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Klemp clamps down

Taylor Klemp didn’t have grand designs entering his qualifying round Tuesday as the Southern Oregon Golf Championships commenced.

But an eagle got him to 3 under par through six holes, and his mindset changed.

“In qualifying, you’re not really looking for anything,” said the former North Medford High player. “Just mosey around the golf course, shoot 2 over and move on.”

Then he jarred his approach shot on No. 6 from 57 yards to go 3 up on playing partners Mark Wilson Jr. and Travis Campoy, and it was “game on,” said Klemp.

Klemp made the eagle and five birdies en route to a 4-under-par 68 and a leg up on medalist honors in the men’s regular division of the 89th tournament at Rogue Valley Country Club.

Local men qualified on Tuesday, and women and out-of-town men begin today. Medalists will be crowned in each division at the completion of qualifying.

Match play starts Thursday and continues through championship play on Monday for the field of 390 players.

Klemp’s round was three shots better than Mike Nieto and Matt Hedges in the men’s regular.

Similarly, Jeff Barry had a cushion of three strokes in the men’s junior-senior after firing a 72. Bret Breeze shot 75 and Todd Dixon and Scott Wise each 76.

In the men’s senior, the leaders were Steve Wood and Eric Austad, both with 72s. Dave Card (73), Kevin Klabunde (73) and Marshall Holman (74) gave chase.

Billy Crenshaw’s 73 paced the men’s super senior.

In a new division, the men’s legendary for players 75 and older, Bob Harrell shot a 74 and George Mack a 76.

A pro division is also making its debut, and Kevin Murphy’s 74 was low among four who qualified on the first day.

Klemp has been in fine form of late. He played in the lead group of the Rogue Valley Stroke Play Championships last weekend at Centennial Golf Club and was within a shot of the lead midway through the final nine holes before falling back.

He lost a playoff to Wilson and placed third.

Klemp committed to his game prior to the stroke-play tourney and the results are showing.

“I’ve played well the last two weeks,” he said. “It’s coming around very nicely at the moment.”

Surprisingly, his round on Tuesday started poorly when he sent his tee shot on No. 1 out of bounds, resulting in bogey.

But two straight birdies, both after knocking 133-yard approach shots to within a few feet of the hole, got him on track.

The eagle at No. 6 kept him there.

“I tried to keep my focus and keep my foot down the rest of the day,” he said.

Using a modified 2-hybrid off most tees helped him do that.

He added birdies at Nos. 7, 14 and 17, and when he landed his approach in the middle of the 18th green, it prompted a wide green as he walked up the fairway to a 20-foot, two-putt par.

The other hiccups for Klemp were bogeys at Nos. 12 and 13.

On the par-5 12th, he scraped it around and missed an easy par putt, he said.

On the 13th, he faced what he called the “hardest pin placement and most unusual” that’s he seen there.

The hole was cut on a precipitous slope that led to many three-putts, or worse.

Klemp lipped out his par putt and was fortunate to have it stay close for his bogey.

“That was a good grind but a lot of fun,” he said of the round.

Klemp’s best qualifying score in five previous tries — he’s played all but one year since turning 16 — was a 72 in 2014. He played in the same group as Jimmy White, who set the qualifying record and tied the course mark with a 60.

SOGC Qualifying Round

MEN’S REGULAR

Taylor Klemp 68, Riggs Loftin 70, Mike Nieto 71, Matt Hedges 72, Travis Campoy 74, Mark Wilson 76, Jacob Golding 76, Matt Stringer 77, Travis Brink 78, Logan Artner 79, Jordan Jacobs 80, Brandon Chun 80, Ethan DeVore 81, Bryan Wheelock 82, Jeremiah Paladino 82, Matt Breceda 82, Scott Weiland 83, Eric Engelbach 83, Lance Fowler 83, Ryan Suvoy 84, Kristopher Kaufman 84, Mike Hagert 84, Michael Wurzell 84, Gabe Provencio 85, Jake Rockwell 85, Charlie Walker 85, Jason Hanlin 85.

