Champions Tour, LPGA top players visit Oregon this week

Senior PGA players duel for major title
By Cliff Pfenning,

The week after the drama of the PGA Championships, the golf world will focus on Oregon as both the PGA Champions Tour and LPGA Tour descend on the state.

Many of the world's biggest names from the Champions Tour will be at Crosswater Club at Sunriver for The Jeld-Wen Tradition, while the top women's players are at Pumpkin Ridge in North Plains for the Safeway Classic

The Jeld-Wen Tradition, one of the Champions Tour majors, will play out on NBC Saturday and Sunday.

The Safeway Classic is a 54-hole tournament.

Among the players scheduled to compete in The Jeld-Wen Tradition are Tom Watson, Corey Pavin, Nick Price and Bernhard Langer, who has won two-straight majors and is leading the Champions Tour points standings. Langer won the Senior British Open and U.S. Senior Open this year.

Defending champion Mike Reid is among the top candidates as tournament favorites.

The Safeway Classic is headed by Cristie Kerr, who won the LPGA Championship, and Yani Tseng, who won both the Kraft Nabisco Championships and Women's British Open.

The Story of Mioland

Only one Oregon horse has ever come close to winning the Kentucky Derby
Guest post

Oregon has a rich and deep horse racing history and among the annals of the great horses, but Mioland stands out as one of the finest to come from the state. As horse racing in the United States enters its winter hibernation, now is the ideal time to remember a true legend of Oregonian sports history. 

Foaled in 1937 and bred in Oregon, Mioland was sired by German champion horse Mio d’Arezzo, who had won the Deutsches St. Leger in 1932 before being imported to the United States to stand at stud. 

Mioland raced regularly as a two-year-old, often ridden by Earl Dew – whose tragic story still stands as a sobering reminder of the dangers of horse racing. 

The story of Earl Dew

Dew was rightly regarded as one of the most promising jockeys in the world and in 1940, at the age of 19, he was embroiled in a competitive rivalry with fellow 19-year-old Walter Lee Taylor to become America’s Champion Jockey. 

At a time when horse racing was still a prominent part of American culture, the battle captivated racing fans across the country as Dew and Taylor entered the final two days of the calendar tied on the same wins. 

Dew ultimately clinched the title on the final day, finishing one win ahead of Taylor, who had been injured in a fall on the same day. Of all the horses Dew rode in 1940 to claim the prestigious accolade, he credited Mioland as the best of them all. 

However, less than two months later, Dew was killed in a race in Tijuana – at the same racetrack he won his jockey title – shortly after a gold watch presentation to celebrate his achievement. A career and life that promised to make a significant mark on horse racing was tragically cut short. 

What about Mioland? 

As for Mioland, having been bred and trained by H.W Ray in Oregon, the bay stallion was sold as a three-year-old to business tycoon Charles S. Howard – best known as the owner of Seabiscuit, who had been purchased by Howard three years prior.

Like Seabiscuit before him, Mioland was trained by future Hall of Fame trainer Tom Smith, whose role in developing Seabiscuit into the most famous horse in racing history is the stuff of legend and has been documented in numerous books, films, and TV shows.

Under Smith’s guidance and ridden by jockey Lester Balaski – who like Earl Dew suffered a tragic death while racing but at the age of 49 – Mioland emerged as one of the most competitive racehorses in North America. 

He competed in the 1940 Triple Crown and would have held his own among the modern-day Kentucky Derby contenders: Mioland finished fourth in the Run of the Roses, behind Gallahadion, before placing second to Bimelech in the Preakness Stakes. He was not entered in the Belmont Stakes but completed the year with four major wins. 

Mioland continued his fine form the following season when he won another three big races, including a successful defense of the San Juan Capistrano Handicap – an achievement all the more impressive because the second race was run over a much linger distance. 

Mioland’s accomplishments in 1941 earned him the prestigious American Champion Older Male Horse award from Daily Racing Form. 

