SCORESHEET/Gymnasts from Portland part of cultural exchange with Japan/Updates on LPGA, Tour golf

COPYRIGHT USGA/STEVEN GIBBONS - A match comes down to the 18th hole at Waverley Country Club during the U.S. Senior Women's Amateur, which concludes Thursday morning.The 18-hole championship match of the U.S. Senior Women's Amateur starts at 8:30 a.m. Thursday at Waverley Country Cub.

The national championship has been another feather in the hat of the Southeast Portland golf links. Waverley, established in 1896, has now played host to seven USGA championships since 1952, with winners including Lanny Wadkins (1970 U.S. Amateur), Juli Inkster (1981 U.S. Women's Amateur) and Tiger Woods (1993 U.S. Junior Amateur).

The latest USGA event to take place in Portland had one of the state's leading and most tireless proponents of the sport as its host committee co-chair (with Cynthia Potwin).

But David Jacobsen, brother of former PGA Tour standout and current TV analyst Peter Jacobsen, won't be able to attend all of today's final. He's off to meetings in Scotland, where he became an invited member of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland, three years ago.

Dismounting in Japan

A dozen teenage gymnasts from Oregon departed on Monday for a 10-day trip to Sapporo, Japan, during which they will participate in a city championship meet.

The trip continues a sister city exchange tradition that dates to 1986. Most recently, a group of gymnasts from the Portland area traveled to Sapporo in 2013 and a group of gymnasts from Sapporo visited Portland in 2015.

Among five boys who train at Multnomah Athletic Club making the trip are three who compete at the elite level: Michael Smith, 18, of Lake Oswego; Caleb Martindale, 16, of Portland; and Austin Kitk, 16, of Lake Oswego. Each has a future in college gymnastics, according to Rob Saliski, head coach of gymnastics at MAC.

Also representing Multnomah Athletic Club on the trip are Brennan Kane, 14, of Beaverton and Adirian Rodriguez, 16, from Vancouver, Wash.

The gymnasts and their families pay for the airfare. They will stay with host families, a key part of the cultural exchange experience, according to Saliski and Meg Doxtator, the MAC gymnastics director who made the trip to Sapporo in 2015.

The gymnasts applied to participate in the exchange and were selected by the Northwest Gymnastics Association, which sponsors this exchange program.

Five 13-year-old girls will represent Beaverton's Oregon Gymnastics Academy on the trip. They are: Jenna Anderson, Aubrey Braun, Sophia Brinker, Noa Rahat and Aubrey-Ellen Smith. Two boys from Eugene's National Academy of Artistic Gymnastics on the trip are Malakai Gaines, 14, and Will Taylor, 15.

In addition to training and competing alongside Japanese peers, the Oregon delegation will experience Japanese culture — which unlike here includes the athletes setting up equipment before the meet and taking it down at meet's end.

Adults accompanying the group will include MAC coaches, including Saliski and Shuichi Goto along with several gymnastics judges.

Demos start well

The Jefferson Democrats will try for a 3-0 start to their season when they face Franklin at 7 p.m. Friday at Jeff. The Demos opened with a 28-24 win over Redmond, then beat Westview 14-6 last week to avenge a 2016 playoff loss.

Depth in women's golf

How deep is the talent in women's golf? A week after Stacy Lewis' victory in the Cambia Portland Classic at Columbia Edgewater Country Club, it was Lexi Thompson's turn. She won the Indy Women in Tech Championship in Indiana, and the rest of the top nine were all players (other than Brooke Henderson) who either weren't a factor at CECC or didn't even make the trip west. Lydia Ko was second, Minjee Lee third, Olafia Kristinsdottir fourth, and Haeji Kang, Lizette Salas, Ashleigh Buhai and Candie Kung joined Henderson in a tie for fifth. That's seven countries represented in the first nine.

The LPGA has had 20 different winners in 26 events this year. Nine tournaments remain, and the money title looks like a race between South Koreans Sung-Hyun Park ($1,878,615) and So Yeon Ryu ($1,769,650) and Thompson ($1,651,815).

In the Rolex world rankings, the top three are, in order, Ryu, Thompson and Park.

A battle in Boise

The Tour finals are in Boise, Idaho, this week for the second of four events, the Jeff Sanders/Lagardere Sports-sponsored Albertsons Boise Open. Tour pros and others, including veteran Ben Crane from Beaverton and the University of Oregon, are battling for PGA Tour playing credentials for the 2017-18 season.

The Tour regular season ended a couple of weeks ago at Pumpkin Ridge, where the top 25 money winners, including rookie Aaron Wise from the University of Oregon, received their promotions to the PGA Tour.

Another 25 PGA Tour cards are on the line in the finals — and for everyone, the better they play, the higher their exempt status and likelihood of getting starts on the top circuit.

Former Jesuit High golfer Scott Harrington played well in the opening finals tourney, tying for 24th in the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship at Columbus, Ohio.

• Harrington's father, Bob, had an arguably even better week. The Portlander won the Oregon Senior Men's Amateur Championship at the OGA Golf Course in Woodburn. He took medalist honors with a 4-under-par 68 and then went 5-0 in match play, trailing only for two holes all week. In the title match, Harrington's birdie putt of 15-plus feet on the second playoff hole gave him the decision over Tim O'Neal of Vancouver, Wash.

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