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Swinton upsets Barry in SOGC

Tyler Swinton doesn't have a long history of notable golf victories.

When you grow up near Juneau, Alaska, where the warm months are defined by no snowfall and high temperatures in the mid-50s, there is little time and perhaps even less inclination to hone one's game.

"I found out last year I'm the only collegiate golfer from Alaska," Swinton said after pulling off the biggest upset of the 86th annual Southern Oregon Golf Championships Friday at Rogue Valley Country Club.

Swinton, who is from Haines, Alaska, and will be a senior at Oregon Tech in Klamath Falls, knocked off defending champion Mike Barry, 4 and 2, in the second round of men's regular division match play.

Barry is one of only three players to have won the division's title four times.

With his departure, and a couple other upsets, the top four seeds made early exits.

Max Davis, who on Friday lost in a playoff for medalist honors, and Jimmy White, the Nos. 2 and 4 seeds, were also beaten Friday. Davis fell to Cody Stoffel, 1 up, and White lost to Chris Polski, 5 and 4.

Third-seeded Mark Wilson Jr., who defeated Davis to become medalist, lost his opening match on Thursday.

The only other defending champion to tumble on Friday was Dan Dixon, who fell 1 up to John Dunkin in men's super senior.

Last year's titlists who advanced to the weekend were Steve Taormino (men's junior-senior), Glen Clark (men's senior) and LaVone Kirkwood (women's senior).

Another notable victory was by Bob Harrell, a six-time men's senior champion who now is in the super senior. He defeated medalist Doug Olson, 2 and 1.

Match play continues today through Monday, when championships in all divisions will be contested.

Swinton, who is 6-foot-7, didn't have high school or junior golf available when he took up the game in his mid-teens. He got into league play at his home course in the summer but didn't play competitively until he reached college.

He had an offer to play NCAA Division II basketball, but elected to give golf a try. He and his father sought schools in Oregon because they have family here, and he landed at Southwestern Oregon Community College in Coos Bay.

After a couple years, it was off to OIT, where he had several top-five finishes last year and placed fourth in the conference tournament.

Swinton got into the SOGC as a means to sharpen his skills prior to OIT's fall season. He initially was too late to register, but when three-time winner Kevin Murphy of Rogue River couldn't play because of school obligations, he sold his entry to Swinton.

Murphy's younger brother, David, himself a victor on Friday, is an OIT teammate of Swinton's.

Swinton's triumph over Barry was decisive, even though neither player professed to have their best game.

"It was pretty exciting," the 21-year-old Swinton said. "I expected a good match throughout. I don't think Mike had his best stuff, and I didn't either. I knew coming in he is such a great player, I wanted to play good. I guess I just got it done. I made more putts than him."

Swinton took advantage of a couple bogeys by Barry and opened a 3-up lead through six holes.

"The beauty of match play is, you don't have to play great, you just have to beat what your competitor is doing," said Swinton.

Barry, who missed the city tournament — normally a tune-up for this week — said he was fortunate not to be down more early.

"It's frustrating," he said, "but at the same time, you can only expect to get out of it what you put into it. I haven't had the time I needed to get fully prepared for the tournament."

Both players got stronger about the eighth hole, which each birdied, and Swinton built a 5-up lead with a birdie at No. 10 and par at No. 11.

A key was when he maintained his lead by matching a Barry birdie on the 12th. Barry was on in two at the par 5, and Swinton was just off the front in two after a drive that nearly went out of bounds.

"I was 5 up with six to play and felt like that was insurmountable, even for him," said Swinton. "I've heard some stories about him coming back from some crazy things, but I felt pretty good at that point."

Barry won Nos. 13 and 15 — driving the green on the latter, a par 4 — but his shot in the trees at 16 and Swinton's close approach shot sealed the outcome.

"He just never really gave me any momentum," said Barry.

Barry's bid to become only the second player with five titles, behind Eddie Simmons' six, will have to wait another year.

"Obviously, it's frustrating," he said. "But I lost to a good player. In years past, I wouldn't play a player of Tyler's caliber until the quarters or semis. I didn't play my best but Tyler definitely played good enough to win. It's hard to be really frustrated knowing the better guy won."

