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Cook whips up recipe for medalist honors

It took awhile for golf to grow on Rosie Cook.

"I never like it," she said.

That was back in 1997, when her husband taught her to play in Tacoma, Wash. The then-26-year-old native of Singapore eventually took to it, and now you'll find her gallivanting around the state, looking for tournaments.

One of the one's she found was the Southern Oregon Golf Championships, and on Wednesday in her qualifying round, the Bend resident earned medalist honors in the women’s division at Rogue Valley Country Club with a 1-over-par 74.

"Now my husband says, 'I guess you like the game,'" said Cook. "And it's a good thing. I'm golfing and my husband plays softball all over the place. So no time for me to relax at home."

Cook bested what appears to be one of the stronger women's fields in recent years.

Among those behind her in qualifying were Jessica Young (76) and two-time champion Kelly Loeb (77). Others in the hunt this week are defending champion Terry Levis, who didn't have to qualify and is the No. 1 seed; and former champions Trina Jones, Amanda Nealy and Reena Bernardo.

Qualifying culminated with women and out-of-town men on Wednesday. Match play begins today and concludes Monday with championships in all divisions and flights.

Two medalists emerged from Wednesday's play. Kim Cushing of Grants Pass shot a 1-under-par 71 to take honors in the senior men's, and Linda Tungsvik of Federal Way, Wash., registered an 84 for the low in the senior women's.

Local men qualified on Tuesday, and rounds that held up for medalist were Jimmy White's course-record-tying 60 in the men's regular, Kevin Klabunde's 70 in the men's junior-senior and Doug Olson's 73 in the men's super senior.

Cook's travels in the past couple weeks have taken her to tournaments up and down Interstate 5, among them the Oregon Mid-Amateur and the Oregon Stroke Play. She didn't threaten to win either, but she's certainly tournament tested.

She plays out of Awbrey Glen, where she’s won the club championship nine times — the two times she didn’t since 2004, she didn’t enter — and Juniper, which she joined in the past year and won its club title.

Cook made her debut in the Southern Oregon last year, squandering a five-hole lead in the semifinals and losing to Jones.

The former’s unfamiliarity with the inside nine at RVCC contributed to her undoing, she said.

"The inside beat me," she said.

In preparation for this SOGC, she squeezed in a day trip between tournaments up north and got a practice round in on the nine-hole layout that plays long and features some tricky greens.

"It's not bad after that, after you get to know, right?" she said.

She was able to relax on the course Wednesday following a "busy, busy week," and it didn't hurt that she got in some decent sleep.

Using a new driver, she got off the tee well and negotiated the course nicely, shooting 35 on the front with two birdies and a bogey. On the back nine, which is a par 37 for the women, she birdied the par-5 10th but had bogeys on Nos. 12, 13 and 18. A wayward wedge on the last prevented her from shooting par.

She tried to keep her approach shots below the holes, following the lead of her experienced playing partners, she said.

Cook was hesitant to say her goal is to win the tournament.

"In my game, when I play golf, I never think about winning," she said. "I always want to think about having a good time, enjoying the golf course, great weather and nice people; and second, just play your best.

"I don't compete against people, I compete the course."

When pressed about the desire to win, however, she laughed and admitted she wouldn’t mind.

"Well, yeah," she said. "But it's bad luck, you know? I hate to say that."

Another person who likely would like to win is Cushing.

He put together a solid round, making eight 4s on the front nine — the exception was a birdie 3 on the seventh hole — for a 35. He made a bogey and birdie in the middle of his back nine en route to a 36.

Mens Regular

Bryce Wortman 71, Matthew Bilyeu 72, David Murphy 72, Thomas Avalon 73, Ryan Schaefer 73, Montana Frame 73, Taylor Garbutt 74, Cody Stoffel 74, Joey Rossknecht 74, Maurisio Rayas 74, Ryan Hawkins 76, Jon Robinson 77, Seth Walters 77, Jack Bell 79, Mathew Eschenbacher 79, Keith Lallo 83, Cole Weinhold 83, Justin Fish 84, Scott Moore 84, Brian Smith 84, Chris Norlander 84, Tim Shaw 86, Rick Buchler 89, Scott Lewis 90, Dave Mettler 92, Jim Corbett 92, Collin Krueger 94, Dave Hanson 98, Jim Stormo 98, Scott Sterton 104, Jad Dickson 106, Steve Mast 114.