Ryan Kantor 86, Chase Schumacher 86, Max Lewis 87, Craig Fox 87, Nade Ellis 88, Ben Running 88, Justin Hanlin 88, Dustin Wallace 89, Morgan Hawkins 90, Ian Norgan 90, Shawn Shumate 91, Dylan Schwarm 91, Josh Penn 93, James Russell 93, Tristan Lallo 93, Spencer Frantz 94, Ceasar Espino 94, Keith Dierkes 94, Charles Day 95, Tanner Lawton 96, Jeremy Ross 97, Jeffery Drake 101, Adam Reed 101, Taylor Boyd 103, Ryan Maclauchlan 104, Alex Aaronson 115.

MEN’S JUNIOR-SENIOR

Jeff Barry 72, Bret Breeze 75, Scott Wise 76, Todd Dixon 76, Todd Couch 78, Eddie Bostwick 79, Rob Neff 79, Craig Knips 81, Richard Owens 81, Ralph Wallis 81, Mike Snowden 81, John Mansfield 82, Keith Lallo 82, Bobby Foote 83, Todd Ostenson 83, David Cuttrell 84, Ian Powers 84, Brandon Crosier 85, Michael Bauer 85, Benny Shapiro 86, Joe Bowles 86, Paul Kometz 86.

Ron Stranahan 87, Rick Jackson 87, Matthew Johnson 87, Scott Loyd 88, George Johnson 88, Bobby Jones 88, Glenn Johannes 89, Joe Davis 89, Eric Artner 90, Dennis Richards 90, Richard Hutchins 90, Jack Lewis 91, Joe Arnesen 91, Greg Jacobs 92, Michael O,Connell 92, John Couch 92, Steve Tollefson 92, Phillip Heiner 92, Mike Walker 97, Jason Rowen 98, Milo Smith 98, Kevin Primerano 98, Mike Stavish 98, Chris Dufour 100, Jason Miller 100, Brian Carr 101, Philip Smith 106,

MEN’S SENIOR

Steve Wood 72, Eric Austad 72, David Card 73, Kevin Klabunde 73, Marshall Holman 74, Brad Bills 75, Brent Barr 76, Jim Overmeyer 77, Kevin Wu 77, Kevin Dixon 78, Rich Flink 78, Ken Stringer 78, Marty Morlan 79, Tom Pepple 80, David George 80, John Justin 80.

Bruce Mendelson 81, Jeffrey Blum 82, Brian Adolph 83, Doug Engle 83, Steve Watkins 84, Tony Nieto 84, Jerry Quast 84, Tim Trower 85, Robert Hyer 85, Doug Hartley 86, Evan McArthur 86, Dan Keck 88, Richard Warner 89, Ronald Moore 90, Ron Harvey 90, Mike Snyder 96, Craig Schumacher 96, Scott Lubich 101,

MEN’S SUPER SENIOR

Billy Crenshaw 73, Chris Littleton 76, Doug Olson 77, Jerry Eklund 78, Bob Dickey 79, Pat Daggitt 79, Dan Dixon 80, Ron Lewis 81, John Johnson 81, Terrill Rasmussen 81, Michael Smail 82, Carl Harsch 82, Jim Hatton 86, Mark Pagen 87, Lester Cracraft 87, Terry Anderson 87, Larry Garvin 87, John Kruesi 88, Jerry Carstens 88, Bob Wolfe 89, Tim Wray 89, Gary Bates 89.

Brian Schmitz 90, John Liston 90, Wayne Vanwey 90, Ron Kantor 91, Dick Brekke 91, Neil Smith 91, Don Pinkham 92, Thomas Barry 92, Steve Boldish 92, David Runyon 93, Allen Carlson 93, Michael Goldman 93, James Garrison 93, John Lawton 93, Tom Michaels 94, Mike Armitage 95, Dan Marshall 95, Tom Urby 96, Mike Confer 98, Gibb Mitchell 99, Steve Warrington 100, Frank Lucos 102, James Barry 105, Paul Schleinitz 107.

MEN’S LEGENDARY

Bob Harrell 74, George Mack 76, Dick Entinger 82, Bob Maentz 82, Ron Dixon 84, Tom Hamlin 84, John Jensen 87, James Quincy 87, Len Merryman 91, David Rasmussen 95, Michael Trovato 95, Phil Gossner 104.

PROFESSIONAL

Kevin Murphy 74, Ed Fisher 78, Jeff Ott 87, Orette Facey 89.

Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479 or ttrower@rosebudmedia.com

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