Hornbeck knocks off champ in seniors

Mike Hornbeck has a bit of history with Bob Maentz.

Which is a little like saying Custer had a bit of history with Sitting Bull.

As Hornbeck tells it, his shining moment in the Southern Oregon Golf Tournament was, of all things, a defeat to Maentz.

"Last year I got to 17 with him and thought that was the best thing I'd ever done," said Hornbeck.

On Thursday, he reached a new pinnacle, downing Maentz 1-up in the senior division championship flight at Rogue Valley Country Club, thereby giving Maentz the dubious distinction of being the first defending champion to be eliminated.

Last year, Maentz won the seniors — his first championship since winning the men's title in 1964.

All other 2007 champions and this year's medalists triumphed without much drama.

Not all of the excitement came in the senior division, however. Quite the opposite, as a youth movement continued in the men's division. There, four players who still have a year of high school left won their first matches.

Hamilton Baehr of North Medford downed Dan Westbrook, 3 and 2; Alex Street of St. Mary's defeated Eric Ford, 6 and 5; Daniel Engle of Phoenix topped Rob Husel, 7 and 6; and Nathan Budziszewski beat Dave Cuttrell, 5 and 4.

The age limit of the tournament was lowered to 16 two years ago.

In the older set, Hornbeck appeared to be in control and was dormie — he could do no worse than a tie — after 15 holes. But Maentz won the next two holes, including the 17th with a birdie 3, setting up a classy exchange at No. 18, where both players faced birdie putts.

Hornbeck's was 3 feet directly below the hole, and Maentz's was 5 feet. A Maentz make and Hornbeck miss would force a playoff.

"He walks over, looks me right in the eyes, then bends over, picks up my marker and hands it to me," said Hornbeck. "He said, 'Either I make this or you win the match.' I said, 'You have to make it to keep going,' and he said, 'I intend to.'"

Maentz missed the putt, but his gesture of sportsmanship in conceding Hornbeck's putt wasn't lost on the victor.

"That was really, really cool," said Hornbeck.

Hornbeck has made the championship flight the past half-dozen times but hasn't won anything outside of lower flights during years of play in the event.

"I played really well, as good as I could play," he said, "and he played poorly. It was not Bob Maentz golf. It wasn't up to his caliber."

Judging by the scores, the youngsters played to their respective levels.

Baehr, who led the first day of the Southwest Conference tournament last spring and eventually advanced to state, battled nerves.

"I was pretty nervous the entire match," he said. "I never really played much match play in tournaments before, and that's where most of the nervousness came from. I think I got a bunch of it out of the way."

Baehr opened an early 3-up lead, then Westbrook, a tournament veteran, closed the gap and the two went back-and-forth.

Baehr fought a push-fade much of the day and tried to adhere to the thoughts of his teaching pro, Ed Fisher.

"He's always told me to play Old Man Par and play my own game and I'd do fine," said Baehr.

He closed out the match on No. 16 with a 10-foot birdie putt.

Baehr will have his hands full today against Chris Polski of Eugene.

"I'll try as hard as I can," said Baehr. "I was watching him out there. He can make mistakes like anyone else."

Street didn't experience the same anxiety and had a steady day. He was 1 over when his match ended on the 13th hole.

"I didn't play great, but I played pretty solid," he said. "Overall, I was pretty happy. I putted well."

He wouldn't mind seeing one of the other young players, who are all friends, down the road.

"We all know each other pretty well," he said. "We've all played with each other in high school."

Street faces Tim Croft, while Engle faces Todd Ostenson and Budziszewski tangles with Rich Decker.

Thursday's Results


Championship Flight Upper Bracket — Mike Barry d. Mike Finnell, 8 and 7; Colin Tucker d. Brooks Gard, 7 and 5; Kyle Blesser d. Hank Munn, 5 up; Bret Breeze d. Bryan Brutke, 6 and 5; John Warner d. Bill Maentz, 8 and 7; Ryan Schaefer d. Mike Spiegel, 5 and 3; Ryan Hawkins d. Rick Hutchins, 9 and 7; Brent Barr d. Byron Robertson, 1 up; Brooks Newsom d. Todd Dixon, 1 up; Dave Judd d. Darrell Flora,1 up; Daniel Engle d. Rob Husel, 7 and 6; Todd Ostenson d. Rick Abel, 2 and 1; Chris Polski d. Justin Azevedo, 5 and4; Hamilton Baehr d. Dan Westbrook, 3 and 2; Alex Street d. Eric Ford, 6 and 5; Tim Croft d. Travis Boersma, 4 and 2.

