Daggitt 73, Jack Hewlett 73, Cliff Layton 74, Mark Wilson 74.

MEN’S LEGENDS

Jon Paauwe 76, Norm Hall 77, Dick Brekke 78, Nick Viani 80, Ron Primasing 81, Lael Collins 84, Frank Eckerd 86, Arn Wihtol 88, Dennis Read 93, Erica Velez 112.

WOMEN’S

Kiana Oshiro 68, Baylee Hammericksen 69, Lindsey Crosier 80, Connie Huckaba 82, Shirley Stiles 96, Darla Allen 102, Leslye Reynolds 103, Terry Friend 108, Carolyn Collins 121.

Reach reporter Will Denner at 541-776-4479 or wdenner@rosebudmedia.com

Kiana Oshiro will take a one-shot lead into Sunday’s final round of the Rogue Valley Stroke Play Championships.