Barret Dowling, Giulio Zanichelli are flawless in San Francisco City pre-qualifier
08 Mar 2024
by Justin Golba of

see also: View results for San Francisco City Pre-Qualifier, Presidio Golf Course

Barret Dowling of San Francisco, Calif., and Giulio Zanichelli of San Francisco, Calif., each shot a first-round bogey-free 6-under 66 to tie at the top of the leaderboard of the pre-qualifier for the San Francisco 2024 Men's Championship at Presidio Golf Course.

There were 38 spots to get into the 36-hole weekend qualifier at Presidio Golf Course and Harding Park.

"It was the round of my life," Dowling said. "It was just one of those days. I can't explain it. It felt easy, which golf never does, so I embraced it. I was 5-under through 17 holes, and I knew I had a chance at the round of my life. I had a 12-footer for birdie (on No. 18), and it went right in the middle.

Dowling added that it was his "lowest score ever in general and in a tournament."

Barret Dowling

Dowling has been waiting for this tournament, as he played for the first time last year, where he was playing well and then hit his tee shot out of bounds on hole No. 12 and made a triple bogey. 

Dowling is from Seattle but has been in San Francisco working for Brighton Jones. He has a vast resume, working as a bicycle repairman in Maui and a commercial fisherman in Alaska, and he spent a year studying abroad at the Vienna University of Economics and Business in Austria.

For Zanichelli, it was his first time playing in this event. Zanichelli currently plays for the Academy of the Arts University and hails from Northern Italy. 

"It was a good round, and I was happy because the hard work is paying off," Zanichelli said. 

Zanichelli added, "I played pretty strong off the tee and tried to improve my second shots and putting, but today, everything was strong. I'm happy that I get to play this weekend and I am going to try to play well and have some fun."

San Francisco City Championship: First round of open flight match play in the books

Jackson Suh of San Francisco, Calif., Grant Johnson of Walnut Creek, Calif., and Matthew Lin of Orinda, Calif., finished T3 at 4-under. 

In the playoff, Kevin Dexter of San Francisco, Calif., Jacob Boyce of Fairfield, Calif., Brandon Pantaleon of San Jose, Calif., and Khai deSpretter of Rio Vista, Calif., survived a 7 for 4 playoff to move on and finish T35 at 6-over. Pantaleon, who turns 16 on March 22nd, holed a 30-footer to advance. The playoff hole was the par-5 No. 10. 

Eleven golfers shot even par or better, and six golfers shot rounds in the 60s.

View results for San Francisco City Pre-Qualifier
ABOUT THE San Francisco City Pre-Qualifier


Once the number of entries for the Men's Championship reaches 120 players (including spots held for exempt players), all additional entrants will enter the pre-qualifier as described below. We anticipate 36 or more positions in the weekend qualifying field to be available for pre-qualifiers. The exact number will be available on March 8 before teeing off.

Open to players with a handicap index of 6.4 or lower as of the entry date.

Those entering pre-qualifying will pay an entry fee of $165 for the pre-qualifier to be held at Presidio Golf Course. Those advancing from the pre-qualifier will pay the remainder of the Men's Championship entry fee ($230; it must be paid prior to playing) and will play in the 36-hole stroke play qualifier at TPC Harding Park and Presidio, from which the low 64 will then advance to the match-play phase of the men’s championship.

A schedule of all dates of play can be found on the tournament website

New for 2024: Once entries close, if there are any unfilled spots in the Men's Championship (due to fewer than 50 exempt players registering or withdrawals), they will be filled by Pre-Qualifier registrants in the order in which they registered, and those players will be charged the remainder of the Men's Championship entry fee.

Players needing to withdraw should do so by filling out the form at . Players withdrawing before the entry deadline of February 19 will receive a refund of their entry fee minus $50. There will be no refunds after the entry deadline.


SF City players get 50% off Strackaline Yardage Books! CLICK HERE for details

The oldest municipal tournament in the USA. Match play event with scratch men's, senior, women's, senior women's and open flight divisions. Past champions include Ken Venturi, Harvie Ward, Juli Inkster, Bob Rosburg, George Archer, and Dorothy Delasin. Some of the 'non winners' include Tom Watson and Johnny Miller. Click the 'history' tab for more about this wonderful event.

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