Stephanie Johns hits from the sand during the SOGT at Rogue Valley Country Club on Wednesday. - Jamie Lusch

Johns out in front

There's little question Stephanie Johns plays golf at a different level than most women.

It was reinforced during her qualifying round for the Southern Oregon Golf Tournament on Wednesday at Rogue Valley Country Club.

The caddie for Johns, who was on a waiting list just to get into the field, was asked her score.

"One under," he said.

From behind him, Johns clarified, "on the women's par."

She often plays from the men's tees and shoots scores for which many men would sell their souls.

The Ashland native finished at even-par 73, earning medalist honors in the women's division. It's the second year the Portland State University student has played in the SOGT, having lost in the quarterfinals last year.

Behind her was playing partner Trina Jones (formerly Rasmussen), who shot 76.

Linda Johnson, like all defending champions, didn't have to qualify and is seeded No. 1.

All women and out-of-town men qualified Wednesday. Match play begins today and runs through Monday's championships in each flight.

In other divisions, Kevin Klabunde's 68 from Tuesday held up as the medalist score in the men's. Brooks Newsom and Chris Polski posted 72s for the best efforts Wednesday.

In junior-senior men's, David Kaplan's 72 Wednesday did not move Glen Clark and his 69 from the top.

In senior men's, George Mack fashioned a 73 and will join David Boals, Dan Dixon and Bob Harrell in a nine-hole playoff for medalist.

Johns has been playing some of her best golf of late. She placed third in the Oregon Women's Stroke Play Championships early this month, then shot rounds of 68 — the course record — and 69 in winning the city tournament last weekend at Centennial Golf Club.

Still, she wasn't assured of a spot in the SOGT until mid-morning on Wednesday.

The women's field had been closed at 40. That's below a full field but was necessary for bracketing purposes. Johns was first on the waiting list, and it was only after a player withdrew because of work commitments that she was ushered into the field.

Johns got in her practice and qualifying rounds just in case she got in. Officials told her they thought she was in minutes before she teed off.

"I didn't know for sure, but I thought I better play like I am, or try to," said Johns, who redshirted this past year at PSU and has two years of eligibility.

It wasn't anything like her practice round, when she was 5 under for nine holes. But it wasn't bad.

"It was a grind," said Johns. "I didn't play my best, but it was solid enough to keep it going. It was a job today."

She got off to a bogey-birdie-bogey start, then parred out to finish the nine at 1 over.

She birdied No. 10 — a par 5 for the women but a par 4 for the men — to get to even and made a 14-foot birdie putt on No. 14 to creep under par.

Her distance off the tee was impressive. She had about 40 yards left to the hole from the right rough on No. 17, a 302-yard hole, and 80 yards in on No. 18, which measures 311.

Only a three-putt bogey on the final hole kept her out of red numbers.

"I was executing shots I like and thought they were good," said Johns, "but they wouldn't end up where I planned. I wasn't being rewarded for the shots I was hitting."

She'll get another chance in match play beginning this morning and expects to do better than last year, when she said she felt awful because of heat stroke.

"I'm playing a lot better right now than I was last year," she said. "I feel really confident with my game. I didn't play my best today and still shot even."

A level no one else approached.

Second Day Qualifying


Brooks Newsom 72, Chris Polski 72, Eric Grimberg 73, John Warner 73, Ryan Hawkins 73, Richard Decker 76, Brian Leitgeb 77, JT Compher 77, Jerom Gilbert 78, JC Riter 78, Ryan Schaefer 78, Brooks Gard 79, Rick Nelson 79, Joey Rossknecht 79, Colin Tucker 79, Kyle Freeman 80, Mike Spiegel 80, Byron Robertson 80, Rick Abel 81, Travis Boersma 81, Jon Robinson 81, Kyle Bleser 82, Bryan Brutke 82, Don Gorman 82, Perry Hunt 82, Justin Azevedo 84, Erik Pederson 85, Ralph Wallis 85, Mike Finnell 85, RJ Glover 86, Grant Clarke 87, Daryn Clark 88, Geoff Loomis 88, Kevin Tucker 88, Darrell Hunt 90, Jon Ausland 91, Andy Badia 92, Jim Hauck 92, Jim Stormo 92, Scott Cordeiro 93, Ken Harle 93, Derron Moreland 93, Tony Ghiz 94, George Parsons 95, Scott Sterton 95, Rick Lozano 96, Rick Ross 97, Kevin M Jones 98, Lynn Knight 104, Rob Hauck 105


David Kaplan 72, Mark Wilson 74, Nic Polski 74, Tom Deatherage 75, Doug Ward 76, Kyle Oldfield 76, Eric Doolen 79, Tim Hornecker 79, Tom Powley 79, Glenn Kilroy 80, Gary Loeb 80, Rick McCabe 80, Chet Gonczeruk 81, Joe Jessel 81, Billy Crenshaw 83, Brad Heilman 83, Brian Odell 83, Rob Staggenborg 83, Robert Wright 83, Scott Mayfield 85, Scott Swendiman 85, Steve Wood 85, Chuck Carnese 86, Mike Warrington 86, Jim Mansfield 89, Ted Decker 91, Steve Skinner 93,Kevin Aguirre 96, Roger Peck 97, Mike Diehl 98, Thomas Wendt 98, Chris Miller 100, Craig Prewitt 101, Roger Schneider 104,


George Mack 73, Brent Orrico 77, John Dunkin 79, Howard Tomlinson 79, Jim Taylor 80, Bruce Hart 81, Steven Welch 82, Mark Fawver 85, Larry Brown 87, Samuel Dodd 87, Terry Newsom 87, Gary Mann 88, Howard Phearson 88, Richard Sorenson 88, Troy Alexander 89, Mike Kirkpatrick 89, Bruce McDonald 90, Jay Gosselin 91, Wendall Towe 91, Steve Ausland 92, Fred Ferreira 93, Bill Replogle 94, David Mansfield 95, ken Phipps 95, Fuzz Primasing 95, Pete Puljan 95, Pat Iribarren 96, Scott Milne 96, John Root 96, Wayne Tait 96, Larry Kier 97, Steven Polus 99, John Barker 100, Jody Thomason 100, Ron Van Vleet 102, Ken Gilmore 105, Ted Hughes 110


Stephanie Johns 73, Trina Jones 76, Debbie Cordell 81, Kelly Loeb 81, Lori Humphrey 82, Michelle Johannes 83, Molly Hilton 84, Heidi Kaplan 84, Amanda Nealy 84, Jen Ausland 85, Mo McFaddin 86, Marianne Metzger 86, Cindy Fortier 90, Gayle Jantzer 90, Bogey Loyd 90, Nancy Moore 91, Gail Jones 92, Deb Stuart 92, Debi Holden 93, Peggy Tomlins 95, Tracie Armitage 96, Janis Crenshaw 96, Rosemary Harrington 97, Cathy Trower 97, Michelle Belieu 98, Leah Hawkins 99, Kelly Hegeman 101, Barb Stormo 101, Lauren Cox 102, Patti Ward 106, Nancy Gish 107, Maggie Kilroy 107, Becky Barry 109,

Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 776-4479, or e-mail

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