Thursday, June 26, 2003

Competition pays off for one Ebel at Met

Met golf

By Colleen Kane
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Jim Ebel began playing golf competitively 15 years ago because he wanted to be just like his younger brother, Pete, and win tournaments.

"Back in the early '90s, he used to be my caddy," Pete Ebel said. "He got tired of carrying my bag because he said he could do better than I could."

On Wednesday, Jim Ebel did. In the Met's round of 32 at Oasis, Ebel was one of 16 qualifiers for today's second round of match play. He defeated Doug Danner 1 up on the 19th hole.

Ebel advances to play friend and fellow Four Bridges member Shawn McCaskey at 7:40 this morning. The winner advances to this afternoon's quarterfinals.

Pete Ebel lost to Bryan Harger 3 and 2.

Jim Ebel, the No. 8 seed, held off a bid at an upset by No. 25 Danner. Ebel was 1 up after 15 holes, but hit a tee shot and an approach shot into the water on 16 and 17 to fall behind. His tee shot on 18 also almost hit the water.

"It wasn't a lack of confidence or anything, it was just two bad golf swings," Jim said. "I was kind of disgusted walking up (to my ball on 18). I really thought my ball was in the water, and I thought the match was over."

It wasn't. Ebel tied the contest on 18, and the match went to sudden death. Ebel made a 21-foot putt on No. 1 - a putt he missed earlier in the day - for the win.

Ebel, who is 43 years old, advances with hopes of making his fourth quarterfinals in six years. Neither Ebel brother has won the Met, but Pete Ebel has made the finals.

The brothers, who have different swings, play golf together once a week but have never played each other in the Met. This year, a finals showdown was the only way they would have met. Pete said Jim's practice has made him the longer-lasting brother this year.

"He works at a driving range, so he gets to hit as many balls as he wants, and I don't anymore, so that's the difference," Pete Ebel said. "It depends on the year, but definitely this year, he's heads and tails above me."

Ebel said if Jim makes the finals, a number of their brothers and sisters will attend.

SORROWS UPSETS ALLAN: Tim Sorrows, the No. 29 seed, is the most unexpected of today's group of 16. He defeated defending champ and No. 4 seed David Allan 1 up on the 19th hole.

"I think most would (consider it an upset) ... the defending champ and a nobody," said the 46-year-old Sorrows, playing in his third Met.

He took the week off work to play golf, but said he thought he might be playing somewhere else by today.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: Bryan Harger faces former Xavier teammate Justin Fender at 8:10 a.m. Harger is the No. 2 seed. Fender, No. 18, defeated Kyle Ward 1 up. Xavier's Miles Maillet also advanced.


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