Mike Barry won the city golf championship by five shots.
It wasn’t as comfortable as it sounds.
After he made a birdie on the last hole Sunday for a 1-over-par 73, Barry admitted, “It was a good way to finish, but it was a rough day all the way around.”
Barry’s second men’s open division title in Rogue Valley Stroke Play Championships — the other came in 2010 — was fraught with side trips off the fairways or excursions into bunkers.
He twice was in trouble in hay that runs along the fairways, managing par on No. 9 but taking a double bogey at the 15th, shrinking his lead from four shots to two.
He had a stretch of holes in which he regularly visited bunkers.
But Barry also made enough recovery shots and flashed some brilliance down the stretch to join the winner’s circle with a two-day score of even-par 144.
Mark Wilson Jr. and Taylor Klemp each shot 149, and Wilson won a playoff for second place.
In the men’s senior, Kevin Klabunde overcame wayward irons and made a birdie on the 18th hole to beat out Brad Bills by one shot, 146 to 147.
In the men’s super senior, Don Sever fashioned a second consecutive 71 for a 142 and topped runner-up Bryan Schlafke by seven shots.
Jessica Young recorded an even more dominant triumph in the women’s division. Her par 72 gave her a 145 for the tournament, outdistancing defending champion Terry Levis by 13 strokes.
Barry was in cruise control until the par-4 15th hole. His tee shot went right and into thick, dried grass. The ball was found, but when he tried to hack it out, it squirted out of sight.
“I never saw that,” Barry said. Then, turning to playing partner Wilson and pointing to the right, he asked, “Did you see that one go over there, Mark?”
The ball was lost. Barry played a penalty shot out, pitched 65 yards to the green and made about a 20-foot putt to escape with a 6.
“The ball is down far enough you can’t even see if you have a decent lie,” Barry said after the round. “ It could have hit the hosel, it could have hit the club face, I don’t know. I shouldn’t have been in there for one. You think you can kind of muscle it out and get to the front of the green, and that’s when bad stuff happens.”
Wilson — who also hit out of the right-side hay — and Klemp each made par to pull within two shots, but they couldn’t keep pace down the stretch. Barry sandwiched birdies at 16 and 18 around a par to win going away.
After hitting a poor tee shot on No. 18, he followed with a 220-yard 6-iron that rode the wind to 15 feet past the cup.
The putt was true.
“That was my best shot of the day, by far,” said Barry. “It never left the flag. It was just a matter of judging the wind right, and thankfully, I did.”
He kept himself in good shape with strong sand play. The last of his bunker shots came on the par-3 14th, which he nestled within a couple feet and made par.
“I was in the sand quite a bit on the back nine for about a five-hole stretch,” said Barry. “But I hit all my bunker shots pretty good.”
Putting was another matter.
“I just could not find the line, and if I had the line, I didn’t hit it in the right place,” he said. “It was a struggle for a while, then I finally made a few putts coming in.”
Barry next will tee it up in the Southern Oregon Golf Championships, which begin Tuesday at Rogue Valley Country Club. He’s seeking to become only the second player to win five men’s regular crowns.
Klabunde’s lone birdie of the day in a round of 74 came on the last hole.
“I really hit my irons rather poorly the whole tournament,” he said. “I told my competitors I’ve never hit so many irons so far away from the hole. Then I was just hoping to two-putt, and that wasn’t always successful.”
Bills began the round with a two-shot lead on an opening 70, but came back with a 77.
He wasn’t vanquished, however, until Klabunde put his approach shot on 18 to 2 1/2 feet and made the putt. Bills hit the hole with his 30-foot birdie try, but it popped out.
Sever made three birdies and an eagle to offset four bogeys. The eagle came on the 407-yard par-5 11th hole.
Young tuned up for the Southern Oregon with an impressive performance. She made two birdies and an eagle on the back to counter a 3-over front nine.
“I decided I could get really mad and have a bad round,” she said, “or come back and shoot the kind of score I wanted to shoot.”
She drove it well and had lots of wedges into greens.
“My putter came to play in the last nine holes,” she said.
Her eagle was on the short, par-4 13th, when her tee shot left her with a 10-foot putt.
Young, who is from Gold Beach and now lives in Prospect, recently graduated from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, where she played Division I golf.
Earlier this summer, she placed second in the Oregon Women’s Amateur despite making eight birdies over the final 17 holes.
ROGUE VALLEY STROKE PLAY CHAMPIONSHIPS
MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP: Mike Barry 71-73—144, Mark Wilson Jr. 71-78—149, Taylor Klemp 72-77—149, Jimmy Kelly 72-79—151, Will Street 75-76—151, Corey Marineau 78-74—152, Trent Thompson 79-75—154, Brent Bianchina 78-78—156, Travis Campoy 81-77—158, Ryan Suvoy 79-81—160, George Lavalley 80-81—161, Nick Daggitt 82-84—166, Kristopher Kaufman 83-85—168.
MEN’S OPEN: Jacob Gooding 74-72—146, Jaime Burton 74-75—149, John Mansfield 78-74—152, Justin Azevedo 76-78—154, Jake Rockwell 79-75—154, Tony Conklin 79-76—155, Jeremiah Paladino 79-77—156, Matt Bray 78-79—157, Brandon Crosier 75-83—158, Eric Bruhn 79-83—162, Alex Jacobberger 84-79—163, Todd Godsby 83-81—164, Tom Fortner 84-81—165, Bruce Willits 80-86—166, Josh Desmond 79-87—166, Sean Byrne 81-87—168, Tyler Dean 85-86—171, Mike Prohoroff 82-92—174, Jay Osborn 86-89—175, Matt Breceda 88-87—175, Steve Tollefson 92-84—176.
MEN’S SENIOR: Kevin Klabunde 72-74—146, Brad Bills 70-77—147, Scott Tuttle 75-74—149, Mark Wilson Sr. 78-72—150, Dan Keck 76-75—151, Kelly Rasmussen 78-73—151, Ken Stringer 76-76—152, Dave Schoenmann 76-77—153, Lee Oltjenbruns 78-75—153, Jim Hoffman 79-75—154, Bob Cox 78-78—156, Bruce Buehler 79-78—157, Greg Miller 83-75—158, Bob Hyer 77-81—158, Glen Clark 76-82—158, Rob Holland 83-76—159, Joel Jessel 77-83—160, Brent Takemoto 81-80—161, Jay Klemp 81-81—162, John Justin 86-77—163.
MEN’S SUPER SENIOR: Don Sever 71-71—142, Bryan Schlafke 74-75—149, Pat Daggitt 74-76—150, Jon Paauwe 78-73—151, Bob Bowers 80-72—152, George Berry 77-77—154, Chris Littleton 77-80—157, Steve Boldish 79—80—159, Al Raduski 82-78—160, John Brittain 83-79—162, Craig Batesole 82-81—163, David Stiemert 93-71—164, Al Baham 81-85—166, Mike Curtis 81-90—171, Jim Hatton 90-82—172, Rod Reid 86-86—174, Charlie McFarland 88-86—174, John Ferris 89-86—175, Jim Zentgraf 86-89—175, Donald Benn 85-90—175.
WOMEN’S: Jessica Young 73-72—145, Terry Levis 78-80—158, Kathy Pauck 80-81—161, Lindsey Crosier 84-78—162, Sandy Day 79-84—163, Linda Johnson 82-82—164, Carolyn Turner 83-83—166, Tracie Armitage 88-88—176, Laurel Kiichli 97-98—195, Deanna St. Martin 103-104—207, Julie Schamanek 109-107—216.
Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479 or email@example.com