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San Francisco City: Round of 16
06 Mar 2011
by Pete Wlodkowski of AmateurGolf.com

see also: TPC Harding Park Golf Course, George Gandranata Rankings, George Gandranata Profile

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (March 6, 2011) -- Round-of-16 matches were played Sunday at Harding Park, and defending champion George Gandranata advanced to the quarterfinals with a 3-and-1 victory over the very solid Kevin Wentworth, a player from Arnold who qualified for two national USGA Championships in 2010.

The qualifying medalist, Patrick Grimes, was defeated today by Cal Berkeley player Brandon Hagy, 3 and 1. Hagy has performed well in the clutch this year; he eagled the final hole to win the New Years Invitational in Florida in January and pick up a national "major" amateur win.

Randy Haag's back probably could have used a better preparation for today's match than the 25 hole marathon it took him to defeat another solid Cal player, Jamie Core on Saturday. Still, Haag, at age 52 and playing a field with competitors often half his age, went 19 holes with Jack Persons, the 29 seed before bowing out. Persons holed a clutch 8-foot "make or go home" putt on No. 18 to force the match to sudden-death; on the 19th hole (Harding's 1st) Haag made bogey after going for the back-right pin and finding the soggy bunker.

"I'm not sure what's going on in the universe," said a bemused Haag, "but the last five matches I have played [starting with the Olympic Club Championship, ed.] have gone extra holes."

And for those that don't know Jack Persons, Haag said the 18-year-old may have the perfect match play short game for the demands of Harding Park and San Francisco weather. Playing on greens that often required drops away from casual water, Persons' putting style matches his all-around solid short game.

"He gets up, aligns his putter in front of the ball, doesn't take a practice stroke and smoothly rolls it," said Haag.

It's certainly anyone's game in match play, but with Hagy and Gandranata on opposite sides of the bracket it's very possible we could see a Cal sophomore (Hagy) vs. Cal Alumnus (Gandranata, '09) final.

PHOTO GALLERY:

Many players noticed a very professional- looking photographer and thought he was from one of the local publications like The San Francisco Chronicle. Not so, that was Frank Albelda of Alameda, on assignment for amateurgolf.com. To view his photo gallery, visit our Facebook page. While you don't have to "like" our page, we would really appreciate if you would.

previously reported:

* * * SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (March 5, 2011) -- The first round of match play in the San Francisco City Championship got underway today at San Francisco's historic Harding Park Golf Course.

Defending champion George Gandranata was solid in defeating Stephen Molinelli of the Olympic Club, 5 and 4. Molinelli enjoys Harding Park almost as much as his home course and is never an easy opponent there, but Gandranata, as evidenced in this fantastic photo by Frank Albelda, came out determined.

Medalist Patrick Grimes defeated Taylor Bromley, 4 and 3.

Michael Vera and Ricky Stockton battled through extra holes, with Stockton coming out on top on the 2nd extra hole.

And the match of the day was one that shows why golf is great - current division one golfer Jamie Core (Cal Berkeley) went 25 holes with 2010 NCGA Player of the Year Randy Haag, 52 with this one going the way of the veteran Haag.

Round two gets underway on Sunday. To view stories about the senior and women's divisions, see "regional news" on the right side of the page. A match play bracket for the men's division is available by clicking on the link below.

Results For San Francisco City MEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP
Place  Pts
WinCABrandon HagyWestlake Village, CA150
Runner-upCAJack PersonsSan Francisco, CA100
SemifinalsWAT.J. BordeauxTacoma, WA65
SemifinalsCAPatrick KucichStockton, CA65
QuarterfinalsCAGeorge GandranataEmeryville, CA65

View full results for San Francisco City MEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP

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