SF City Championship: Saturday 2/26 Results
He made the putt to defeat Garret Wagner, 1-up
He made the putt to defeat Garret Wagner, 1-up

by Elizabeth Kricfalusi, for

There were no major upsets in the first round of match play at the San Francisco City Golf Championship, which saw many familiar names moving on to tomorrow’s round of 32 at Harding Park. They include five of the top ten players on the NCGA’s current points list: Trent Tessler, Bob Niger, Randy Haag, Darryl Donovan, and Matt Foley.’s recommended “match to follow” proved indeed to be one of the highlights of the day. Trent Tessler of Redwood City and Garret Wagner of Brentwood, who met for the first time at today’s match, arrived at the 440-yard 18th all even. They both hit the green in two, and Tessler putted first—a 15-footer that he holed for birdie. Wagner stepped up to try to force the match to the 19th hole, but missed by a few inches to the right, giving the match to Tessler.

“Garret and I had a great match,” said the 29-year-old Tessler, who currently ranks 9th in NCGA points and 3rd in points. “We were, I think, 5- and 6-under, or 5- and 5-under respectively, on our own balls, so we played really well. He’s a really good player.” He continued by saying that playing someone of Wagner’s caliber helped his own game as well. “You know, you’ve got to win them all, and I think he definitely got my focus keyed in today.”

Tessler plays out of Crystal Springs and has a current index of 1.0. On Sunday, he will be paired with Joseph Bramlett, who finished 2-up at the 18th against Ray Suhandnata. “He’s another really good, young player,” said Tessler, “so we’ll have a good match. Joseph and I have played quite a bit together, so I’m familiar with his game and I’m going to have to bring it again tomorrow.”

Steve Wilson of Discovery Bay also had a good day, finishing 5-and-4 against Darian Shingu. Although Wilson had come into match play ranked 59 out of 63 (Shingu was ranked 6), he said that the number didn’t necessarily represent the way he had played as a whole last weekend. “I just had two triple-bogeys, one each day, which kind of knocked the rounds around. But for the most part I played pretty solid.”

“I played fair at best today,” he continued, “but he did not have a very good day… The one thing I did do well today, though, was that I holed a 4-iron from about 190 yards on number 6, so that was a good feeling.”

The 46-year-old Wilson last played at the SF City more than twenty years ago, shortly before turning pro for about five years. He had his amateur status reinstated in 1997, but then suffered a broken back that kept him out of tournament play again until recently, making his performance even more remarkable. Tomorrow he will play Stephen Simpkin, who went 5-and-4 as well against Mike Maurice. Wilson’s goal for tomorrow: “I’d like to be a little bit better with the putter.”

More Saturday highlights:

- Bob Niger, last year’s runner-up, went to 24 holes before winning against Scott Anderson.

- Ryan Trask, who went into match play after winning Medalist honors in the Qualifying round, won by default when his scheduled opponent Bobby Pereira did not show.

- Kevin Kobalter of San Rafael won his match against Jason Stone on the 19th hole to move on to play defending City champion Stephen Sparolini tomorrow. Sparolini had a bye today.

Tomorrow’s round will tee off at 7:30 a.m. and will be followed at 9:00 a.m. by the Men’s Senior Championship's first round of match play.

For complete results for the Women's Qualifier, Men's Match Play, Senior and Open Match Play, visit the official tournament website at click here

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 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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