Jeff Kolpack, Published August 16 2009
Pine to Palm: Anderson in semis, 17-year-old to face TCU's Tom Hoge
Earlier in the week, Oxbow’s Amy Anderson became the first female to reach the championship flight. She’s still playing.
“I just wanted to be the first girl to make the cut, I didn’t even let myself think about this,” she said.
She can think about it now. Anderson defeated South Dakota State senior Justin Jenkins, an Oak Grove graduate, 2 and 1 in the quarterfinals. That came after a dramatic morning rally against Scott Linnerooth, a match that saw Anderson erase a two-down-with-four-holes-to-play deficit with three straight birdies.
“She’s amazing,” Jenkins said. “She’s so solid. If you don’t make any putts, you’re not going to have a chance.”
Anderson has more than solid play going for her at the Detroit Country Club. She has a home crowd advantage of sorts.
Her gender-breaking status has captured the fancy of local golf fans.
“It’s tough playing against a crowd – and deservedly so – that is cheering for one person,” Jenkins said. “It’s a lose-lose situation almost. You have to leave your ego at the door and pretend you’re playing golf against a guy.”
Anderson’s weekend appearance caused more than the usual stir. Tournament officials needed extra marshal help to keep the larger gallery in the right spots.
The rain, steady and strong at times, also helped thin the crowd sending people inside to their computers – the Pine to Palm Web site reported over 17,000 hits in one-hour span in the afternoon.
Anderson, who is hitting from the same tee boxes as her male opponents, grabbed a 4-up lead after six holes against Jenkins, who missed makeable putts on the first two holes.
“The key for me is once I get up, I can’t let myself get complacent,” Anderson said. “I have to keep going after the pins.”
Jenkins got within two with four holes left, but he couldn’t put together a birdie after that.
Next up for Anderson: TCU’s Tom Hoge, who defeated Max Hosking in the morning and Mark Halverson 3 and 2 in the quarters.
Hoge was 7-under before the match ended after 16.
“We’ll see how that goes,” Anderson said, with an underdog-type laugh. “I’ve watched him play many times and he’ll throw a lot of birdies at me out there.”
University of Minnesota teammates Thomas Campbell and Cameron White will face off in the other semifinal meaning all four semifinalists are college players – with Anderson bound for North Dakota State in two weeks.
As for playing the tournament darling?
“It’s always fun playing in front of a lot of people,” Hoge said.
And for Anderson, it’s always fun to rally.
Linnerooth was 2-up with four holes to play. But Anderson birdied the next three holes – the par 4 15th and 16th holes and the par 3 17th – to take a one-hole lead.
Considering the scope of her tournament appearance, it was a dramatic turnaround. She closed it by two-putting from 15 feet on No. 18 while Linnerooth missed a long putt from the fringe.
Round of 16: Thomas Campbell over Ben Freeman, 2 and 1. Rick Kuhn over Jeff Lamp, 1-up. Beau Hanson over Ryan Vincelli, 2 and 1. Cameron White over Jon Sauer, 3 and 2. Amy Anderson over Scott Linnerooth, 1-up. Tom Hoge over Max Hosking, 1-up. Mark Halverson over Mike Balzer, 2-up. Justin Jenkins over Clinton Boutelle , 20 holes.
Quarterfinals: Anderson over Jenkins, 2 and 1. Hoge over Halverson, 3 and 2. White over Hanson, 7 and 6. Campbell over Kuhn, 3 and 2.
Campbell vs. White, 7:50 a.m.
Anderson vs. Hoge, 8 a.m.
Title match: 2:45 p.m.
Jeff Kolpack can be heard on the WDAY Golf Show, 10 a.m. to noon on WDAY-AM (970). He can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia