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Birchmont roundup: Roller and Tabery win women's championship openers

Rachel Roller of Fargo took the first step toward defending her Birchmont Women's Championship title Wednesday as she outgunned Tracy Gustafson of Wadena 3-1 in the quarterfinal round of match-play.

The victory advanced Roller to today's semifinals and an 8:42 a.m. battle against Missy Taberry of Wadena who tipped Michelle Running of Minnetonka 2-1.

Today's lower-bracket match sees Cydney Hasselberg of Staples squaring off against Shelby Sauer of Bemidji. Hasselberg downed Emily Israelson of Staples 5-4 Wednesday while Sauer upset Ali Nelson of Moorhead 4-3.

Sauer qualified with an 84 while Nelson tied Hasselberg for medalist honors with a 75.

"Both of us played very well Wednesday and that's how I wanted to see the match go," Roller said of her victory over Gustafson.

Roller, who will be a junior at NDSU this fall, did not need to qualify but she played a practice round Tuesday and hit the ball very well. She continued that trend Wednesday and hopes to improve even more as the Birchmont continues.

"I'd like to hit the ball better and, hopefully, it will come around during the next few days," Roller said. "If I can play well I have a chance to repeat but anything can happen in match-play."

Hasselberg was not pleased with her game on Wednesday but she managed to advance to the semifinals.

"I did not play my best," she said. "Emily and I were halving holes with double-bogeys. I played much better during Tuesday's qualifying when I shot 75. It was tough playing against Emily because she is like a little sister to me."

Hasselberg is disappointed with the Women's Championship Division turnout and hopes that the field will grow next year.

"It's hard to believe that I'm already in the Final Four after only one round of match-play," she said.

"We may only have three matches (to win the championship) but everybody in the field is a top-quality golfer," Roller said.

"And anything can happen."

Executive Division

The favorites advanced to the second round of the Executive Championship Division playdowns Wednesday as defending champion Rick Passolt of Edina defeated Ryan Maher of Bemidji 2-1 and medalist Curt Howard of Sapulpa, Okla. downed Dale Finck of Bertha 3-2.

Today sees Passolt tangling with Troy Haluptzok of Bemidji who eliminated Joe Burgess of Woodbury 1-up.

The other upper-bracket match pits Tony Carlson of Maple Grove against Russ Moen of Bemidji. Carlson downed Miles Schacher 1-up while Moen defeated Todd Schaefer of Grand Forks 2-up.

In the lower bracket, Howard won 3-2, Scott Woods of Alexandria stopped Scott Hinners of Bemidji 1-up, Daniel Gilman of Centennial upset Pete Passolt of Minneapolis 1-up and Tim Gruidl of Edina thumped Kevin Kircher of Bagley 5-4.

Today's Executive matches will begin at 12:30 p.m.

Senior Division

Paul Welle of Bemidji pulled off the upset of the day in the Senior Championship Division as he ousted co-medalist Rob Noren of Bemidji 1-up.

Welle was 3-down after four holes but eventually fought back and owned a 1-up lead after winning No. 17. Welle cemented the victory when both men bogeyed No. 18.

Wednesday's win vaulted Welle into today's quarterfinals and an 8:33 a.m. test against Jeff Tweeton of Perham who tripped Glen Hasselberg of Staples 6-5.

Wednesday's other lower-bracket results saw Bob Kobilka of Bemidji nipping Charlie Peterka of St. Cloud 1-up and Scott Anderson of Dawson downing Bob Falls of Edina 4-3.

In the upper bracket, Eric Niskanen of Bemidji thumped Rob Jacobson of Bemidji 6-5, Scott Curb of Bemidji slipped past Joe Mayer of Bemidji 1-up, John Hagge of Fergus Falls eliminated Rick Curb of Bemidji 3-2 and Don Dale of Bemidji outlasted David Freborg of Roseville 2-1.

In today's 8:24 a.m. matches Niskanen will face Scott Curb and Kobilka will battle Anderson. Welle meets Tweeton and Dale squares off against Hagge at 8:33 a.m.

Super Seniors

Defending champion Bryant Barnes and medalist Jim Archer advanced to the quarterfinals of the Super Senior Division Wednesday.

Barnes posted an 8-7 victory over Harold Vogel while Archer stopped Brud Herberger 2-1.

Wednesday's other results saw Vern Steinmetz down Murray Williamson 1-up, Bill Enghauser slap Ken Riesberg 5-4, Tom Hanson trip Robert Duckson 3-2, Jim Trapp thump Del Gangelhoff 6-5, Gerry Douglas eliminate Ed LeBeau 1-up and Jim Nelson oust Dave Vogel 2-1.

Today's pairings match Barnes against Steinmetz and Trapp against Nelson at 1:06 p.m. Hanson will face Douglas and Archer will match shots with Enghauser at 1:15 p.m.


After taking a few days off the Junior Championship hopefuls return to the course today for their quarterfinals.

At 1:42 p.m. Trey Dale will battle Andrew Israelson and Braeden Ohman will face Kaleb Hanson.

The 1:51 p.m. pairings match Dakotah Brunelle against Drew Gumlia and Aaron Leintz against Meg Phelps.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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