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Tom Jenkins smiles after his win in The Birchmont men's championship as he is greeted by friends next to the 18th green. Pioneer Photo/Eric Stromgren

Jenkins returns home to win Birchmont men's championship

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Tom Jenkins became the first Bemidji native to win The Birchmont men's championship since 2004 Saturday afternoon. He defeated Tim Skarperud 1 up in the title match.

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Jenkins is a Bemidji High School and Bemidji State University graduate. He finished runner up in the 2001 and 2002 Birchmont to David Schultz.

Skarperud was the runner up to Kane Hanson in 2006.

Both won their earlier semifinal matches on Saturday. Jenkins defeated former professional Mike Christensen of Grand Rapids 1 up after Jenkins missed an 8-foot par put on the 18th hole.

Skarperud needed 20 holes to defeat 2007 Birchmont champion Johnny Larson. Skarperud nearly aced the par-3 second hole at Bemidji. He was left with a 3-foot birdie putt.

Larson also reached the green, but conceded after missing his 25-foot birdie putt.

The Jenkins-Skarperud concluded The 85th Birchmont.

In the women's championship, North Dakota State sophomore golfer Rachel Roller defeated Jenna Cannon 2 and 1.

In the executive championship, Rick Passolt defeated Todd Schaefer 7 and 5 to keep Shaefer from winning his third straight title.

In the junior championship, 2007 champion Sam Matthew regained his title by defeating Kevin Larson 5 and 4.

In the super senior championship, Bryant Barnes of Shawnee Mission, Kan. defeated Rick Curb 2 up.

In the senior championship, Matt Anderson of Zumbrota defeated Pat Vincelli 5 and 4.

Pick up Sunday's edition of the Bemidji Pioneer to read more about Jenkins' championship and the rest of the title matches. Check back Sunday on bemidjipioneer.com to read the full story and see a photo gallery.

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