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Kenai Golf Course closes gap heading into Walker Cup finale

Posted: July 22, 2011 - 11:19pm  |  Updated: July 22, 2011 - 11:23pm

Kenai Golf Course defeated Birch Ridge 3 1-2 to 2 1-2 Friday on the second day of the seventh annual Walker Cup at Birch Ridge in Soldotna, closing within 7 1-2 to 4 1-2 heading into Sunday's finale.

Sunday's action begins at 3 p.m. at Birch Ridge.

A night after it lost 5-1 in alternate-ball format, the defending champion Kenai crew used strong efforts on the first nine holes of Day 2 to keep a repeat title within grasp.

"We still have our work cut out for us, but it can be done," said Kenai captain and pro Tommy Carver, who shuffled his roster after Thursday's performance.

Kenai's Bob Sizemore and Doug Jung defeated Gary Stackhouse and Jim McWilliams 4 and 3. Gordon Griffin and Todd Eskelin, Kenai's lone winning tandem Thursday, beat Mike Hollingsworth and Jay Kriner 2 and 1. Kenai's Rich Edwards and Greg Harrington, who made his debut performance, edged Paul Zimmerman and Eddie Sibolboro 3 and 2.

Craig Jung and John Dahlgren of Kenai played to a tie against Darell Jelsma and George Stein.

Birch Ridge received a 2 and 1 win from Jeff Hetrick and Beau Forrest over Mark Griffin and Chris Murray. J.D. Cowan and Brennen Jackson notched the other point for Birch Ridge, upending Derek Kaufman and Truckee LeMay 2 and 1.

Birch Ridge, which leads the all-time series 3-2-1, would take the crown with five points in singles play Sunday. A 4 1-2-point effort from Birch Ridge would create a tie, and Kenai would retain the trophy because it is the defending champion.

Carver said Kenai is shooting to win it outright.

"Our goal is to win 8-4 on Sunday," he said. "It's going to be tough, but we know we can do it."

Walker Cup

Friday at Birch Ridge Golf Course

Kenai 3 1-2, Birch Ridge 2 1-2

Bob Sizemore-Doug Jung, K, def. Gary Stackhouse-Jim McWilliams, 4 and 3; George Stein-Darell Jelsma, BR, tie Craig Jung-John Dahlgren; Gordon Griffin-Todd Eskelin, K, def. Mike Hollingsworth-Jay Kriner, 2 and 1; Jeff Hetrick-Beau Forrest, BR, def. Mark Griffin-Chris Murray, 2 and 1; J.D. Cowan-Brennen Jackson, BR, def. Derek Kaufman-Truckee LeMay, 2 and 1; Rich Edwards-Greg Harrington, K, def. Eddie Sibolboro-Paul Zimmerman, 3 and 2.

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