SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (Feb. 15, 2009) -- Golf fans worldwide saw their coverage of the AT&T go blank on Sunday, as high wind and rain caused the PGA Tour event at Pebble Beach to be postponed until Monday.
Just over 100 miles up the coast, at San Francisco's Harding and Lincoln Park Golf Courses, there was no such thinking. Play did get suspended, but the rounds were all completed and at the end of the day, 3 players had posted 36 hole totals that most players would be thrilled with in perfect weather.
Randy Haag of Burlingame (the runner-up in 2008's event), Matt Marshall of Saratoga, and Jeff Nelson of San Mateo tied at 141, 1-over-par.
To determine the Medalist, a sudden-death playoff between Haag and Nelson started at the first hole (Marshall had left the course and was therefore ineligible). Haag, a past Champion but never Medalist, hit driver-six iron to within 20-feet for a safe par, while Nelson made bogey after missing the green from 200 yards out. The hole played directly into the wind and rain.
"For 30 years I’ve tried my best to be Medalist in the city, but for some reason have always come up short -- I think I’ve been 2nd 5-7 times," said Haag after the round. "So perhaps I’m the oldest Medalist ever at 50."
We'll have to check the record books for that one.
To add to the excitement of a day when players such as Haag were forced to chip through standing water on several greens, (he said it was the only way to get to the hole) 9 of the 11 players who tied at 154 -- and hung around for their last hope -- were forced to playoff for the final two spots in match play.
2008 amateurgolf.com Christmas Classic Champion Reid Scarff grabbed the 63rd match play spot with an unlikely birdie from the right trees, while former California State Amateur Champion Darryl Donovan made the only par on No. 1 to grab the 64th spot.
Defending Champion Martin Trainer will definitely have his hands full with Donovan in the opening match.