2022 Alameda Commuters winner Domingo Jojola (Conner Penfold photo)
The sun rose over Corica Park and San Francisco Bay Sunday morning, and the 94th Alameda Commuters Tournament was within reach for nearly a quarter of the 123-person field. Twenty-four players were within four shots of the lead, and an additional 13 were within six.
By Sunday evening as the final pairing walked westward down the 18th fairway, Domingo Jojola
had a firm grip on the tournament he'd been aspiring to win for decades.
The former University of San Francisco golfer blistered the front nine with five birdies to go out in 31 en route to carding a final round 65, which cemented a five-shot win over runners-up Marc Engellenner
and Eric Yun
“I’ve been playing in this tournament since I was 15-years old,” the 35-year-old Jojola said. “Growing up seeing both golf courses, it’s super cool to join this list of champions.”
Round 1 Recap
: Dugger, Goin share first-round lead at Alameda Commuters
“It’s been a long time, probably college days, since I've put up a meaningful round like this,” Jojola said. “It’s fun to know that deep down in these bones there’s a special round every once in a while.”
An admittedly short driver of the golf ball, Jojola’s success stemmed from consistent iron play and a particularly strong display of putting on the South Course’s highly-lauded greens.
“The greens are fantastic here,” Jojola added. “I was talking with a few friends and we were commenting on how impressively these greens roll and how fast they are. They’re probably some of the better greens we play in amateur golf in Northern California.”
One of those friends is the aforementioned Engellenner, who was thrilled to see his upcoming NCGA Four-Ball partner perform as he did.
“In an alternate universe, I’m not getting to 9 under,” Engellenner said. “He beat us handily today. I’m really excited for Spyglass knowing I’ve got a horse as a partner.”
Engellenner, who plays out of Catta Verdera in Lincoln, Calif., posted 69 on Sunday to continue his string of successful competitive play over the last 12 months. He’s taken crowns at the Tony Lema, Sacramento City, AmateurGolf.com San Diego Amateur (South), and even the Trans-Miss Four-Ball, which he won alongside Jojola.
“It was a little loose yesterday in the 71 and I’m still not 100% tight,” Engellenner said. “There’s still some things I can clean up.”
Yun, a 15-year old sophomore at Menlo School in Atherton, Calif., carded 71-69 to match Engellenner at 4 under. He chipped in for eagle at the drivable par-4 8th to secure a memorable highlight for his solid performance this weekend.
“The pin was front so I told myself I’d like to be short of the green if I can,” Yun said. “I intentionally (or unintentionally) hit a high fade that got held up in the wind, so it dropped short right of the green in a perfect spot for the chip and I just happened to roll one in.”
Traditionally a two-weekend, 72-hole event, the committee hopes to one day return to the original format. Still, the 36 holes on the redesigned South Course yielded another wonderful execution of an ever-flourishing tournament.
“All the Green Coats do an incredible job,” Jojola said. “This tournament means so much. There’s a lot of history here and people with a lot of pride that takes place in this event, so I’m honored.”
ABOUT THE Alameda Commuters
What's in a name? In the case of the Alameda
Commuters Championship, the logo of the
year old tournament would be a dead
a steam ferry, which was the only way to
to San Francisco from the East Bay before the
Bridge was built. Started as an informal event
original first prize was a bag of nails -- the
tournament has grown into one of the top
independent events in California.
dedicated tournament committee prides itself
running the two weekend, 72-hole competition
it were a PGA Tour event. Two of the best
courses at the city-owned Chuck Corica Golf
are prepared with care. Slick greens, Sunday
and even that rarity in amateur golf –
all part of the fun. The roped-off scoreboard is
particular area of pride for the "green jackets"
were wearing dark green blazers before they
made popular by another tournament you
aware of in Augusta Georgia. The 250 player
championship division is cut to 50 and ties for
second weekend, at which time the 36-hole
division tees off to join them.
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