Championship Flight Lower Bracket — Kevin Klabunde d. Brian Mosier, 3 and 1; Dave Culbertson d. Rick Nelson, 5 and 4; Don Gorman d. Kyle Oldfield, 6 and 4; Justin Wise d. Travis Brink, 2 up; Eric Grimberg d. Sean McGlinn, 6 and 5; JC Riter d. Kyle Freeman, 2 up; Ross Jesswein d. Jamie Burton, 6 and 5; JT Compher d. Keith Lallo, 2 and 1; Kelly Owen d. Boomer Marshall, 2 and 1; J. Rossknecht d. Doug Olson, 5 and 4; Rick Decker d. Perry Hunt, 4 and 3; N. Budziszewski d. Dave Cuttrell, 5 and 4; Scott Wise d. Chad McCollum, 4 and 3; Jerom Gilbert d. Mike Hagert ,1 up; Nic Polski d. Chris Wood, 7 and 6; Brian Leitgeb d. Jon Robinson, 5 and 4.

Third Flight — Brock Peters d. Tom Purtzer, forfeit; Jeff Horn d. Bobby Foote, 3 and 2; Curt Wagoner d. Matt Smith, 1 up; Craig Fox d. D. Moreland, 1 up; Chad Cota d. Scot Hansen, 3 and 2; Grant Clarke d. Gil Pugliano, 4 and 2; David Yu d. RJ Glover, 1 up; Scott Reed d. Joe Arnesen, 2 and 1.

Fourth Flight — Rick Scruggs d. Steve Bernard, 6 and 5; Darrell Hunt d. Jon Ausland, 2 and 1; Jake Crews d. Daryn Clark, 1 up; Ken Harle d. Kevin Tucker, 2 and 1; Jeff Morgan d. Erik Stamm, 2 and 1; Jim Hauck d. Thomas Hamlin, forfeit; S. Ferreira d. Rick Lozano, 6 and 4; Fritz Schuler d. Greg Jacobs, 21st.

Fifth Flight — Brian Garrison d. Rob Hauck, 1 up; Ross Ricks d. Kevin Jones, 1 up; Tanner Lawton d. S. Maclouchlan, 5 up; Scott Sterton d. Scott Lubich, 1 up; J. Figueroa d. Jim Stormo, forfeit; Josh Crews d. Matt Hansen, 2 and 1; Gary Shipley d. Lynn Knight, forfeit; George Parsons d. Glenn Johannes, 2 and 1.


Championship Flight — Alex Merkner d. Dennis Slattery, 19th; Tom Powley d. Tim Hornecker, 1 up; Jerry Eklund d. Mark Holden, 2 up; Tom Deatherage d. Scott Overy, 2 and 1; Greg Miller d. Rob Staggenborg, 1 up; Ken Stringer d. Rick McCabe, 3 and 2; Brad Bills d. Billy Crenshaw, 2 and 1; Kevin Dixon d. David Orr, 2 up; Glen Clark d. Brad Heilman, 2 and 1; Gary Loeb d. Eric Doolen, 3 and 2; David Street d. Tom Pepple, 4 and 3; Jo Jessel d. Doug Ward, 1 up; David Kaplan d. Brian Odell, 4 and 2; Kelly Rasmussen d. Glenn Kilroy, 1 up; Mark Wilson d. Bob Wright, 3 and 2; Gary Sterton d. Chet Gonczeruk, 1 up

Sixth Flight — Mike O'Grady d. Steve Switzer, 2 up; Frank Lucas d. Mike Diehl, 6 and 5; Chris Ginder d. Craig Prewitt, 5 and 4; John Lawton d. Steve Skinner, 5 and 4; Gene Meyerding d. Roger Schneider, 1 up; Tom Mayer d. Terry Buntin, 1 up; Bob Crews d. Steve Dabrowski, 4 and 3; Kevin Aguirre d. Chris Miller, 1 up.


