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Don Barnett Memorial golf tournament: Outsider win
Robb Bergeson shot a 71 Monday for a two-stroke victory at the Don Barnett Memorial golf tournament.
Photo by LINDA THOMPSON/Missoulian

Billings' Robb Bergeson ends nine-year stretch of MCC winners

It was a Robb Bergeson breakthrough.

The 24-year-old Billings golfer won his first Don Barnett Memorial golf tournament Monday at Missoula Country Club.

Bergeson's two-shot victory ended a nine-year reign by local players in the tournament, which ranks among the most important amateur events of the golf season. Five MCC golfers had won the title in that span.

"The guys who play around here are going to have the advantages because they've seen the course so many times," said Bergeson, a former men's State Amateur champ. "The Missoula Country Club traditionally has had fantastic players. They're going to get up on Saturday (at the start of the tournament) ready to go."

Bergeson shot an even-par 71 Monday and finished with a three-round total of 2-under 211 to win in just his second try at the event. He came within two strokes last year before losing to Missoula golfer Jon Heselwood for the title.

Tony Buda of Portland, Ore., who was the co-leader coming into the final round, shot a 74 to finish at 213.

Bergeson gained a one-stroke lead on Buda with a 35 on the front nine. The score remained that way for much of the back nine until the leading group came to No. 17.

"I got a little nervous on the last couple holes," Bergeson said. "It's just a different feeling when you're leading and almost trying to protect from making the big mistake."

Buda teed off first on the par-3 hole, and sent his shot over the back of the green, not far from the Bitterroot River. Bergeson planted his tee shot dead center on the green and two-putted for a par.

Buda's second shot rolled 8 feet past the cup on the down slope. He just missed his par putt, giving Bergeson a two-stroke advantage.

"It was a relief," Bergeson said. "When I saw his putt not go in and to know I had two shots coming into the last hole, that made it a little easier."

Buda gave it a valiant effort on the par-5 finishing hole. He had a chance to tie when he reached the green in two shots. His 30-foot eagle putt came up short and Bergeson didn't waver either, as both golfers notched closing birdies.

Buda had two bogeys on the back nine, both on par-3 holes.

MCC golfer Gary Koprivica, winner of two of the last four Barnett tournaments, finished third with a 54-hole score of 216. Koprivica shot a closing 72.

Dirk Cloninger, the 1992 champ, finished fourth and defedning MCC champ Bob Gray rounded out the top five.

Second round co-leader Chris Conley fell out of contention with an 83 on Monday, tying for eighth place with Missoula Sentinel golfer Adam Hober.

Conley was arrested Sunday afternoon on charges of possession of dangerous drugs and misdemeanor theft, following a 1-under-par second round that tied him with Buda. (See story, Page B-1.)

Bergeson claimed the state Class AA golf title at Missoula Country Club as a senior at Billings West six years ago. He then played collegiate golf at the University of Washington. Bergeson was a runner-up at the State Amateur last year after winning the crown in 1997.

The last out-of-towner to win the Barnett tournament was Dave Morberg of Kalispell in 1991. Since then Heselwood, Koprivica, Cloninger, Mark Nedrud and Colin Bork - all MCC golfers - have taken the top prize.

Cindy Reimers of Missoula won the ladies flight with a three-round total of 260.

Reporter Nick Lockridge can be reached at 523-5265 or by e-mail at sportsdesk@missoulian.com.

