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Winning teams go low, with a little help

Bryan Schlafke admitted to using non-sanctioned equipment in a recent golf tournament.

His wallet.

“That’s my best club,” the Medford real estate broker laughed.

Last weekend was a busy time for local charitable tournaments. Schlafke was on two winning teams at Eagle Point Golf Club — and each had gross scores of 21 under par.

Granted, there were a few gimmicks to help drive scores lower: mulligans, long-hitting high school players for hire on some drives and cold, hard cash to buy scores.

In last Sunday’s Robert Trent Jones Jr. Invitational, which benefits Eagle Point High golf programs, teams could pony up $60 on the 11th hole and take a zero on the par 4.

“I’ve never had a zero on a scorecard,” said Schlafke. “I’ve had some X’s, but never a zero.”

“When you have those things,” he added, “it’s not a legitimate 21 under, but you still have to make putts.”

Schlafke’s teammates for the Trent Jones tourney were Race Reiter, a Crater High graduate who attends Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, and Kim and Steve Wood. Reiter played on Schlafke’s team both days, perhaps because the 6-foot-7 youngster can pound the rubber out of the ball.

“That kid is amazing,” said Schlafke. “All facets of his game are just clicking. I keep telling him he should quit school and go try the tour.”

Iowa gets plenty of snow, so winter golf is hard to find.

“He comes home, hits balls for a few weeks and, my gosh, stand back, he’s really got talent,” said Schlafke.

Wedges into par 5s are a good thing, he said.

Kim Wood moves the ball out there as well. With her hitting from forward tees, the big concern of the guys was getting their required drives in, said Schlafke.

Their team tied another for low gross. The back nine scores were used to break the tie, as recommended by the U.S. Golf Association.

The other team — Eric Massey, David Comer, Ryan Whittaker and Chuck McGarry — earned low net by a fraction over Doug Bornemann, Jason Rowan, Chad Lochrie and Spence Frantz.

Two days earlier, on Friday, Schlafke and Reiter played with Race’s father, Stan, and George Berry in the Rogue Valley Summer Swing. The tournament, organized by Vern Loy, commissioner of the Rogue Valley Basketball Officials Association, benefits extra curricular activities in Rogue Valley schools.

Schlafke, who is on that tournament’s committee, has been a member of the winning team four out of its five years. The exception was 2016.

The key, along with Race Reiter’s long drives, said Schlafke, was stellar putting.

“We all took turns making some 30- and 40-footers,” he said. “I’ve played in tournaments where four people couldn’t make a 3-footer. We were rolling them in from everywhere.”

The next-best gross score was a 53, by Brett Udall, Greg Lierman, Lonnie Lierman and Eric Lierman. They won low net with a 47.9.

ANGER MANAGEMENT: Eagle Point Golf Club owner Bob Hyer was also on a winning team, but in the ACCESS Tournament on Monday at Rogue Valley Country Club.

Hyer had an eventful day. He received a message that morning that his pro shop had been burglarized the night before.

Surveillance video showed a man, with his face covered and wearing sweat clothes, break a window to get into the pro shop. He grabbed 15 to 20 new golf clubs valued at more than $10,000, according to the Eagle Point Police Department’s Facebook post, and hustled away.

Hyer spent Monday morning reviewing video before heading to the ACCESS tourney.

“I had visions of this guy on the back of my golf ball, and I was driving it better than ever,” said Hyer.

He eagled No. 1 by himself, hitting a long drive, a rocket of a 3-wood, then sinking the putt.

“That’s what I had in my head,” he chuckled. “That yahoo in a jogging outfit.”

It helped that he and his team “made a mile worth of putts,” he said.

His teammates were Mike Naumes, Frank Phillips and Jim Gossett. They were low gross at 13 under.

Another team — Brian Stewart, Kerry Dwight, Kerry Kelly and Andrew Renyer — also shot 59 and took low net at 50.5.

WU-NDERFUL: The Wu family of Medford has enjoyed good fortune of late.

Dylan Wu, who recently completed his junior year at Northwestern, was selected to the PING All-America second team.

Wu had the third-lowest scoring average in Wildcats history, with a mark of 70.53. The only person ahead of him is Luke Donald, who had the two best seasons.

Wu finished seventh in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, NCAA regional.

Dylan’s sister, Kaylee, who will be a junior at St. Mary’s High, tied for fourth in the Peter Jacobsen Junior Challenge and earned a spot in the IMG Junior Worlds in couple weeks.

She had rounds of 79 and 78 at Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis June 20-21.

Staesha Flock, a recent St. Mary’s graduate, tied for 14th with a pair of 81s.

U.S. AM QUALIFIER: Centennial Golf Club will host a U.S. Amateur qualifier on July 24, and there will be a strong local contingent in the field of 45.

Rogue Valley players entered are Max Davis, Reese Fisher, Ryan Whittaker, Jeremy Wu and Joshua Wu.

— Have a local golf story idea? Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479 or ttrower@mailtribune.com