Championship Flight — Mike Hornbeck d. Bob Maentz, 1 up; Chris Littleton d. John Dunkin, 2 and 1; Gene Allred d. Pat Daggitt, 5 and 4; Brent Orrico d. Jim Hatton, 2 up; Bob Harrell d. Don Pinkham, 2 and 1; Jim Smith d. Craig Galpern, 1 up; George Mack d. Phil Iantosca, 2 and 1; Terry Anderson d. Larry Garvin, 1 up; Dan Dixon d. Jim Quincy, 4 and 3; Howard Tomlinson d. Randy Loyd, 2 and 1; Jerry Anderson d. Steven Welch, 1 up; Bruce Hart d. Bill Shevlin, 6 and 5; David Boals d. Mark Fawver, 3 and 2; Jerry Cochrane d. Tom Hamlin, 4 and 3; Bob Dickey d. Stan Smith, 4 and 3; John Johnson d. Jim Taylor, 1 and 2.

Second Flight — Steve Boldish d. Tom Strouth, 4 and 3; Brooks Hodapp d. Howard Phearson, 1 up; Mark Pagan d. Steve Ausland, 2 and 1; Bill Bednar d. Art Hughes, 6 and 5; Ken Phipps d. Larry Brown, 1 up; Jim Garrison d. Troy Alexander, 1 up; Fred Ferreira d. Terry Newsom, 3 and 2; Scott Weaver d. Ron Primasing, 2 and 1.

Fourth Flight — Jody Thomason d. Dick Sorenson, 5 and 4; Dick Entinger d. Mike Jantzer, 3 and 2; Wayne Tait d. John Kruesi, 1 up; Bruce McDonald d. David Mansfield, 3 and 2; Gary Redden d. John Barker, 3 and 2; Tim Darland d. Gordon Carrigan, 3 and 2; Bob Bray d. Ron Dixon, 7 and 6; Ralph Perry d. John Zupan, 2 up

Sixth Flight — Bob Doolen d. Larry Kier, forfeit; Wendall Towe d. Les Cracraft, forfeit; Fuzz Primasing d. Mike Confer, 3 and 2; Gary Mann d. Fred Johnson, 3 and 2; Jim Stough d. John Root, 2 up; Fred Moran d. Pete Amorde, 19th; Tom Nelson d. Dodd Samuel, 2 and 1; Jim Barry d. Mike Kirkpatrick, 3 and 2.

Eighth Flight — Jerry Bramwell d. Dick Henselman, 4 and 3; Bill Replogle d. Mike Snyder, 1 up; Jay Gosselin d. Steven Polus, 5 and 4; Steve Warrington d. Warren Parke, 1 up; Mike Connors d. Ken Gilmore, 4 and 3; Jan Garner d. Pete Puljan, 6 and 5; Jack Henson d. John Anhorn, 19th; Mike Trovato d. Pat Iribarren, 1 up.

Tenth Flight — Thad Hodgdon d. Bob Hutchins, 3 and 2; Scott Milne d. Don Todd, 19th, Gary Bendickson d. John Duke, 1 up; Wally Hicks d. Ted Hughe,s 4 and 3; Bob Reed d. Ron Van Vleet ,1 up; Lee Fortier d. John Kilroy, 2 and 1; Phil Cash d. Dan Kosmatka, 5 and 4.


Championship Flight — Linda Johnson d. Gayle Jantzer, 5 and 4; Judy Johnson d. Heidi Kaplan, 1 up; Kelly Loeb d. Marianne Metzger, 1 up; Debbie Cordell d. Jen Ausland, 1 up; Stephanie Johns d. Cindy Fortier, 8 and 6; Michelle Johannes d. Molly Hilton, 2 and 1; Trina Jones d. Mo McFaddin, 2 and 1; Amanda Nealy d. Lori Humphrey, 5 and 4.

Second Flight — Bogey Loyd d. Nancy Gish, 6 and 5; Mary Botsford d. Janis Crenshaw, 4 and 3; Deb Stuart d. Laura Pinkham, 1 up; Leah Hawkins d. Debi Holden, 2 and 1; Nancy Moore d. Lauren Cox, 2 up; Peggy Tomlins d. Tracie Armitage, 19th; Gail Jones d. Kelly Hegeman, 5 and 4; Rosemary Harrington d. Vicki Moffatt, 1 up.

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

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