Allred earns way into Mylan Classic

As the Web.com Tour winds down, Jason Allred is heating up. His co-sixth-place finish in the Boise Open last week earned him a spot in this week’s Mylan Classic at Southpointe Golf Club in Canonsburg, Pa. Players in the top 25 of a tournament the preceding week gain a berth the next week if they aren’t already in.

It was Allred’s second made cut – and paycheck – in as many weeks. He tied for 28th the week before in the Midwest Classic in Overland, Kan.

In the past two weeks, he’s 30 under par for eight rounds. He opened with an even-par 71 in the first round in Kansas and has shot seven straight subpar rounds. That’s not counting the 64 he fashioned in Monday qualifying to get into the Boise tourney.

There are four events left in the Web.com’s regular season, and it would behoove Allred to take advantage. The top 25 on the money list after the regular season earn their PGA cards. The top 75 advance to the new Finals series, which begins Aug. 29 in Indiana.

With his paycheck of $23,443.75 from Boise, Allred climbed from 195th place to 104th on the earnings list. He’s made $27,532.75 in six events and is about $23,000 shy of 75th place.

The Mylan Classic will be aired for a couple hours each day on The Golf Channel.

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Allred’s 64 lands him in Boise Open field

Jason Allred, who had a strong showing on the Web.com Tour last week, will get another chance to move up the ladder this week thanks to brilliant play in the Monday qualifier.

Allred, from Ashland, shot a blistering 64 at Ridgecrest Golf Club to tie for the low round in qualifying for the Albertsons Boise Open.

Allred, who lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., shared the low round with Riley Arp and Tain Lee. Twelve spots into the tournament were awarded.

The Boise Open starts Thursday at Hillcrest Country Club. Allred tees off at 9:05 a.m. in Round 1 and 2:05 p.m. on Friday.

The tournament will air on The Golf Channel for two hours beginning at 3:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Sunday’s showing is from 4 to 6 p.m.

Last week, Allred was 10 under par and tied for 28th place in the Midwest Classic in Overland Park, Kan.

The Boise Open is on the 6,807-yard Hillcrest CC course. It’s the third-shortest course on the tour and the smallest among U.S. venues. It ranked as last year’s third-easiest layout, with a scoring average of 69.22 that was 1.78 strokes below par.

Just five events are left in the Web.com’s regular season before the first 25 PGA Tour cards for next year are handed out and the top 75 in earnings move on to the new Finals series that begins Aug. 29 in Indiana.

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Help us build the Rogue Valley’s dream golf course

We in the Mail Tribune sports department thought it would be fun to create a regulation, 18-hole golf course using existing holes at golf courses in our area. Now we need you to tell us which holes you like best from 18-hole courses Centennial, Eagle Point, Rogue Valley Country Club and Stone Ridge, and nine-hole courses Cedar Links, Oak Knoll, Quail Point and Stewart Meadows.

Each week we’ll put up a new survey and ask you to select a number of par 3, par 4 or par 5 holes. There are 117 holes to choose from, and all will be listed at some point. We’ll have three weeks of voting on par 4s as there are 69 of them. We’ll then take the top vote-getters and have a final fourth week of voting. The par 3s and par 5s will each be done with one week of voting.

You can vote as often as you like, and you decide the criteria for what makes the best holes: difficulty, character, hazards or lack thereof. It’s up to you. When voting is complete, we’ll have an 18-hole course with 10 par 4s, four par 3s and four par 5s. We’ll announce the results in a package toward the end of summer.

To take part, go to www.mailtribune.com/golfcourse

 

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Ducks are dancing in the streets

That huge wind that cut a swath across Oregon and beyond? Duck football fans breathing a huge sigh of relief after the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions hit the program so lightly, it doesn’t even constitute a slap on the wrist. No bowl ban — that’s the biggie of course — and a loss of one scholarship each of the next two years. Also, three years probation, and the Ducks won’t be able to use scouting services over the course of probation. Former head coach Chip Kelly, now with the Philadelphia Eagles, is hit with a 18-month show-cause penalty, and a former assistant 12 months of show-cause.

In some cases, the penalties are less than what Oregon initially proposed. The Ducks suggested one scholarship lost for each of three years, not two. They proposed two years probation. Of course, they didn’t want a bowl ban.

Some are suggesting that the penalties are so light, every program should do what the Ducks did, that “failure to monitor,” which is what Oregon was cited for, apparently isn’t a big deal. Others say too often the NCAA penalizes innocent parties much too harshly, that the program is hit hard while an offending administrator or head coach moves on to greener pastures. That clearly didn’t happen here. Sure, Kelly is probably laughing all the way to the bank, but at least the program dodges a bullet.

When Oregon proposed its penalties and the NCAA rejected them, you had to figure the governing body would come back with something a little stiffer. There was the unknown factor of what bearing a former infraction, in 2004, would have. But also, there didn’t seem to be lack of institutional control. And would the NCAA take this as a chance to make an example of one of its most powerful programs (would it dare to cross Phil Knight?), or would it go lightly for the same reason? Or, would any of that factor in? My guess is that had nothing to do with it, but there will be those who point to such a notion.

So, after 27 months, the case is over. Oregon’s future is now and, unless the new regime under head coach Mark Helfrich proves otherwise, it’s as bright as ever.

Let the talk of a national championship commence.

