Jonathan De Los Reyes
Jonathan De Los Reyes
ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Alameda Commuters Committee and Greenway Golf have been hard at work preparing the Earl Fry North course for championship form in preparation for the 88th annual Alameda Commuters Golf Tournament.

The “Commuters” as it is fondly called is played every April on the Bay Farm links, in Alameda, since its inception in 1928.

With 250 NCGA points in play, once again, starting Saturday April 18th, 208 of the best amateur golfers in Northern California will come to Alameda to see who will be the “Commuters” champion for 2015.

The very best local and regional golfers, along with many collegiate golfers, will be contested in this 72-hole stroke play with the cut being low 50 and ties after the first weekend. All the pairings have been made and can be viewed in the golf shop and online at alamedacommuters.org.

Included in the field this year: Defending Champion Jonathan De Los Reyes, 5-time “Commuters” champion Rick Reinsberg, Santa Clara University junior and Alameda Jr. Club member, Carlos Briones, Brett Vibock, Austin Roberts and Patrick Burda. Also playing will be four women amateur golfers: Sara Banke: fresh off her SF City Women’s championship and Alameda’s Sam Esquerra Chen.

Many of Alameda’s best players will participate this year including Mike Maurice and Chico State star David Na. Also scheduled are 55 collegiate players from UC Berkeley, St Mary’s, CSUEB, SJSU, Holly Names, as well as, from other west coast colleges. Andrew Bagabas, of San Ramon will be playing in his first Commuters at age 13.

Players will be met with a unique challenge this year. With the Clark South course being closed and under complete renovation, The Commuters will be played on only one course this year.

“Not since 1955 has the Commuters been contested on one course”, states PGA professional Jack Cummings.

Players will be sent out the first weekend in a “wave” format. 104 players or half the field will be sent off in the morning with the other 104 teeing off in the afternoon. Being said, those who go early Saturday will go in the afternoon wave on Sunday.

On April 25-26th, the Alameda Commuters 28th annual Senior Championship with be contested with 52 of the best senior amateurs from Northern and Southern California competing over 36 holes for the coveted Commuters title. Included in this year’s field is 2013 champion Gary Vanier and fresh off a 2015 SF City win, 3-time winner and NCGA player of the year, Jim Knoll, and Ken Webb. Local Alameda favorites include, Mark Merrigan, Dave Nauman and Jay Guerin.

ABOUT THE Alameda Commuters

What's in a name? In the case of the Alameda Commuters Championship, the logo of the almost 90 year old tournament would be a dead giveaway. It's a steam ferry, which was the only way to "commute" to San Francisco from the East Bay before the Bay Bridge was built. Started as an informal event -- the original first prize was a bag of nails -- the tournament has grown into one of the top independent events in California.

A dedicated tournament committee prides itself on running the two weekend, 72-hole competition as if it were a PGA Tour event. Two of the best public courses at the city-owned Chuck Corica Golf Complex are prepared with care. Slick greens, Sunday pins, and even that rarity in amateur golf – spectators are all part of the fun. The roped-off scoreboard is a particular area of pride for the "green jackets" who were wearing dark green blazers before they were made popular by another tournament you might be aware of in Augusta Georgia. The 250 player championship division is cut to 50 and ties for the second weekend, at which time the 36-hole senior division tees off to join them. A notable recent past champion, and scoring record holder, is PGA Tour player Matt Bettencourt.

Note: The Senior Division is 36 holes, played on second weekend. Online registration is only available for Championship Division. Seniors should email Bob bg olf@comcast.net for an entry form.

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