As a five-year-old and in his final season, Mioland proved to still have plenty in the tank by winning the 1942 Coral Gables Handicap in record-breaking style and placed third in the Dizie Handicap behind 1941 Triple Crown winner Whirlaway.

After three exemplary seasons Mioland was retired to stud, although his success on the track far outweighed his ability as a sire. In total, Mioland competed in 50 races, claiming 18 wins, 10 runners-up, and six third-place finishes. Among his finest victories included the American Derby, the Potomac Handicap, and the Westchester Handicap.

He died at the relatively early age of 14 in 1951. 

Mioland remains the closest challenger from Oregon to win the Kentucky Derby and his place in the state’s racing history will forever be secured.

Learn more about past and future Kentucky Derby contenders.



Tuholski tames Corvallis lanes

Oregon bowling tour keeps season moving forward
By Cliff Pfenning,

CORVALLIS - It might not have been as packed a setting as most events in past years, but winning a second-straight outing felt pretty good to Craig Tuholski Sunday at the OBA Tour event at Highland Lanes.

Tuholski, a 25-year veteran of OBA Tour events, ended a decade-long drought of wins by winning a trophy with his son, Chris, during a recent doubles event at Firebird Lanes in Salem.

Sunday, he owned Corvallis enough to win in a second consecutive outing.

“It sure was a long drought,” Tuholski said. “But, now, I’m on something of a roll. It feels great.”

The tournament played out along with the unique conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic in that all the competitors wore masks during the tournament, as did everyone else in the facility. The tournament time limit had play close out with matches rather than the traditional stepladder, and Tuholski won with the top average of nearly 240.

The OBA Tour returns to action Dec. 13 at Hazel Dell Lanes, in Vancouver, Wash.

Sunday's event was a first in Corvallis for the OBA Tour.

Play within the Pro Bowlers Association continues in the Northwest Region with the Jan Jordan Memorial Classic, Nov. 20-22, at Linn Lanes in Lebanon. 













Bowling centers reopening

Portland's bowling alleys got the state to recognize their plight
Staff Report

A week of motivated rallies helped Portland-area bowling alleys get the state to reconsider Phase One requirements and allow them to reopen immediately in news reported Thursday afternoon.

Bowling alleys in the tri-county area (Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas) had been closed since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in March caused the state to create a three-phase guide for reopening. After seven months, all three counties remain in Phase One, which keeps non-essential businesses such as bowling alleys that involve larger groups of people to gather in the state of closure.

A rally on Oct. 11 involving the 15 Portland-area lanes, got local media attention, and a promotional video the state bowling business leaders produced showing the safeguards they'd put in place, caused the state to reconsider its guidelines. The move allows skating rinks to reopen as well.

Tough guidelines still exist such as closure by 10 p.m., and no more than 50 people are allowed in the lanes at one time. But, the business operators have already prepped for such guidelines, including closing every other lane and constantly cleaning all surfaces.


Milbrett heads 2020 Sports Hall of Fame Class

The soccer standout helped turn women's soccer into a pro sport
By Cliff Pfenning,

Longtime US National Soccer Team standout Tiffeny Milbrett headed the 2020 Induction Class of the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame, Sept. 26, in a virtual ceremony.

The event, held at the Multnomah Athletic Club, changed its format due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The 2020 class - the 40th for the Hall of Fame, includes baseball’s John Jaha, football player Rockne Freitas, multi-sport athlete Craig Hanneman, and Tom Jernstedt for special contributions.

Brian Grant received the Commitment to Community Award. 

Milbrett helped lead the University of Portland onto the national stage under coach coach Clive Charles, graduating in 1995 with 103 goals and 40 assists. She then played professionally in Japan, Sweden and three professional leagues within the US, starting with the WUSA in 2001. That league, the first women’s pro league in the United States, followed the US National Team’s win in the World Cup in 1999.

Jaha, a graduate of David Douglas High, went straight into professional baseball upon being drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1984. He reached the Major Leagues in 1992 and played through 2001. He earned a spot on the American League All-Star Team in 1999 while a member of the Oakland Athletics, during a season in which he was voted the league’s Comeback Player of the Year. He hit 141 homers and drove in 490 runs during his career.