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Our Twitter account was hacked and is down

For those  following us on Twitter, you may have noticed our account has been suspended. We got hacked. Someone was positing raunchy material and links via us. We apologize to anyone who unwittingly came across them. It appears nefarious material was only up overnight before the problem was detected. Through a Google search, I saw similar activity on a hockey site. They didn’t catch that one for four days or so.

We have appealed to Twitter and are trying to get our account restored. it might take a day or two, I’m told, but who knows.

But please rest assured those posts weren’t of our doing.

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Allred not in South Georgia Classic Field

Jason Allred’s attempt to get into the South Georgia Classic on the Web.com Tour this week didn’t go as planned. Fourteen players from two sites made it into the tournament, and the worst qualifying score to get in was a 66. I’ve not been able to track down Allred’s score, but 6 under as the cut line — and there were likely those who shot that and didn’t get in — is pretty tough. Allred’s plan based on a conversation we had last week was to again try to qualify next week for the Stadion Classic in Athens, Ga. He has conditional status on the tour.

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Ashland’s Campaign 42 makes New York Times

The movement spearheaded by Ashland rabbi David Zaslow to honor Jackie Robinson has gained steam and made big-city news. The New York Times published a story on Monday by Hunter Atkins about Zaslow’s Campaign 42. It was accompanied by a photo of the Ashland High baseball team taken by  local photographer Andy Atkinson.

The Ashland Daily Tidings and Mail Tribune earlier ran stories by John Darling on Campaign 42.

Upon seeing major league players wear No. 42 in Robinson’s honor four years ago, Zaslow — who was raised in New York as a diehard Brooklyn Dodgers fan, for whom Robinson played — got the notion to expand awareness of the national icon to youth players.

Wrote Atkins of Robinson, who broke the color barrier in the big leagues on April 15, 1947, he “became the face of racial change in America. His story of surmounting bigotry to integrate baseball would inspire a world far beyond the confines of the ballpark. The No. 42 on his back would become the indelible symbol of his legacy.”

With Campaign 42, beginning last week, nearly 2,600 players ages 4 to 18 wore No. 42 stickers on their jerseys. The stickers come with fliers explaining Robinson’s contribution to American history, wrote Atkins, and coaches and parents are encouraged to educate players about social inequality during Robinson’s time.

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King out, Gage (or Klimek) is back for Pear Blossom Run

The Pear Blossom Run will have a new men’s champion this year. No, Max King won’t be beaten. The seven-time winner won’t be here to add to his record number of victories, electing instead to compete in a 50-mile race in California.

Women’s defending champion, Marci Gage (formerly Klimek), will be back and will attempt to become only the second to win the women’s race three straight times.

With an open men’s field, it’s hard to predict who will prevail, but a few names stick out. Former Southern Oregon All-American distance runner David Laney is in it for the first time, as is Lauren Jespersen, who starred at Klamath Union, then ran for Stanford, ending his career in 2008. Laney has been competing regularly, but Jespersen has turned his attention to his family and work and runs primarily for fun these days. His quote to me: “Good luck finding a better story.” He was very good-natured about it.

Another threat should be Trevor Palmer, former Crater and SOU runner. He gave Drew Jordan a run for his money in the Ashland Fourth of July race last summer. Jordan, from North Medford, is enjoying a solid distance career at Washington State.

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Singler’s youth tournament is around the corner

The seventh annual Kyle Singler Southern Oregon Open youth basketball tournament is a little more than a month away. It’s May 11-12 at Kids Unlimited. Some 80 teams will attend. Singler is in his rookie season with the Detroit Pistons. His brother, EJ, just completed and outstanding career with the Oregon Ducks and will once again put on a skills competition during his brother’s tournament. Here’s a promotional video of the tournament, courtesy of their sister, Katen.

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Fired Howland was in the Singler sweepstakes

I was sorry to see Ben Howland get fired by UCLA, although it didn’t surprise me. I don’t have much of a connection to Howland, but I did enjoy a nice phone conversation with him in 2006 when Kyle Singler was being recruited by all the top programs. We were doing advance work for Singler’s announcement (ultimately he chose Duke over UCLA, Kansas, Arizona and North Carolina) and I called Howland for some info. He didn’t speak directly about Singler, as per NCAA rules, but we chatted amiably about Howland’s program and background and such.

I wasn’t aware, but he was born in Lebanon — a community I covered while with the Albany Democrat-Herald for 10-plus years. He moved to California before his high school days, but he clearly has a fondness for the Willamette Valley and Oregon in general. We talked of a former Lebanon childhood star, Andy McCloskey, who walked on at Oregon State and became a decent contributor and fan favorite. I remember Howland bristling a bit when I suggested former OSU coach Jimmy Anderson, who succeeded Ralph Miller after serving as Miller’s right-hand man, was better suited to being an assistant coach. Howland defended Jimmy (a wonderful guy, by the way) and I said simply his job as a head coach was made harder because Jimmy Anderson didn’t have Jimmy Anderson as his chief recruiter and overseer of so many aspects of the program. I think that got me out of hot water with Howland.

What I especially remember is I reached him while he was on his way home from UCLA. At one point, five minutes into the conversation, he went through a canyon and we lost contact. To my surprise, the phone rang 10 minutes later and we talked for another 10-15 minutes. I think he enjoyed talking about things related to his home state. I’m not sure a lot of head coaches in his position would have bothered to call back. We were only a few months removed from him guiding the Bruins to their first Final Four in 11 years; they lost to Florida in the title game.

Anyway, he’s kind of a no nonsense coach with a bunch of good qualities and here’s hoping things work out for him going forward.

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