AJ Fitzgerald, Mikey Burkland to meet in San Francisco City Men's final
AJ Fitzgerald (right) is congratulated by Giulio Zanichelli
AJ Fitzgerald (right) is congratulated by Giulio Zanichelli

Mikey Burkland’s day ended much better than it started.

At 6:00 am, on his way to the course from his hometown of Alama on the Bay Bridge, Burkland got a flat just as he approached the Fremont Street exit.

“I felt a loss of traction just as I got off the bridge,” said Burkland. “Fortunately, I could get off and park the car in a safe place."

Burkland quickly summoned his caddie, who was following him, to pick him up and asked his dad for help taking care of the car. He made it to the course, won his first match over Matthew Lin of Orinda in sudden death, and went out for the semifinals in the afternoon without barely taking a breath or stopping for lunch. Still hot from the extra-hole win, Burkland went out strong and defeated Ryan Vaughan to advance to Sunday’s 36-hole final. 

Vaughan was complimentary of his opponent's play and took his semifinal defeat in stride.

“I was just looking to make match play when I entered,” he said, taking stock of his solid run at the title.

On the other side of the Men's Championship bracket, AJ Fitzgerald of Salinas took out a very solid opponent in Giulio Zanichelli of Parma, Italy, who plays for the Academy of Art in San Francisco. The duo played neck-and-nick through the front nine, with Fitzgerald leading by a hole at the turn. Then he birdied No. 10 to go 2-up, and never relinquished the lead, closing out the match on No. 16 after Zanichelli lost control of a couple of tee shots. 

Still, the tournament has seen a number of Irish players make solid runs towards the championship, but never (to this author's knowledge) has a native of Italy gone so far.

In the Women's Championship division, tomorrow's final match will see Darla May Dela Torre go up against Nicola Kaminski of Los Gatos. Mark Sanchez will play defending champ Randy Haag for the Senior title, while Matt Vucicevich will play Ray Kong in the Super Senior final.

Many other flights are being contested on Sunday, and spectators are welcome at TPC Harding Park. Use the results link to see the updated brackets.


ABOUT THE San Francisco City Championship


*An NCGA Points Tournament*

**New Entry Procedure for 2024: Registration opens for all players on October 1. There will be 50 spots held for exempt players under the following categories:

* The past 10 years of the San Francisco City Golf Champions
* 2023 San Francisco City Men’s Championship Match Play Qualifiers
* Top 20 men’s 2022-2023 NCGA Points Lists
* 2023 NCGA Champions (Amateur, Mid- Amateur, Junior)
* The top 3 finishers in each of the 6 Winter Tour events (Dec 2023-Feb 2024)

Registration for exempt players, and for non- exempt players with a handicap index of 6.4 or lower as of the date of entry, opens on October 1 and will remain open until the field limit (120 players including spots reserved for exempt players) is reached. When the field limit is reached, all additional registrants will be entered in the pre-qualifier at Presidio Golf Club on Friday, March 8, 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.

Players entering pre-qualifying will pay an entry fee of $165 for the pre-qualifier, and those advancing from the pre-qualifier will pay the remainder of the entry fee (must be paid prior to playing).

The 36-hole match play qualifier will be held March 9-10, 2024, with 18 holes played at TPC Harding Park and 18 holes at Presidio Golf Course for a combined 36-hole qualifying score.

There will be 156 players in the qualifying round with 64 players advancing to match play. When all qualifying has been completed, the Men’s Championship Flight will consist of 64 contestants. In the event of a playoff to qualify for match play, a player must be present in order to retain his right to participate in the playoff.

Match play will begin on March 16, 2024. All match play for the Championship Flight (Mar 16-17, 23-24) will be held at TPC Harding Park.

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

Players needing to withdraw should do so by filling out the form at tact/. 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.

The use of carts is prohibited for players and caddies in the Men’s Championship Flight (Appendix I – Local Rule Applies)


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 men’s, 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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