MENS REGULAR CHAMPIONSHIP

Tyler Swinton def. Mike Barry 4&2, Reese Fisher def. Bryan Wheelock 1up, Chris Polski def. Jimmy White 5&4, Kevin Blum def. Craig Smith 1up, Cody Stoffel def. Max Davis 1up, Ryan Schaefer def. Ryan Hawkins 2up, Bryce Wortman def. Jack Bell 2&1, David Murphy def. JC Riter 3&2

MENS REGULAR FIRST FLIGHT

Ted Stark def. Matt Eschenbacher 19th, Orette Facey def. Alex Hobson 2&1, Trevor Telford def. Benjamin Wright 4&3, Jon Robinson def. Ethan DeVore 19th, Justin Azevedo def. Kurt Schneider 1up, JT Compher def. Brandon Chun 8&7, Taylor Klemp def. Mark Wilson 1up, Ryan Suvoy def. Justin Wise 1up

JUNIOR-SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT

Steve Taorimino def. Brandon Crosier 4&3, Todd Couch def. Michael Riley 3&2, Dan Westbrook def. Brent Barr 2&1, David Culbertson def. Dave Judd 4&3, Brooks Gard def. Dennis Richards 1up, Marty Morlan def. Jim Mansfield 1up, Kevin Dixon def. David Simms 3&2

JUNIOR-SENIOR FIRST FLIGHT

Darrell Flora Jr def. John Quinones 1up, Rick Jackson def. Rick McCabe 1up, Rob Neff def. Mark Hash 5&4, Craig Knips def. Erick Doolen 3&2, Todd Dixon def. David Card 1up, Eddie Bostwick def. Tom Pepple 2up, Richard Owens def. Gordon Humphrey 4&3, Joel Jessel def. Andy Baida 1up

JUNIOR-SENIOR SECOND FLIGHT

Kevin Jones def. Phil Heiner 1up, Richard Warner def. Eric Hansen 1up, Todd Ostenson def. Anthony Kell 2up, Daniel Trenholm def. Keith Lallo 4&3, Jake Rockwell def. Ron Harvey 20th, Robert Husel def. Joe Arnesen 1up, Derron Moreland def. David Kaplin W/D, Johnny Mansfield def. Steve Connell 3&2

JUNIOR-SENIOR FOURTH FLIGHT

John Couch def. Greg Jacobs 2&1, Joe Bowles def. Ian Powers 4&3, Rod Browning def. Brian Carr 1up, John Hall def. Scott Entinger 1up, Joe Davis def. Don Shanklin 1up, Jack Lewis def. Tim Hornecker 1up, Jason Bouzos def. Tony Nieto 19th, Rick Hutchins def. Ron Stranahan 2&1

JUNIOR-SENIOR SIXTH FLIGHT

Christain Carrigan def. Brian Sherrill 1up, Tom Meyer def. Tom Groves 1up, Jim Retzlaff def. Billy Burke 3&2, Michael Diehl def. Ed Lindbloom 1up, Michael Webb def. Kevin Primerano 4&2, Rick Dyer def. Jim Stormo 2&1, Ken Lindbloom def. Erling Brekke 2&1, Scott VanWey def. James Figueroa 19th

SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP

Glen Clark def. Steve Lovich 1up, Mike Finnell def. Bob Dickey 3&2, Gary Loeb def. Jerry Eklund 1up, Kevin Klabunde def. Marshall Holman 1up, Steve Wood def. Kim Cushing 1up, Kevin Croucher def. Bob Cox 5&3, Brad Bills def. Doug Ward 3&2, Mark Wlson def. Philip Iantosca 2&1

SENIOR FIRST FLIGHT

John Justin def. Vaughn Schnieder 3&2, David Street def. Gary Sterton 2&1, Terry Faulkner def. Stephen Watkins 6&4, Jim Overmeyer def. Eric Austad 3&2, Steve Boldish def. Arthur Aviles 1up, Rob Wieland def. Paul Biddle 2&1, Billy Crenshaw def. Brian Adolph 1up, Kenneth Stringer def. Doug Hartley 1up

SENIOR SECOND FLIGHT

Doug Engle def. Kenneth Weist 19th, Don Mitchell def. Phil Jones 3&2, Scott Tuttle def. Richard Mettler 1up, Ken VanDaam def. Salvador Murillo 5&4

SENIOR THIRD FLIGHT

James Mulhall def. Jim McCabe 19th, John Buda def. OJ Endcott 1up, Patrick Daggitt def. Brian Odell 2up, Paul Reynolds def. John DeMario 7&6