Junior Senior

Steve Taormino 71, David Kaplan 71, Joel Jessel 78, Michael Riley 78, Jim Mansfield 79, Paul Weinhold 79, Timothy O’Reilly 80, Kevin Wu 81, Duke DeBernardi 82, Brent Orrico 83, Steve Connell 83, Kevin Jones 85, Michael Diehl 86, Geoff Loomis 86, Erick Doolen 86, Jim Retzlaff 86, John Hall 87, Brian Sherrill 87, Mark Hardin 88, Eric Hansen 89, Mark Hash 90,Tim Hornecker 91, Joe Arnesen 92, Lance Hunter 93, Mike Dunlevy 95, Daniel Davis 96, Daryn Clark 100, Billy Burke 104.

Senior Men

Kim Cushing 71, Doug Ward 73, Kevin Croucher 74, Bill Warnick 77, Kenneth Van Daam 77, Jim Overmyer 77, Gary Loeb 78, Mike Finnell 79, Vaughn Schneider 79, Scott Mayfield 80, Dave Allen 80, Terry Faulkner 82, Brian Odell 82, Edwin Brown 82, Gary Sterton 82, Robert Tennant 85, Mike Stewart 85, Scott Swendiman 86, James Mulhall 86, Scott Ashpole 87, Gibb Mitchell 87, Ross Cooley 88, Jerry Sessions 88, Kenny Weist 88, Bob Glover 90, Chris Carrigan 91, Doug Hartley 91, Don Mitchell 91, Ed Knight 92, Kevin Aguirre 95, James Parsley 95, Darrell Hunt 101.

Super Senior Men

Ron Howard 77, Tom Hamlin 80, Bob Harrell 81, Pat O’Brien 84, Bruce McDonald 86, Roger Peck 86, David Hetherington 86, Robert Adler 86, James Achenbach 88, Tom Watson 89, Bill Replogle 90, John Root 90, Jerry Rohrs 90, Fred Ferreira 90, Dodd Samuel 90, Mark Fawver 90, Tom Riley 91, Warren Parke 91, George Parsons 92, Conrad Caprez 92, David Mansfield 92, Harley Myers 92, Tom Aubuchon 94, Ralph Perry 97, Dwight Samuel 101, Windell Towe 102, Rodger Campuzano 110.

Womens Regular

Rosie Cook 74, Jessica Young 76, Kelly Loeb 77, Amanda Nealy 77, Trina Jones 78, Reena Bernardo 80, Tracie Armitage 83, Calista Crenshaw 84, Christina Phelps 85, Melinda Heiner 85, Lee Ann Loftin 89, Tina Blum 90, Laura Rommes 91, Annette Van Daam 91, Lori Humphrey 92, Lindsey Crosier 92, Toni Doolen 93, Michele Rostron 94, Dana Carringan 95, Tammie Allen 95, Cathy Trower 96, Julia Tissen 96, Courtney Hall 99, Mindy Johnston 100,Genna Mettler 103, Marnie Binney 106, Bridgette Griffin 106, Tonia Waldron 109, Barbara Stormo 110, Teresa Barry 113, Jennifer Finnell 119.

Womens Senior

Linda Tungsvik 84, Allison Myers 86, Judy Slater 86, Alice Hunt 87, Eileen Whitten 89, Deb Stuart 89, Maureen McFaddin 90, Lavone Kirkwood 90, Janet Stark 91, Cathy Dunlap 91, Gail B. Jones 92, Jan Hughes 92, Donna Woodson 94, Paula Cracraft 95, Rosemary Harrington 96, Barbara Pinkham 97, Mary Botsford 97, Deanna St. Martin 98, Sue Hunter 98, Deborah Anderson 99, Sharon Swartsley 99, Julie Schamanek 101, Kristine Jones 101, Teri Mayer 101, Colleen Holbert 104, Melinda Fowler 104, Jan Albrecht 104, Becky Barry 106, Coral Edwards 108, Shelly Fisher 110, Sonja Nisson 110, Gayle Reed 110.

Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4376, or email ttrower@mailtribune.com

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