SF City Championship: Saturday 2/19 Qualifying Notebook

Story by Elizabeth Kricfalusi , for amateurgolf.com

San Francisco, CA (Feb 19, 2005) -- On a day that saw a steady morning drizzle turn into a torrential downpour by mid-afternoon, the players of the 2005 San Francisco City Golf Championship struggled to make par-72 at Harding Park, one of two venues for the tournament. Rick Reinsberg, who won the tournament two years ago, and Domingo Jojola were exceptions, tying each other with the low Harding Park score of 70.

The Lincoln Park crowd fared a bit better against the inclement weather, with Ryan Trask posting a 2-under-par 66 and several players finishing in the high 60s.

“Some of the young bucks can really play, and the elements don’t seem to bother them very much,” said Judith Powell, Tournament Director.

Another consequence of the wet conditions was the continual request by players to take embedded-ball relief, according to Michael Sweeney, Assistant Director of Rules & Competitions for the NCGA. However, even Sweeney was surprised by one particular lie he reviewed.

Taylor Hobin, a 19-year-old member of the University of San Francisco golf team, had hit a perfect tee shot down the middle of Lincoln’s 18th fairway, and then pitched an 8-iron just over the green.

“The ball made a big old indentation mark and popped out again, and then it was just sitting on the corner,” said Hobin.

Sweeney was called out to make a ruling, but since the ball no longer lay within the pitch-mark, it could not be considered an embedded ball. And although the pitch-mark was directly behind the ball, Hobin was not entitled to stamp it down, as that would have improved the area of the intended swing—only permissible on the green. Hobin calmly rose to the challenge and made an impeccable chip shot to land the ball within a few feet of the pin. He then holed his putt to make par, finishing out the day with an impressive round of 69.

Other notable highlights from the first round:

-- Danny Buell, who had prequalified on Friday with the day’s low score of 63, shot 72 at Lincoln Park.

-- Bob Niger, last year’s City Championship runner-up and this year’s current leader in amateurgolf.com Championship Division points, ended his day at Harding Park with a solid 75.

-- Despite the rain, all players were required to walk the course. However, caddies were permitted to use carts to transport the players’ clubs.

The top 63 players after Sunday’s round, along with defending champion Steve Sparolini, will advance to the first round of match play that will take place February 26-27 at Harding Park.

click here for updated full-field scores from the SF City Championship website

click here for Men's Open Division match play brackets
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