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Solien wins battle of Senior champions

Spencer Clark rolls a putt during his match against Senior medalist Clint Nelson. Clark won the match 1 up. BRIAN BASHAM/SPOTLIGHT1 / 2
Defending Pine to Palm Senior champion Tim Rubis takes a long look at his tee shot to the par three 14th green Thursday. BRIAN BASHAM/SPOTLIGHT2 / 2

It's a trend T.L. Solien hopes to continue.

In the 2008 Pine to Palm Senior's tournament, Joe Sauer and Solien played in the first round, in which the former won and eventually played his way to a championship.

In 2009, the same first-round match up occurred, this time Solien came out on top, in which he won himself a Seniors championship.

After a year layoff from one another in the first round, the 2011 Seniors featured the two former champions facing off for the third time -- edge Solien, who won 3 and 2.

"I guess I won the rubber match," Solien said. "I'm hoping it's a trend, too."

Solien was 1-up at the turn, as the two proceeded to halve holes up to 15. The Wisconsin golfer went 2-up on hole 14 after Sauer three-putted and finished off the match with a birdie on 16.

Consistency is what Solien will be looking for if he wants to contend for his second Senior's championship.

"I need to drive the ball more consistently and have better iron play," Solien said. "I need to create more birdie opportunities and hit my greens in regulation, because one thing I have been doing well is putting."

Solien's next opponent will be Spencer Clark, who played in the playoff hole early in the morning and wrangled the No. 15 seed.

He upset Senior medalist Clint Nelson 1-up to advance, while Rob Harris was a 6 and 5 winner over Lynn Holbrook.

Harris will face Bruce Carlisle, who was a 1-up victor over Bob Theriault.

Defending champion Tim Rubis toppled Lute Simley 2 and 1, after Simley was the last Senior's qualifier with Clark.

Scott Linnerooth won 7 and 5 over Jeff Tweeton. He will face John Schwankl, who was a 1-up winner over Lynn Schultz.

The Seniors will start the quarterfinals at 12:47 p.m. on tee one.