Don Barnett Memorial golf tournament

Championship flight

Robb Bergeson……71-69-71 - 211

Tony Buda……68-71-74 - 213

Gary Koprivica ……71-73-72 - 216

Dirk Cloninger……73-71-73 - 217

Bob Gray……67-74-77 - 218

Joe Johnston……75-73-71 - 219

Brian Sheridan ……73-73-75 - 221

Chris Conley……69-70-83 - 222

Adam Hober……72-77-73 - 222

Brett Bennyhoff……72-76-75 - 223

Bill Dunn ……79-73-72 - 224

Craig Hurlbert ……75-76-73 - 224

Rick Kloepfer ……76-75-73 - 224

Dave Lawston……77-75-73 - 225

Chris McConnell……66-80-79 - 225

Carroll Lilly……80-71-76 - 227

Reid Lende……74-73-81 - 228

Joe Zieske……78-74-78 - 230

Dave Johnson……74-80-77 - 231

Ben Mills……79-76-76 - 231

Brad Burtness……74-81-77 - 232

Rob Logsdon……75-78-80 - 233

Ken Klaudt……74-79-81 - 234

Eric Solander……73-82-79 - 234

Russ Bethel……79-76-80 - 235

Jess Rodman……80-78-78 - 236

Gary Funston……78-79-80 - 237

Cory Slocum……80-83-76 - 239

John Dayries……75-87-78 - 240

Kurt Winegardner……77-81-87 - 245

Bob Elias……94-99-96-269

First flight

Shaun Murray……73-71-77 - 221

Parker Heller……72-75-75 - 222

Jerry Erickson……75-73-78 - 226

Tucker Lamberton……78-74-76 - 228

Rob Huntley……77-76-81 - 234

Michael DeGrazier……79-79-77 - 235

Mike Peissig……77-81-78 - 236

Steve Gold……81-80-76 - 237

Scott Stone……78-81-80 - 239

David Christiansen……81-83-78 - 242

Jon Winegardner……77-85-80 - 242

Steve Anderson……80-83-81 - 244

Brad Colberg……88-76-80 - 244

Randy Jacobs……86-84-88 - 258

Casey Ridge……85-90-86 - 261

Second flight

Geoff Smith……73-76-81 - 230

Steve Sullivan……76-74-82 - 232

Jerry Rapp……75-78-80 - 233

Bob Kane……78-74-82 - 234

Jeff Swonson……70-83-83 - 236

George Stern……80-78-80 - 238

Riley McGiboney……79-83-76 - 240

Tom Murray……76-79-86 - 41

Tim Tiffin……84-80-77 - 241

Justin Anderson……79-83-80 - 242

John Kovacich……82-81-82 - 245

Bob Kerley……81-85-82 - 248

Ron Plummer……76-82-90 - 248

Randy Kloepfer……76-84-90 - 250

Walt Smith……85-83-84 - 252

Randy Warner……75-89-88 - 252

Darren Rowell……101-99-94 - 294

Third flight

Sean Hauser……74-7978 - 231

Jeff Wahl……77-76-83 - 236

Robert Murray……73-81-85 - 239

Troy Peissig……75-81-87 - 243

Patrick Mourar……83-78-84 - 245

Terry Nelson……80-77-88 - 245

Patrick Standley……76-86-84 - 248

Jerry Dwyer……78-84-85- 247

Larry Lamb……85-83-79 - 247

John Wagner……81-83-83 - 247

Mike Murray……79-86-88 - 253

Fred Ferreira……77-86-92 - 255

Manny Ghatnai……85-97-88 - 270

Gary Nygaard……92-98-91 - 281

Fourth flight

Todd Hober……80-78-80 - 238

Dave Warren……82-76-81 - 239

Gary Rodman……79-84-82 - 245

Butch Juhnke……81-86-80 - 247

Brady Selle……83-81-83 - 247

Seth Enes……83-82-83 - 248

Bo Severson……78-84-89 - 251

R.K. Blake……78 83-91 - 252

Dennis Webster……85-84-83 - 252

Tracy Roy……86-86-84 - 256

Jim Anderson……86-90-84 - 260

Mike McLeod……79-85-98 - 262

Marc Snavely……88-85-90 - 263

Robbie Robison……86-89-90 - 265

Mike Wagner……88-94-89 - 271

Fifth flight

John Velk……78-79-85 - 242

Brett Hober……84-77-82 - 243

Paul Svelmoe……78-79-87 - 244

Mike Spies……86-77-84 - 247

Bruce Micklus……79-84-86 - 249

Tom Ployhar……76-89-85 - 250

John Schilling……85-8289 - 256

Phillip Olson……86-84-87 - 257

Jim Haynal……90-79-92 - 261

Mike Gray……84-93-88 - 265

Mike Keffler……93-81-91 - 265

Peter Giardino……81-88-97 - 266

Bill Bolt……85-88-95 - 268

Neil McLain……88-93-90 - 271

Fred Olson……85-86-100 - 271

Scott Williams……89-99-92 - 280

Sixth flight

Bryan Porch……85-77-82 - 244

Scott Strate……85-81-78 - 244

Ron McKay……79-88-93 - 260

Terry Dial……87-85-91 - 263

Shannon Hubbard……86-89-90 - 265

Greg Hartley……85-91-91 - 267

Keith Bass……90-89-92 - 271

Joe Jepson……90-90-94 - 274

Allen Wold……86-97-92 - 275

Myles Link……97-92-97 - 276

Richard Reed……95-85-96 -276

Brad Dugdale……87-95-103 - 285

Roberto Alverez……96-104-101 - 301

Steve Samsel……105-96-100 - 301

Seventh flight

Ray Lynn……81-78-91 - 250

Paul Lynn……81-87-86 - 254

Ray Round……85-84-86 - 255

Kevin Larney……84-89-85 - 258

David Moore……84-84-91 - 259

Kyle Cunningham……89-86-86 - 261

Dan Breslin……92-83-90 - 265

Jeremy Perlinski……91-92-85 - 268

David Napoletano……82-94-94 - 270

Jack Wenger……91-94-93 - 278

Shawn Yeager……99-92-95 - 286

Mike Rutter……95-100-98 - 293

Eighth flight

Jim Walker……90-89-87 - 218

Tom Watson……85-91-90 - 218

Wes Southard……84-90-93 - 219

Mark Homer……88-92-99 - 222

Tyler Lamb……88-95-91 - 223

David Southard……89-97-88 - 223

Mark Twite……82-93-99 - 223

Eric Harris……99-90-101 - 227

Joe Tomes……94-92-102 - 228

Ron Perrin……100-94-97 - 231

Tim Smith……94-92-102 - 234

George Winchell……92-102-110 - 235

Dan Moe……100-96-88 - 236

Dennis Tonkin ……102-108115 - 244

Scott Palmer……106-96-117 - 247

Women

Cindy Reimers ……85-82-93 - 260

Carrie Johnson……88-97-93 - 278

Lorraine Richardson……93-96-99 - 290

Margaux Alvarez……92-100-106 - 298

Dorothy Dugdale……103-115-112 - 330

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