An Irish celebration following Daniel Connolly's win at the San Francisco City Championship
Randy Haag photo
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (March 13, 2016) -- The
longest running city championship in the country
concluded its 100th event Sunday with Daniel
Connolly taking the historic title.
Connolly, a resident of San Francisco, defeated
Noah Shiekh 3-and-1 in the 36-hole championship
match hosted by TPC Harding Park. The win
concluded a long month of golf for Connolly that
began with rounds of 71, 76 to earn the 13th match
Several of those rounds required serious
comebacks, and the final was no different.
The Stuart Hall high school senior found himself
2 down with three to play in his opening match
against Bryan Baumgarten. Connolly rallied to force
extra holes and matched Baumgarten's three
consecutive birdies on the first three playoff holes,
eventually pulling out the match on the 22nd hole.
A 4&3 win over Aaron Chen in the round of
16 and and a 2-up win over Ben Peters in the semi's
further exemplified Connolly's strong play. Although
St. Patrick's day is around the corner, the Irish
Connolly certainly relied more on his golfing ability
than Irish luck in his final match.
Once again down on a rainy San Francisco day,
vs. the 6 foot 7 Noah Sheikh, Connolly squared the
match, relying on his foul weather play and sheer
determination to square the match, then pull ahead.
“It was pretty brutal out there,” Connolly told
the San Francisco Chronicle. “But to me, it’s kind of
cool; it’s what makes this event unique. You play no
And having his father Martin, the owner of the
most popular Irish bar and restaurant in San
Francisco (Johnny Foley's) on the bag
surely didn't hurt.
The elder Connolly, worn out from a weekend of
caddying, called the weekend magical.
"[It was] very surreal to be a part of
it," he said.
The family had a strong contingency of Irish
golfers and friends in the gallery, including Kitt
Flood, whose brother Ronan caddies for Padraig
Harrington on the PGA Tour. Many of the gallery play
just across Lake Merced at The Olympic Club, known
for its Irish contingency of members. (Notably,
Another Olympic Club member, Randy Haag, won the
Connolly won the match in fashion, with a
downhill, 20 foot putt on the 35th hole, Harding
Park's par-3 17th.
Connolly (Steve Lewis photo)
The win the biggest in Daniel's young amateur
career that includes two U.S. Junior Amateur
appearances. In 2013 he recorded a big win at the
AmateurGolf.com Christmas Classic,
where, at age 16, he shot a shocking 8-under 64 in
the final round to grab the title against a field of
We've been paying attention ever since.
Look out for Connolly as he starts his freshman
year at SMU this fall.
The 100th playing of the San Francisco City
Championship was dedicated to 1982 champion Ray
Pellegrini (1952-2015), a San Francisco golfing
legend. Pellegrini played in 45 consecutive San
Francisco City Championships, qualifying for an
amazing 40 in a row. Visit the Ray Pellegrini