Erik Myrmo Wins Oregon Senior Amateur

WEST LINN, OR (October 16, 2009)--Epic battles to extra holes marked the finals matches at the 26th Oregon Senior Amateur at The Oregon Golf Club in West Linn, Ore.

The Men’s championship was contested between Erik Myrmo, 60, of Eugene, Ore and Jack Schnieder, 52. of Oregon City, Ore. and neither player was able to take command of the match. Schneider went up on the first hole, but while he never was down in the match, at no time was he able to extend his lead to more than 1up.

For the most part, Myrmo was hitting shots. It was a steady day fairways and greens. But his nemesis was putting. On the other side, Schneider was struggling all day with his driver, regularly pushing his shots. But he was able to maintain control over the match with stellar putting. “I probably had 4 to 5 lipouts,” said Schneider. Myrmo added, “He almost made about 8 putts.”

Both agreed that the pivotal hole of the match was the 400-yard. par 4, 11th which Myrmo finally birdied to bring the match all square. Slow and steady was Mymo’s mantra, and when it counted most, he was able to take the match.

“It was a tough course,” said Myrmo. The greens were perfect, but if you didn’t hit it perfectly, you could put yourself in a position for lots of 3-putts.”

The match was all sqaure through 16 holes, then on the par-3 17th, Myrmo missed the green and his chip left him 10-feet from the hole. Schnedier was on in regulation and easily made his two putts to par and go 1-up with 1 to play.

“I had been pushing all my drives,” said Schneider. “All I wanted to do was hit it hard and not push it again.” Unfortunately, he did it again, sending his drive to the trees. A fortunate richochet put his ball in the fairway just 170-yards from the tee. He hooked his next shot into the hazard on the left. By the time he was on the green, he was laying four to Myrmo who was just off the green in two resulting in the match going extra holes.

“I was determined not to push it again,” said Schneider. This time it was another hook into the left rough on the par-5, 560-yard hole. Myrmo was just on the right side of the fairway, hitting his second shot 50-yards short of the green. His approach hit the green about 10-feet short of the green, but his ball spun back leaving him 30-feet short of the hole.

Schneider unfortunately sent his approach into the right greenside bunker and the daunting task of getting up and down from a fried-egg lie. “I thought I hit a great bunker shot,” said Schneider, who saw his ball run through the green. He left his come back shot short, then missed the putt to give Myrmo the title. It was the first and only time in the match that Myrmo was up despite playing his round at only 2-over par.

In the Women’s Championship finals, Oregon Golf Club Women’s Champion Penny Saenguraiporn, 56, of Lake Oswego, ore. was taking on her second Pacific Northwest Golf Hall of Famer of the week after dispatching of 1972 U.S. Women’s Amateur Champion the day earler.

This time she was taking on Joan Edwards-Powell who had won this event five previous times out of the six times she played the event. Like the Men’s match, no one took command of the match, but this time it was back and forth with Saenguraiporn going 1up for the first time on the 7th hole. “She was putting well all day,” said Edwards-Powell. “If it was a 5-footer, 10-footer, 12-footer, it was in.”

Saenguraiporn retorted, “She’d say she cannot putt on these greens, but she was good enough to beat me!”

“Whatever happened today was a bonus. I didn’t decide to play until last week. I just wanted to represent the club. If you play well but don’t win, that’s ok. It’s just an honor to have been able to compete well against this true champions,” she added. Edwards-Powell added, “anytime you go to sudden death, anything can happen. Every shot is critical. I focused hard to make sure I hit the shots I needed. I had a 6-footer left to win, and it was the first putt I hit well all day!”

The Oregon Senior Amateur is for amateur golfers 50 years of age and older with a USGA Handicap Index limit of 10.0 or less for Men and 22.4 or less for Women. The event began in 1984 when contests for Senior Women wre separated from the Oregon Amateur due to the popularity of the event. Three years later the inaugural Men’s Senior Amateur was created.

MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT SEMIFINALS Erik Myrmo (Eugene, Ore.) def. Jack Schneider (Oregon City, Ore.) - 19th Hole

WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT FINALS Joan Edwards-Powell (Portland, Ore.) def. Penny Saenguraiporn (Lake Oswego, Ore.) - 19th Hole

MEN’S 1ST FLIGHT FINALS Mark Wilson (Oakland, Ore.) def. Neil Zurakowski (Beaverton, Ore.) - 2 up

WOMEN’S 1ST FLIGHT FINALS Barbara Gee (Vancouver, Wash.) def. Helen Rusty Beckel (Milwaukie, Ore.) - 4 & 2

MEN’S 2ND FLIGHT FINALS Roger Stalick (Portland, Ore.) def. Ron Langlitz (McMinnville, Ore.) - 7 & 6

MEN’S 3RD FLIGHT FINALS Mike Walker (LaGrande, Ore.) def. Steve Rhinefrank (Portland, Ore.) - 4 & 3

ABOUT THE Oregon Senior Amateur

Entries are open to male and female amateur golfers 50 years of age or older with USGA Handicap Indexes of 18.1 or less and who are members in good standing of an OGA member club. The field will be limited to the lowest 96 qualified men. The defending champion and 31 finishers from the 18-hole stroke play qualifier will advance to the single elimination Championship flight match play portion of the competition, with the remaining entrants placed in single elimination match play flights according to score. There will be NO age bracket flights.

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