This golf duo was dynamic after all

Certainly, there were more imposing teams in the Tee It Up For Cancer golf tournament Sunday at Rogue Valley Country Club.

But none were as successful as the super senior woman and the teenage boy.

Pam Turnipseed, 63, and Kevin Knox, 16, might not have struck fear in their foes, but they did strike their ball a lot fewer times. They shot a 63 to take home first place by three shots — in the gross division — against 71 other teams.

"The skinny little 16-year-old carried me around," laughed Turnipseed. "I'm not going to take any credit for the win."

She meant it, too, for she handed over her winnings of golf shop and sponsor certificates to her teammate from Menlo, Calif.

"This is the lowest gross score I've ever had," she said. "I've never grossed in the 60s."

Turnipseed underplayed her role, of course. She did hit all the par 3s in regulation, chipped a few close when both of them missed greens and made putts. Playing the Rogue Course, she birdied the par-3 ninth hole by herself.

And, each player had to get in six drives.

"It was a team thing," she allowed. "We were both putting well. If he had a bad hole, then I had to hit the green. We were just hamming and egging it a little bit."

Knox is a grandson of RVCC members Dusty and Nancy Kline and a son of Susie Knox, a former standout athlete at Medford High (her maiden name is Ross).

The Knoxes often visit the Rogue Valley, and golf is a central theme. Two other sons, Jeff, 18, and Bradley, 14, formed a team, and Nancy and Susie were another as the field played sixsomes.

Turnipseed, a family friend, had no qualms about the pairings.

"These three boys are such a pleasure to play with," she said. "They're such nice young men. They're polite and courteous. They don't get upset when they lip out a putt. Their golf etiquette, knowledge of the rules and behavior on the course is just as impressive as their golf swings. And, boy, can they hit the ball."

They come by their athleticism honestly. Their mother was a state-champion swimmer several times over, was second in the state in tennis and played the latter at Stanford.

Jeff Knox recently finished high school and will attend William and Mary, where joining the golf team remains an option.

Naturally, there were rivalries within the group.

"Our main objective during the day was to beat the brothers," said Turnipseed. "They're both really good golfers. We were just lucky and drained some putts."

The winning scorecard showed an eagle, seven birdies and no bogeys, which isn't too shabby in a two-person setup.

The victors didn't pick on the vanquished, Turnipseed insisted, but it wouldn't surprise her if Kevin eventually got in a few needles.

"You know how brothers tease each other," she said.

Kevin had a right to — especially after he eagled the par-5 eighth hole by himself. His 250-yard drive was center cut, setting up a 240-yard fairway metal to the fringe. The flag was up front, and he dunked his putt.

"I'm not sure he's the best golfer in the family," said Turnipseed, "but that day he was."

Kevin has a handicap of 2, while Turnipseed's is 16.

The brothers were three shots behind, matching the 66 of Paul and Judy Johnson. The Johnson's placed second based on a tiebreaker.

The younger Knox boys played in the Southern Oregon Junior Championships earlier this week, and they'll likely visit again next summer. Turnipseed expects she and young Kevin will be back to defend their title.

The tournament, which filled up well before its deadline, netted more than $8,000 for the Sister Therese Kohles Charitable Mammography Fund.

Offered through the Providence Community Health Foundation, it provides advanced screening technology for patients in financial need.


DYLAN WU HAD reason to celebrate.

For one, his birthday was a day away. And two, he'd just beaten the dimples off the golf balls of his competitors, shooting a career-best 66 Monday in the Southern Oregon Junior Championships at Rogue Valley Country Club.

After that round, his family threw a birthday party that included about 30 juniors from around the state who have become friends through Oregon Golf Association play.

"We usually see each other every week during the summer," said Wu, now 14.

Wu's game is growing as he is.

He shot a non-tournament 66 last spring while in Mexico with his family. Monday's round, which featured an eagle on the par-5 16th hole, four birdies and nothing higher than par, was his lowest competitive round.

A day later, Wu said goodbye to the Intermediate Boys Division for ages 12-13 by shooting a 71 and winning his flight by 13 shots.

He moved up to the Boys Division (14-15) for a Wednesday tourney at Eagle Point Golf Club and shot even-par 72, winning by one shot.

Intermediate play is from tees in the 6,200- to 6,300-yard range. In Boys, they move back another 300 or so yards.

Wu figures he'll play about 25 tournaments this summer, including five American Junior Golf Association events.

"That added distance is not that hard for me," said Wu, who routinely plays from the back tees at RVCC, his home course. "In the AJGA, the courses are way longer, 6,800 and 6,900. I'm used to it. During the Southern Oregon, I basically had a wedge in my hands on every hole because of the shorter tees."

The only thing that prevented him from going low again Tuesday was four bogeys. He made five birdies on the round.

"Right now, I feel comfortable with my iron game," said Wu, "and my putting's been better. During the tournament I made a lot of putts, which gave me a lot of confidence in my putter."

On Thursday, he was headed to the driving range. His driver, which he hits about 260 yards, and chipping were to get some work.

Wu ventured into AJGA play for the first time this year, playing tournaments in Georgia, Oklahoma and California.

In Georgia, he played against boys ages 12 to 18 and missed the cut by one stroke.

In Oklahoma, there was no cut in a tournament tailored to AJGA newcomers, and Wu placed 23rd.

In California, he played against kids 12-15 in what's called junior all-stars, and he tied for 10th.

Wu has two more AJGA events, including one at Centennial Aug. 17-19.


BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: A breakdown in communication prevented this story of two holes-in-one getting in the paper.

It was last fall, Sept. 7, during senior day at Eagle Point Golf Club. Back-to-back groups took on the short 15th hole, a par-3 measuring 117 yards.

And each group experienced a hole-in-one.

Initially, it was Bruce Buehler knocking in his first career ace on the fly with a gap wedge.

The next group, which included Jim Hyden, was far enough behind that it wasn't aware of the feat.

So Hyden grabbed a pitching wedge, stepped up and watched his shot bounce once into the flagstick and drop directly into the cup.

When Hyden's group got to the green, he walked up and peered into the cup as someone from the previous group came rushing up.

"He had a tee in his hand," said Hyden, noting that that's how the players marked closest-to-the-pin shots in the informal format. "He said, 'Here, put this in the cup. Buehler just made a hole-in-one.'

"We said, 'We're not gonna do that.' And someone told him, 'Hyden just made a hole-in-one behind him. There's the ball right there. You can look for yourself.'"

As it turned out, Buehler and Hyden shared the KP cash prize. It amounted to $26, and didn't quite cover the round of drinks they were compelled by tradition to buy.

It was Hyden's fourth ace. He had his first one in the early 1960s at Dominguez Hills Golf Course in Carson, Calif., another in 1971 at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., and the third in 1995 at Canyon Gate Country Club in Las Vegas.

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