By Matt Foley, exclusive to amateurgolf.com
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (February 19, 2006) – The heat was turned up in more ways
than one as the SF City Championship narrowed its field from 32 players to the
final 16. While competitors yesterday had to battle through rain and hail flurries,
the weather today was decidedly more pleasant, leading to lower scores and stiffer
- 14 year old Martin Trainer continued to receive rave reviews of his game as
he wowed his way past SJ State star Justin Madison 3&2 in the first group
of the day. Despite Madison’s impressive play, Trainer was even better.
On the par 4 7th, Madison stuck his wedge approach within 3 feet, but Trainer
holed his putt from barely on the green for a halve, but more importantly stopping
Madison from tallying what looked like a sure win. That was the story of the
day for this pair as they traded shot after shot.
Madison held a 1up lead after his eagle on 9 and some very solid play. However,
8 birdies against just 2 bogeys left Trainer 6 under after only 16 holes. Needless
to say, Madison was impressed with the youngster’s poise and ability,
despite shooting an impressive round himself.
As the Bramlett/Wilderotter match closed out ahead of him, Trainer seemed eager
to take on medalist Bramlett in the Round of 16 next weekend. It figures to
be one of the most anticipated match-ups of the entire tournament.
- Stanford bound Joseph Bramlett did not make it off the course as early as
he did yesterday, but still managed to close out a 2&1 victory over Christopher
Wilderotter of Oakland. The win sets up an intriguing match next Saturday against
fellow high schooler Martin Trainer. The pair will have only a collective 32
years between them as they tee off in the 7:30am group.
- Matt Foley continued his impressively solid play with yet another 4&3
victory over Rob Frye. Foley did not need the final three holes of Harding Park
during the first weekend of play.
- Randy Haag won his match 3&2 over San Jose’s Kent Yamane. He finished
his solid round with a par and a halve on 16, sealing the victory.
- Cal fans will flock to watch Rick Reinsberg and Brandon Beck fight it out
in the Round of 16, as both cruised to wins at Harding on Sunday. Unfortunately
for Golden Bear supporters they will lose one of these competitors next week
after former Cal star Reinsberg and current bear Beck knock heads.
- The final groups of the day produced some of the best emotional drama of
the afternoon, as Kevin Kobalter outlasted Jim Evans in a 23 hole battle. The
back nine see saw neither player take a large lead, with Kobalter himself down
1 heading to 18. He managed to send the match to extra holes after Evans flew
his approach shot from the bunker into the trees.
Extra holes provided even more drama, as both players needed long putts to
extend the match. Kobalter holed from about 15 feet on the par 4 2nd, and Evans
kept the match alive with a long putt of his own just shortly thereafter. It
was finally a par that won it for Kobalter on the 23rd hole of the day. He advances
to take on confident Ryan Wilson of San Francisco. Wilson has had reason to
be confident so far, avoiding having to play the 18th hole, finishing with consecutive
- Steve Wilson of Discovery Bay grinded out a 2&1 win over consistent Mike
Wiechers of Granite Bay. Weichers needed to sink his 25 foot birdie putt on
17 to keep the match alive, but slid it just inches by, securing the win for
Wilson. Wilson will now face former SMU star Stephen Sparolini.
- Stephen Sparolini advanced in a match that was close throughout against Cal
Poly freshman Cory Powell. Powell held an early lead, but Sparolini regained
control midway through the round. Powell, however, fought back to square the
match after 16 holes. Unfortunately, he had a putt John Daly knows well, and
slid his par putt on 17 just inches by the cup, forcing him into a must win
situation on the difficult 18th. His drive split the fairway, while Sparolini
faced a tough side hill bunker approach shot. Sparolini, however, impressed
the sizeable gallery by blasting his way to the green. Powell had an opportunity
to extend the match, but the long and winding 30 footer just missed, and the
frustrated Powell was knocked out of the competition.
- Finally, Garrett Wagner might ask for some of his greens fees back, as he
has yet to play the final holes at Harding Park this weekend. He backed up his
impressive 6&5 victory yesterday with a 7&6 punishing of David Leuterio
in the final pairing this afternoon. Wagner moves on to face Terry Foreman,
who also had an easy time of it Saturday, but had a much more difficult match
today, upsetting #6 seed Greg Wardle 3&2.
The final 16 promises to be quite exciting, with the top 3 seeds still alive,
and so are several other competitors who are sure to provide quite an exciting
4 foursomes of golf next weekend.
- Men's Championship Match Play Tree - Click
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