Gandranata, Knoll win Commuters Titles
ALAMEDA, Calif. (April 25, 2010) -- After 72 holes of play in this year's Alameda Commuters, reigning 2009 NCGA champion and 2010 S.F. City champion, George Gandranata can now add 2010 Alameda Commuters champion to his growing list of titles won.
After firing 67 on Saturday to grab a one stroke lead over 4-time Alameda Commuters champion Rick Reinsberg, Gandranata’s blistered the front nine of the Earl Fry course by going out in 31. His 5 under front nine extended his lead to 5 over Reinsberg and 7 over Kevin Wentworth with nine holes to play. At 14 under, another solid nine holes of golf would had put the Commuters tournament record within reach. In 2002, Matt Bettencourt fired 18 under 266 while winning the Commuters.
A Gandranata bogey at 10 cut the lead to 4, but his crisp iron play and rock solid putting held this lead till 15. This par 3 signature hole was set up to test the players all four rounds. PGA professional Jack Cummings felt that a 227 yard front pin would be a good best test on a windy day and that’s what faced the players on Sunday. Each year the players play rounds 3-4 from the “Commuters tee” which lengthens the hole an additional 30 yards. This tee is fondly known as “the pimple”. As in many “Commuters” of championships past, this hole can produce some great golf drama.
With the tournament basically a two man battle between Gandranata the young lion and Reinsberg the wise veteran, both players hit wayward tee shots. With Gandranata’s bogey and a clutch par putt by Reinsberg the gap closed to 3 strokes. Another bogey by Gandranata at 16 could of had huge impact when Reinsberg’s approach landed 15 feet from the hole, however Reinsberg’s 15 footer for birdie slide past the hole and he settled for par. With what once was a 5 stroke lead was now cut to 2 with 2 holes to go. On the short 275 yard par 4 17th, Gandranata chipped his ball to 6 feet, from about 10 yards off the green. Reinsberg’s difficult 20 yard bunker shot sailed over the green. Gandranata’s birdie and Reinsberg’s bogey, Gandranata’s now 4 stroke lead going into the 72 hole sealed the tournament for this former CAL golfer. His 72 hole score of 271 13 under is one of the better scores of the past 5 years and a fine example of how well he plays.
Rounding out the Top 10:
- Reinsberg finished 2nd at 9 under 275.
- Scott Olds never go it going Sunday and fired an up an down round of 71 to finish 3rd, at 6 under - 278
- Tiring for 4th place were Kevin Lucas 68/280 and Josh Stone 67/280. Both players posted exceptional rounds on Sunday against the firm and fats conditions.
- 6th place finishers were Patrick Grimes 71/281, Matt Hansen 68/281, Domingo Jojola 69/71 and Kevin Wentworth 71/73
Alameda junior golf club member and former SF CITY champ, Carlos Briones, finished 10th with a final round 73/282. 2 under par finish.
In Senior action, defending champion Jim Knoll is now two-time ALAMEDA COMMUTERS SENIOR champion. Knoll, fired an even par 71 to finish at 138: one of the lower senior scores in the past 7 years. Knoll finished ahead of 2-time past Alameda Commuters champion Jeff Burda and 3-time past Alameda Commuters champion and 2007 ALAMEDA COMMUTERS SENIOR champion Gary Vanier. Both players shared runner-up honors at 142. Alameda's Mark Merrigan finished at 151 to place 17th.
6-Time Commuters Champion Bob Blomberg, who is resting nicely in his hospital bed, had photo’s and score updates texted to his cell phone as the finals rounds progressed, by Alameda Commuters media representative, Mike Maurice. Bob, who is doing quite well, had said “this is way better than watching GOLF CHANNEL!”
Frank Albelda, of Alameda (try saying that three times fast) took some photos of some of the players last Sunday during their round action. Albelda is currently studying photography on-line with the New York Institute of Photography and one of the projects is to take action photos of the 83rd Alameda Commuters Golf Tournament.
The link below is a flickr account when I posted these photos and you are welcome to share them.
Find the ALAMEDA COMMUTERS on FACEBOOK: Look at photos, stories and video at ALAMEDA GOLF TOURNAMENT
Once again, players were greeted with firm, fast greens and tucked pins all four rounds. With these great conditions, the Alameda Commuter would like to thank KEMPER SPORTS for their partnership in helping the 40 man ALAMEDA COMMUTERS COMMITTEE run this great championship.