Hanneman played football at Oregon State and for the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots for four seasons before a leg injury ended his career in 1975. He is thought to be the oldest person to have summited the tallest peaks on the seven continents.

Freitas, another OSU football alum, played 11 years in the NFL for Detroit and Tampa Bay, earning a Pro Bowl spot in 1972.

Jernstedt played football at the University of Oregon, but became known as the “Father of the Final Four” during a 38-year career with the NCAA. His efforts helped  turn the national basketball tournament into the annual spectacle it is - moving from 25 teams to 65 teams in that time.



Remembering Rick Sanders

Oregon wrestling great was international star, Olympian
By Cliff Pfenning,

Rick Sanders put Portland and Oregon on the international wrestling map with national titles and a pair of Olympic silver medals before dying tragically at a young age.

Born in 1945, Sanders finished with a high school record of 80-1 and three state titles while at Lincoln High. He won at 98 pounds in 1961, 108 pounds in ‘62 and 115 pounds in ‘63.

After graduating from Lincoln, Sanders trained for the ’64 Olympics at a camp that included legend Dan Gable. Gable credits Sanders with teaching him specific moves that helped him finish his college career with just one loss.

After that intensive training, Sanders enrolled at Portland State and won national titles at the NAIA, NCAA Div. II and Div. I championship meets, earning the outstanding wrestler at each level.

Sanders qualified for both the 1968 and ’72 Olympic Games, and won silver in each. In between those Olympics, Sanders became the first American to win a title at the world championships, taking the 52kg title in 1969 just hours before American Fred Fozzard won at 82 kg. He won five U.S. freestyle titles, six international medals and is credited with having once beaten Gable 6-0 – the lone shutout Gable suffered in his career.

Following the ’72 Games in Munich, Germany, he was killed in an auto accident in Yugoslavia at the age of 27.

Sanders was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1983, and into the Portland State Athletics Hall of Fame as part of its inaugural class in 1997 – along with the ’67 national championship wrestling team.

He is a distinguished member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame’s Class of 1987.

Oregon championships don't disappoint

New winners take over in two finals in amateur event
By Cliff Pfenning,

PORTLAND - Bryce Wortman and Amanda Jacobs dominated a series of holes in their title matches to claim the men's and women's titles at the 111th Oregon Amateur Championships Saturday at Columbia-Edgewater Country Club.

It was the first title in the event for each player, while Lara Tennant won the senior women's title for the fourth straight year.

Wortman, from Creswell, won five consecutive holes during the second round of the 36-hole final to beat Ben Wanichek 8-and-7, ending a dominating performance for the match-play portion of the tournament. In his seven head-to-head matches, he played the 18th hole just once - during the final.

"My putting was really good this week," Wortman, who plays for San Jose State, said. "That was a huge difference in all my matches."

Wortman, who grew up in Central Point and won three state titles for Mazama High, was one of the 50 players invited to the tournament.

Wanichek, from Eugene, was one of 58 players who played their way into the championships, reaching the final inspite of being seeded 55th for the 64-player match-play portion of the six-day tournament.

Both Wortman and Wanichek played nine rounds during the event, including 36 holes Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Event organizers said 375 players registered for the tournament - believed to be a record for the event that normally attracts around 275 players. 

Jacobs, of Portland, won four of five holes in the first 18 and never trailed on the way to a 5-and-3 win over defending champion Ellie Slama of Salem. Jacobs, who has won the Pacific Northwest Amatuer title twice in the past three years, lost to Slama in the final two years ago, but avenged that result on the course she grew up playing on.

"This is my home course, so I think that had a big part in winning," Jacobs said. "It feels really good to win here."

The women's match-play bracket began with 32 players.

Tennant, of Portland, dominated the middle portion of the 18-hole final, to beat top-seed Ginny Burkey 4-and-3 in their final.

