Sustained winds gusting in excess of 30 miles an hour at times combined with lightening fast greens made for a wild ride during the final round of the Alameda Commuters which wrapped up Sunday at Corica Park's South Course in Alameda, Calif.
At the end of a blustery day, a wind-beaten Daniel Connolly was left hoisting the trophy after he defeated Michael Carrillo in a playoff to win the 95th playing of one of the oldest amateur tournaments in the nation.
After turning in a 3-under 69 in calmer conditions on Saturday, the 25-year-old Connolly was three back of first-round leader Jack Barber when he teed off in the final group on Sunday with Barber, defending champion Domingo Jojola and Wes Payne.
The native San Franciscan got off to a dream start by making birdies on his first two holes. He erased a bogey on the fourth with two more birdies on holes 6 and 8 to turn at 3-under 33.
With the winds increasing in strength, Connolly was in survival mode on the back nine and it looked for the most part he was going to do just that as he stood on the 18th tee box with a two-stroke lead over Carrillo, a semifinalist at this year's San Francisco City Golf Championships who carded a final round 70 to finish at 2-under.
Connolly made things more interesting than they needed to be as a stong head wind led to an errant drive into the fairway bunker and a double bogey six, dropping him into a playoff with Carrillo at 2-under.
As misery loves company, Connolly's playing partner, Barber, also three-putted the final hole to finish one stroke out of the playoff at 1-under.
The playoff was shortlived, however, as Connolly only needed a par 5 on Corica's opening hole to add another impressive win to his resume, which includes victories at the 2016 San Francisco City Golf Championships
and the 2017
and 2021 NCGA Stroke Play Championship
The conditions were difficult Sunday afternoon with steady winds over 20 mph and justs up to 30," said Connolly. "That combined with greens running at about 12 on the stimp made for quite the challenge.
"I got off to a nice start birdieing my first two holes and played good golf on the front nine, finishing at 3-under. Winds picked up more so on the back nine, and a few holes in particular were quite difficult with strong cross winds. I hit a few errant shots, but hung in there.
"It's an honor to win this historic event that is one of the majors of amateur golf in the Bay Area."
Teeing off an hour before the leaders, Zack Missigman carded the lowest round of the day with a 4-under 68 which moved him 38 spots up the leaderboard into a three-way tie for third place with Barber and Matt Thorton.
• • • • •
Randy Haag; 142 (-2); 72-70
Frank Apodaca; 141 (-1); 71-70
David Hemrick; 154 (+10); 78-76
Darla May Dela Torre; 141 (-3); 71-70
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.
View Complete Tournament Information