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Women’s flight down to the final four at SOGC

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Top seeds Canon, Nealy move on to semifinals

Nursing a 2 up advantage with two holes to play Saturday, Payton Canon approached the 17th tee at Rogue Valley Country Club with a renewed calm and confidence.

Yes, she had watched her lead over Marla Parmele in the Southern Oregon Golf Championships quarterfinals shrink to just 1 up two holes earlier after both players overshot the 15th green and had to work back toward the flag, where Parmele sunk a crucial putt to win the hole. Also upping the ante was the fact that most spectators following the two were cheering for Parmele, the 2018 SOGC senior women’s champion and a well-known golf figure in the area.

While trying to regroup from a couple putts that ran past the 14th and 15th holes, Canon was able to putt within a few inches on the 16th and win the hole. Suddenly, everything calmed back down.

“I made a bad putt, so I just had to shake it off,” Canon said. “She’s a good player ... I knew I had to play my game, just take deep breaths and swing, that’s kind of just what I do. I wasn’t necessarily chasing, I was just like, ‘All right, calm down and play your game.’”

With the 2 up lead, Canon simply needed to tie the hole to win. Both players reached the par-4 green in two shots, before Canon two-putted to clinch the win, 2 and 1. The two embraced, congratulating each other, and expressed a mutual respect for the round they played.

“She’s a legend out here,” Canon said, “and I’m not from here, so I felt the pressure a little bit ... I just kind of tuned it out as best as I could, put the pressure on myself instead of everyone else.”

Interestingly enough, Canon’s play this week has become the stuff of legend in its own right at RVCC, chatter that has been overheard countless times around the scoreboard area or even while walking the RVCC course. Much of it started in response to the Canon’s qualifying round in which she shot a 69, four strokes better than second-place Johnna Nealy, the three-time women’s champion, who also reached the semifinals. Canon, who will soon be entering her senior season on the Oregon Tech women’s golf team, was also pleased the opening round that earned her the No. 1 seed.

“I was just hitting it really well, so for the score to add up as well was really cool to see,” Canon said. “I haven’t been scoring well lately, so to see that finally come together was satisfying.”

Canon will play Terry Levis in the semifinals Sunday, with second-seeded Nealy and Kelly Loeb in the other semis match. Nealy defeated Trina Jones, 1 up, in another close match, and Loeb topped Sandy Day, 3 and 1.

It has seemingly become tradition for Nealy and Jones to play each other at some juncture of the SOGC. More often than not, including Saturday, there isn’t much separating the two.

Neither player led by more than 1 up for the entirety of the round, but with Nealy owning the advantage coming down to the 18th, Jones was unable to win the hole and send it to a playoff as both players finished with par.

Jones, a two-time champion, last won the women’s title in 2018 before Nealy won in 2019.

“It was basically how we usually play each other — just back and forth,” Nealy said. “I essentially knew each hole was going to need to be won with a birdie ... and I knew the match would probably come down to 18, if not extra holes.”

Nealy also reached the 2020 finals, but Baylee Hammericksen captured the title, winning 2 and 1. Nealy will have a chance to reach a fourth straight finals with today’s semifinals match.

In the men’s championship, R.O. Gamez is set to face Joey Rossknecht after the former defeated Mayson Tibbs on the first hole of a playoff Saturday. Ethan Devore and Chris Polski will also play in the semifinals. Polski defeated Cameron Smith on the 19th hole.

In the men’s junior-senior, another No. 1 seed, Todd Couch, was knocked off by No. 25 Bryan White, 6 and 5. White will face Michael Stieler on Sunday. Tommy Smith and Greg Findley are set to square off on the other side of the bracket.

Both the men’s super senior and legends played the semifinals Saturday, and will get a day off leading up to Monday’s finals. In the super senior, No. 1 Bob Dickey and No. 2 Glen Clark will vie for the title. The men’s legends finals will pit No. 4 Bob Maentz against No. 2 Bob Dixon.

Tournament scoring can be followed on golfgenius.com with the sign-in code SOGC2021.