SENIOR FOURTH FLIGHT

Tim Trower def. Tim Veley 19th, Michael Goldman def. Melvin Friend 1up, Mark Weiss def. Neil Smith 1up, Evan McArthur def. Charlie Tissen 2up

SENIOR FIFTH FLIGHT

Scott Mayfield def. John Adair 3&2, Wayne Stone def. Jim Hatton 2&1, Jeffrey Blum def. William Milimuka 1up, Jerry Johnson def. Scott Weaver 1up

SENIOR SIXTH FLIGHT

Jim Morris def. JW Lyon 6&5, Troy Alexander def. Bill Allen 1up, John Lawton def. Alex Romanowsky 6&5, Dave Allen def. Les Cracraft 3&1, Richard Mossay def. Dave Smith 4&3, Mark Pagan def. Lance Hunter 1up, Terry Buntin def. Darrell Hunt 1up, Buck Brigham def. Frank Lucas 5&4

SENIOR EIGHTH FLIGHT

Brian Schmitz def. Ron Moore 2up, Kevin Aguirre def. George Kaczor 3&2, Cliff Barnett def. Gibb Mitchell 1up, Walt Packard def. Ron Hobson 4&2

SENIOR NINTH FLIGHT

Lee Fortier def. Scott Lubich 1up, Raymond Smith def. Mike Snyder 2&1, Dan Kosmatka def. Mark Mills 2&1, John George def. Darrell Flora Sr 2&1

SUPER SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP

John Dunkin def. Dan Dixon 1up, George Mack def. Chris Littleton 1up, Bob Harrell def. Doug Olson 2&1, Herman Holm def. Greg Miller 2up

SUPER SENIOR FIRST FLIGHT

Tom Hamlin def. Bob Thiessen 1up, Craig Galpern def. Gary Bates 1up, Ross Cooley def. Gordon Empey 5&4, Bill Drewien def. Jon Woodson 1up

SUPER SENIOR SECOND FLIGHT

Richard Brekke def. Michael Miller 19th, Tom Tarlow def. Scott Swendiman 3&2, Al Raduski def. Brent Orrico 4&3, Roger Peck def. Terry Anderson 20th, Larry Garvin def. Tim Wray 2&1, Robert Galusha def. Robert Adler 4&3, Ron Howard def. James Achenbach 19th, Ron Lewis def. Gordon Beckwith 20th

SUPER SENIOR FOURTH FLIGHT

Larry Schmaltz def. Dick Entinger 7&5, Dodd Samuel def. Ron Primasing 3&2, Chuck Kenney def. Michael Armitage 2&1, John Kruesi def. Ron Dixon 1up

SUPER SENIOR FIFTH FLIGHT

Arn Wihtol def. Bob Crews 1up, Jerry Rohrs def. John Rowan 2&1, Conrad Caprez def. Bernie Fraser 1up, Tom Riley def. Dave Mansfield 3&2

SUPER SENIOR SIXTH FLIGHT

Glen Henkel def. Harvey Myers 3&2, David Rassmussen def. Patrick O'Brien 5&4, Herb Malone def. Jim Quincy 2&1, Gilbert Roque def. David Runyon 2up

SUPER SENIOR SEVENTH FLIGHT

Mike Arant def. Eddie Knight 4&3, Richard Sorenson def. George Parsons 2&1, Mark Fawver def. John Jenson 5&4, Bruce McDonald def. Dennis Ramsden 2&1

SENIOR WOMENS CHAMPIONSHIP

LaVone Kirkwood def. Chrissy Bayless 5&4, Bogey Loyddef. Janet Stark 2&1, Sandy Day def. Pam Schepis 1up, Sheri Driskill def. Barb Pinkham 1up, Linda Johnson def. Deb Stuart 2&1, Sue Hunter def. Selby-Hughes 2&1, Linda Tungsvik def. Nancy Moore 1up, Mo McFaddin def. Carolyn Turner 1up

SENIOR WOMENS SECOND FLIGHT

Susan Stringer def. Coral Edwards 1up, Allison Myers def. Julie Schamanek 2up, Cathy Trower def. Kristine Jones 1up, Rosemsary Harrington def. Sonja Nisson 5&4, Shelley Fisher def. Collen Holbert 1up, Becky Barry def. Darla Allen 4&3, Peggy Tomlins def. Audrey Egan 2&1, Donna Woodson def. Deanna St Martin 2&1

Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479, or email ttrower@mailtribune.com