The Oregon Golf Association schedule continues with stroke-play championships and neighboring Riverside Country Club Sunday and Monday.

Protocals for the event included players having only one spectator allowed to view their matches until the final, which had a dozen spectators for both men's and women's finals. Participants and attendees at the event were not tested for COVID-19, and only required to wear masks while in the clubhouse.




Final pairings set at Oregon Amateur championships

Underdogs ready on men's side, while favorites are women's finalists
Staff Report

PORTLAND - Being seeded 55 out of 64 players has hardly been a handicap for Eugene's Ben Wanichek as he dominated two more matches on the way to the finals of the 111th Oregon Amatuer Championships at Columbia-Edgewater Country Club.

Wanichek won his quarterfinal and semifinal matches 3-and-2 Friday to earn a spot in the final against Ben Wortman of Creswell. Wortman, seeded 13th, won both of this matches handily as well on Friday.

Two-time defending champion Ellie Slama is vying for yet another crown. The Salem, Ore., native will battle with Portland’s Amanda Jacobs in the women’s final set for approximately 8 am. They will play a 36-hole match play final.

Slama is looking to become the first woman to win three consecutive titles since Amanda Nealy, who posted four consecutive wins from 1987 through 1990.

Slama opened the day with a 2&1 win over Alexa Udom, before matching up with top-seed Lexi Perry in the women’s semis. Late in the match Perry took holes No. 14 and 15 to go 1 up in the match, but Slama countered with a birdie on No. 16 to level the contest which she eventually ended in 19 holes.

Jacobs pulled an upset according to the seeding in her quarterfinal match, a 4&2 win over No. 2 seed Victoria Gailey. Jacobs then went on to win 1 up over Bend’s Montgomery Ferreira in the last semifinal, which came after the third-ranked Ferreira played 30 holes to decide her quarterfinal over No. 6 Mary Scott Wolfe

The top two seeds will battle in the 37th Senior Women’s match play bracket – No. 1 Ginny Burkey versus No. 2 Lara Tennant. 

Burkey, from Eugene, registered a pair of wins Friday, 3&2 over Wendy Sheasgreen and 1 up over Katy Wright. Tennant, the event’s three-time defending champion from Portland, made quick work of Mary Jacobs (7&6) and Tandi Thomas (5&4) en route to her fourth title match in as many years.




Class of 1963 still rates as state's best

Four of the state champion wrestlers went on to international glory
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

There are few years - in any state - when a group of high school wrestling champions go on to future greatness at the national and international level more than Oregon saw in 1963.

This year marks the 57th anniversary of a group that included two future World Champions, and three future Olympians - one of whom played in the NFL for a season.

And, the year also included the first cultural exchange team from the state to go abroad - to Japan for a monthlong tour.

Rick Sanders, then a senior at Lincoln, Henk Schenk, then a senior at Silverton, Fred Fozzard, a junior at Marshall, and Jess Lewis, a sophomore at Cascade all won titles in 1963.

All would go on to national and then international success on the mat, and on the football field with Lewis’ career at Oregon State and into the NFL.


Badminton works way into metro mentality

Portland Badminton Club looks at a second facility
By Cliff Pfenning,

In less than two years, competitive badminton has taken hold in the Portland metro area that the lone professional club is looking to expand.

Ralph Cervantes, who opened the Portland Badminton Club in 2009, recently said he’s looking at opportunities for a second club.

“We’ve had great response at our club at all levels,” Cervantes said. “We’re actually starting to outgrow our current facility and that makes it somewhat necessary to look for a second site.

“Badminton is a growth sport in Portland.”

The Portland Badminton Club is located in Hillsboro, close to the Intel campus, where most of the players work. But, enough players, especially those in younger competitive age-groups, have become members, that Cervantes has begun to investigate a second club.

Badminton, which is an Olympic sport, has organized clubs at several in-state colleges and universities. The PBC has sponsored several tournaments that have attracted regional competitors.

For more information on the Portland Badminton Club, visit



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