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BY MAVERICK PALLACK/PORTLAND TRIBUNE/Oregon State standout grinds out semifinal win despite 'sloppiest' golf

A fatigued top seed from Oregon State will meet a former Portland Pilot on Saturday at Portland Golf Club for the 110th Oregon Amateur men's championship.

Spencer Tibbits, an OSU junior-to-be who missed the cut by only one shot in last week's U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, won two matches Friday, as did 27-year-old Daniel Snoey, the 15th seed from Camas, Washington.

Their 36-hole final starts at 8:15 a.m. Saturday.

Tibbits, from Vancouver, Wash., said he overcame the "sloppiest" he's played in grinding out a 3 and 2 win over fourth-seeded Dustin Laney of Portland in the semifinals.

"It's really encouraging knowing I can still win a golf tournament when I'm feeling I'm not anywhere close to where I should be mentally and physically," said Tibbits, who played par golf in his semi match. "Great players always know how to compete when they don't have their stuff, and that's something my coaches always told me. I'm just trying to believe that I'm a great player and I can compete when I'm not at my best."

Laney called the tournament a great building block for his golf game.

"Getting to the final four was a huge step in the right direction for me," Laney said. "Spencer's a tough competitor. He grinded it out."

Tibbits began Friday play with a 7-and-6 victory over No. 57 seed Brent Mumford of Portland.

Snoey, fresh off a 1-up Thursday win over No. 2 seed/defending champion/former Oregon Duck Robbie Ziegler, beat David Hansen of Edmonds, Wash., 1-up in the quarterfinals.

Snoey then downed Sean Kato, a 2019 OSU freshman from Redmond, Wash., 2 and 1 in the semis.

Snoey has gone 18 or 19 holes to win three of his five matches this week.

"You just have to hang in there every hole and make sure you can get through to the end," Snoey said.

Against Kato, Snoey won the fifth, seventh, eighth and 10th holes to go 4-up. Kato took the 11th and 12th to apply some pressure. They halved the next five holes.

"It's a grind out there for 36 holes, so I just hung in there," Snoey said. "I've got a pretty good competitor out there tomorrow, so I'm just hoping to hit some fairways and greens and make some putts."

With a chance for a title, both finalists hope for an adrenaline boost.

"I've just got to find the strength, I have my whole life so I'm not too worried," Tibbits said. "I'll still have the fatigue and I'm pretty low on energy, but I have a chance to win a golf tournament, so I feel like that will overtake that."


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