SOUTHERN OREGON GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS

Saturday results as of press time

Men’s Championship Flight

R.O Gamez def. Mayson Tibbs 19th, Joey Rosskenchet def. Michael Leonard 3&2, Ethan DeVore def. Mark Wilson 2&1, Chris Polski def. Cameron Smith 19th

Men’s 1st Flight

Gerry Snyder def. Calvin Maready 3&2, Edward Smith def. Benjamin Purtzer 2&1, Jonathon Purtzer def. Braden Shipley 1 up, Jacob Henderson def. Seth Walters 5&4

Men’s 2nd Flight

Corey Marineau def. Bryce Thomason 6&4, Chase Schumacher def. Scott Fieber 1 up, Taylor Klemp def. Jon Robinson 1 up, Chris Wood def. Richard Ferguson 1 up

Men’s 3rd Flight Bracket

Scott Weiland def. Cody Stover 19th, Jeshua Buchanan def. Scott Mettler 1 up, Christian Espiritu def. Jacob Gooding 1 up, Ryan Mitchell def. Craig Fox 3&1

Men’s 4th Flight

Cruz Kilborn def. Isaac Rolie 1 up, Jordan Anderson def. Dustin Wallace 2&1, Jeremiah Paladino def. Alex Brown 1 up, Kos Ray def. Craig Contreras 1 up

Men’s 5th Flight

Levi Daily def. Jim Corbett 1 up, Dalton Pfau def. Austin Stack 4&3, Jeremy Henson def. Ian Norgan 5&3, Jason Hanlin def. Matthew Cuellar 2&1

Men’s 6th Flight

Timothy Wiedrich def. Matt Stranahan 3&2, Charles Walker def. Matthew Dachowski 1 up, Jim Bennett def. Garren Pedemonte 3&2, Jake Valentine def. Casey Swendiman 19th

Men’s 7th Flight

Kevin Biggs def. Ben Mertens 4&2, Brian Findlay def. Adam Reed 7&6, Jimmy Ulrey def. Dallin George 4&3, Travis Sanders def. Ryan Nichols 1 up

Men’s 8th Flight

Christopher Ellis def. Beau Bodenski 8&7, Dominic David def. Connor Lambert 3&2, Jordan Jenkins def. William Haug 1 up, Immanuel Byrne def. Shawn Shumate 1 up

Men’s 9th Flight

Matthew Miller def. Jensen Mettler 8&7 Collin Krueger def. Simon Ruiz, Gordon Casey def. Ceasar Espino 5&4, Patrick McCormick def. Shawn Webber 8&7

Jr/Sr Championship Flight

Bryan White def. Todd Couch 4&3, Michael Stieler def. Trevor Telford 6&5, Tommy Smith def. Russell Horn 5&3, Greg Findley def. Cameron Mitchell 1 up

Jr/Sr 1st Flight

Morgan Hawkins def. Alan Peterson 19th, Justin Wise def. Keith Lallo 4&3, Matt Eschenbacher def. Mark McUne 3&2, Scott Wise def. Richard Owens 1 up

Jr/Sr 2nd Flight

Erik Pedersen def. Rob Neff 1 up, James Russell def. Will Riddle 1 up, Ian Powers def. Scott VanWay 6&4, Michael O’Connell def. Duanne Mataczynski 5&4

Jr/Sr 3rd Flight

Eric Engelbach def. Joe Arneson 1 up, Eric Bruhn def. Paul Sanderson 2&1, Dennis Richards def. Benny Shapiro 1 up, Justin Azevedo def. Billy Burke 1 up

Jr/Sr 4th Flight Bracket

Mike Walker def. Charles Day 1 up, Kevin Jones def. Daryn Clark 1 up, Steve Tollefson def. Tom Jones 1 up, Ryan Kantor def. Robert Glover 1 up

Jr/Sr 5th Flight

Derron Moreland def. James Cranford 1 up, Alex Clark def. Joshua Huffman 1 up, Ron Stranahan def. John Couch 4&2, Brooks Gard def. Randy Croucher 2&1

Jr/Sr 6th Flight

Robin Blanks def. Rodney Muller 1 up, Jeremy Payne def. Greg Jacobs 2&1, Jim Retzlaff def. Ed Lindbloom 3&2, Joe Davis def. Mirek Bobek 1 up

Jr/Sr 7th Flight

Chris Dufour def. Darrell Thompson 1 up, Heykel Aouriri def. Rick Miller 1 up, John Candy def. Robert Lindbloom 1 up, Josh Godfrey def. Chad Orr 3&2

Jr/Sr 8th Flight

Kevin Primerano def. Joe Hunter 1 up, Russ Wilson def. Dean Kinney 1 up

Jr/Sr 9th Flight

Tim Price def. James Figueroa 1 up, Jack Adams Bye, Jad Dickson def. Fred Paris 7&6, Jim Stormo def. David Tucker 2&1

