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SF City Championship: Senior Qualifier and R1 Match Play

Seniors Brave Cold, Wind and Frost in Qualifier and First Match Play
By Lila Hillard

On Wednesday February 15th, in the early morning, 120 senior golfers battled the cold and wind and each other at Harding Park to capture one of the just 30 coveted places in the San Francisco City Golf Championship Senior Division.

Last year’s champion Rob Thompson was the number 1 seed and automatically included in the group, rounding out the field to 31. Herb Jensen shot the low round for the qualifier, posting a 71. Those making the cut 78 or lower.

“The weather was very cold and quite windy”, noted Edrick Pasqual, who ran the tournament.

Moving on to the first round the next morning were the low gross winners who were paired in a match play format. Thompson got a “bye” in this round. The wintry weather hit hard Thursday morning resulting in over an hour frost delay before the action started.

“The course was messy because of the past rain”, mentioned Earl Stewart, two-time winner in the Senior Division of this illustrious event in 2000 and 2004. Fighting a bad cold as well, Stewart held on to go 3-2 to beat his match play opponent, Carl Selkirk.

Merton Goode and Jeff Newkirk battled each other, going to 19 holes, with Newkirk pulling out the win. Herb Jensen moved on to the next round, as well as Francis Spadola and Frank Abbott, both in tight matches.

The 16 remaining players will face off again on Wednesday, February 22nd and the 8 winners of those matches will meet in the quarterfinals on Thursday, February 23. The semi finals will be played on Saturday March 4th, culminating with the final pairing on Sunday morning, March 5th to determine this year’s champion. All these matches will be played at Harding Park and will be open to the public to watch the action.

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