SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (March 8, 2008)-- The Visa San Francisco City Golf Championship is well-known for pitting up-and-coming golfers against the Bay Area's established veterans, and this year's championship round is no exception, as former champ Randy Haag (1999) takes on Gunn High School junior Martin Trainer.
The fog blew in from the Pacific to produce a classic Harding Park day for golf. While the weather wasn't good, the golf was magnificent. At the end of the morning round, Haag found himself three-down to Cal redshirt junior Kent Yamane. Haag batted on but couldn't make up any ground until Haag won the 29th hole as Yamane bogied, then won the 30th with an eagle-3.
On the 31st, Yamane's drive drifted left, missing the fairway and into heavy rough. Unable to reach the green, Yamane made bogey, squaring the match. Yamane's approach shot to the 32nd hole missed left, short siding him for his third shot. Haag safely in the middle of the green two putted and gained the lead for the first time in the match with a par 4.
The par-4 34th hole was halved at par as Yamane chipped in from the fringe after a poor shot from the left bunker.
On the 35th hole, Yamane was again bunkered as Haag found the middle of the green. After leaving his second shot in the bunker, Yamane had to settle for bogey and could do nothing but watch as Haag two putted for par and the victory.
"Kent was a delight to play with and a great competitor with a big future in golf" said Haag. "In all the years I've played in this tournament I don't think I have seen a better round of golf than the 5-under he turned in this morning."
In the lower bracket, 17 year old St. Mary's-bound Tim Honeycutt and 16-year-old high schooler Martin Trainer fought tooth and nail all day.
At the end of the morning round they were all square with the lead having changed five times. The afternoon brought more of the same with Trainer finally taking a 2-up lead after 32 holes when Honeycutt missed a two-foot par putt on the 30th and bogied the 31st. Honeycutt came back with a birdie on the 33rd to narrow the lead to one.
The 34th was halved with pars. After Trainer's poor chip from the fringe on the 35th leading to a bogey, the match was again all square. Both players hit big drives over the cypress tree guarding the corner of the fairway and were in perfect position for the approach. Honeycutt's shot ended up in the first cut of rough just right of the green. Trainer hit a perfect 5 iron to within 15 feet. When Honeycutt failed to get up and down, Trainer's two putt par sealed the victory.
Tomorrow's final match between 48 year old Haag and 16 year old Olympic Club junior golf team member Martin Trainer promises to be one for the ages. Trainer would be the youngest San Francisco City Champion ever should he triumph over the wily veteran Haag.
"I'm excited to be in this position" said Trainer "I'll just get some rest tonight and see what I can do tomorrow against Randy."
For the full championship bracket, click here.
In the women's flight Jordan Ontiveros, who upset two-time defending champ Diane Kwon in the Round of 16, was topped by Dorothy Schwartz 6 & 5. Schwartz will be met by Emily Childs, who defeated Kelly Wilson 4 & 3.
For the full women's championship bracket, click here.
In the senior flight, Frank Pieper will take on Jim Knoll in the finals. Pieper topped Bob Fleming, while Knoll defeated reigning amateurgolf.com Senior Player of the Year Jay Guerin.
For a look at the senior bracket, click here.
For a look at the brackets of the open flights' John Susko bracket, click here, for the Ken Venture bracket, click here, and for the Harvie Ward bracket, click here.
Thanks to tournament chairman Mike Miller for the story, as well as Kemper Sports and the San Francisco Parks and Recreation Department.