Super Senior Championship Flight

Bob Dickey def. Kenneth Collman 4&3, Glen Clark def. Glenn Hartzheim 1 up

Super Senior 1st Flight

Doug Ward def. Paul Reynolds 3&2, Robert Stassi def. John Johnson 1 up

Super Senior 2nd Flight

Gregory Miller def. Billy Crenshaw 2&1, Scott Tuttle def. Todd Jensen 1 up

Super Senior 3rd Flight

Mike Armitage def. Larry Butler 3&2, Bruce Hart def. John Dunkin 2&1

Super Senior 4th Flight

Doug Olson def. Mel Friend 2&1, Mark Wilson def. John Kruesi 1 up

Super Senior 5th Flight

Bill Allen def. John Leuthold 1 up, John Liston def. James Bacigalupi 1 up

Super Senior 6th Flight

Rick Widlund def. Keith Jensen 21st, Scott Swendiman def. Gerald Carstens 2&1

Super Senior 7th Flight

Dave Allen def. Tom Urby 5&4, Ross Cooley def. Conrad Caprez 3&2

Super Senior 8th Flight

Chuck Kenney def. Mike Snyder 1 up, Roger Peck def. Mark Pagan 3&2

Super Senior 9th Flight

Darrell Hunt def. Patrick O’Brien 1 up, John Rowan def. Eugene Miller 5&3

Legends Championship Flight

Bob Maentz def. George Mack 2&1, Dan Dixon def. Jim Hatton 2&1

Legends 1st Flight

Larry Garvin def. Dodd Samuel 2&1, Richard Brekke def. Tom Hamlin 1 up

Legends 2nd Flight

Bruce Wood def. Bruce McDonald 2&1, Gordan Empey def. Dick Entinger 1 up

Legends 3rd Flight

Michael Goldman def. Ron Dixon 19th, Jim Hauck Bye

Legends 4th Flight

Lael Collins def. John Ferris 4&3, Cliff Barnett def. Phil Gossner 1 up

Legends 5th Flight

Dwight Samuel def. David Rasmussen 3&2, Dar Wolber def. Dave Mansfield 5&4

Women’s Championship Flight

Payton Canon def. Marla Parmele 2&1, Terry Levis def. Laura Rommes 1 up, Johnna Nealy def. Trina Jones 1 up, Kelly Loeb def. Sandy Day 3&1

Women’s 1st Flight

Kirsten Reed def. Marianne Metzger 7&5, Carolyn Turner def. Cathy Trower 3&2, Stephanie Johns def. Gina Mettler 6&5, Toni Watkins def. Deb Stuart 1 up

Women’s 2nd Flight

Maureen McFadden def. Chelsie O’Neill 5&4, Susie Hammitt def. Pamela Schepis 2&1, Lindsey Crosier def. Francie Bostwick 1 up, Deborah Martin def. Sharon Swartsley 3&1

Women’s 3rd Flight

Katie O’Brien def. Molly Mettler 7&6, Michele Orrico def. Sandra Medaris 3&2, Mindy Ferris def. Shelley Fisher 1 up, Jan Hughes def. Rosemary Harrington 4&3

Women’s 4th Flight

Julie Schamanek def. Eric Velez 1 up, Jade Greene def. Laura Kiichli 1 up, Barbara Stormo def. Dana Powers-Clark 1 up, Colleen Holbert def. Teri Mayer 20th

Women’s 5th Flight

Fawn Miller Bye, Darla Allen def. Judy Brown 4&3, Macy Aguirre def. Carolyn Collins 1 up, Shelli Bates def. Tammy Harrison 1 up

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

Peyton Canon attempts a putt at the fourth hole. Photo by Denise Baratta
Trina Jones watches as her putt stops short. Photo by Denise Baratta
Trina Jones makes a play on the fairway towards the green Saturday during match play. Photo by Denise Baratta
Marla Parmele watch her drive from the fourth tee Saturday during match play. Photo by Denise Baratta
Marla Parmele watches as she completes a putt. Photo by Denise Baratta
Peyton Canon watches her shot toward the fourth green. Photo by Denise Baratta
Marla Parmele. Photo by Denise Baratta
Johnna Nealy watches as her putt stops short of the hole. Photo by Denise Baratta
Peyton Canon attempts a putt at the fourth hole. Photo by Denise Baratta
Cameron Mitchell. Photo by Denise Baratta
Russel Horn. Photo by Denise Baratta
Tommy Smith. Photo by Denise Baratta
Johnna Nealy watches a drive. Photo by Denise Baratta
Johnna Nealy tees off at the start of play Saturday In Medford. Photo by Denise Baratta
Johnna Nealy. Photo by Denise Baratta