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Wayne Nelson / Forum Communications Co., Published July 21 2012

Friends to face off for North Dakota match play title

GRAND FORKS – Later today, Duane Wages III and Matt Norby will leave for Bemidji to compete in the Birchmont golf tournament. In fact, Norby is staying at the Wages’ family lake home as the two will play in the week-long event.

Before they depart, they’ll have to settle the championship of the North Dakota Golf Association state match play tournament at the Grand Forks Country Club.

The Grand Forks golfers both won twice Saturday to reach today’s championship, scheduled to tee off at 9:40 a.m.

Wages downed Bill Carlson 1-up before downing Lukas Davison 4 and 3 in the semifinals. Norby beat Coy Papachek 3 and 2 before ousting Josh Bergrud 5 and 4 to reach the finals.

Both will be seeking their first state title. Both are good friends, members of the Grand Forks Country Club and play a lot of golf together.

“We were partners in the best ball tournament this season and we play a lot of golf together,” Norby said. “The only good thing is that Grand Forks will have a winner, no matter what.”

Norby was pleased with his quarterfinal and semifinal rounds.

“I played really well today,” Norby said. “I focused well and made the putts I needed to make.”

However, it took Wages some time to get rolling in both matches

“I started out shaky in both rounds,” he said. “I was down two through five holes in the first match and down two through four in the second. I wasn’t hitting the ball real well. I just tried to stay in it as long as I could.”

Both heaped praise on the other.

“We both know each other’s game so well,” Wages said. “We know what it takes to beat each other. Matt makes you bring your best game.”

There will be one thing better today for both golfers, as they’ll play only one round. On Friday and Saturday, both played 36 holes as temperatures soared over 90 degrees.

“When you play 36 holes in heat like this, it wears on you,” Norby said.

Championship flight

Quarterfinals

Lukas Davison over Eric Aughinbaugh 1-up; Duane Wages III over Bill Carlson 1-up; Matt Norby over Coy Papachek 3 & 2; Josh Bergrud over Nick Schaefer 3 & 1

Semifinals

Wages over Davison 4 & 3; Norby over Bergrud 5 & 4

Today’s championship

Wages vs. Norby, 9:40 a.m.

Championship consolation

Nick Myhre over Lee Hetletved 1-up; Jay Myhre over Jack Elliot 2 & 1; Jack McClintock over Phil Kroetsch 1-up; Wade Herbel over Nate Brewinski 5 & 4

Jay Myhre over Nick Myhre 2 & 1; Jack McClintock over Wade Herbel 1-up

Consolation championship

Jack McClintock vs. Jay Myhre, 9:30 a.m.

First flight

Gregg Schaefer over Kavin Dvorak 1-up; Oliver Boeckel over Dan Johnson 4 & 3

First flight consolation

Jon Delzer over Ryan Seil 1-up; Nate Olson over Nate Knopik 2-up

Second flight

Mark Paulson over Brent Weber 1-up; Joe Bryan over Lee Petersen 2 & 1

Consolation

Richard Millspaugh over John Horpedahl 1-up

Third flight

Paul Melicher over Mark Olson 5 & 3; Tim Straub over Dave Collins 1-up

Nelson writes for the Grand Forks Herald