He made the putt to defeat Garret Wagner, 1-up
by Elizabeth Kricfalusi, for amateurgolf.com
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.
Amateurgolf.com’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 amateurgolf.com 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
players under the following
* The past 10 years of the San Francisco City
* 2023 San Francisco City Men’s
Match Play Qualifiers
* Top 20 men’s 2022-2023 NCGA Points
* 2023 NCGA Champions (Amateur, Mid-
* The top 3 finishers in each of the 6 AmateurGolf.com Winter
(Dec 2023-Feb 2024)
Registration for exempt players, and for non-
players with a handicap index
of 6.4 or lower
as of the date of
entry, opens on October 1 and will
open until the field limit (120 players including
reserved for exempt players)
is reached. When the field limit is reached, all
additional registrants will be entered in
pre-qualifier at Presidio Golf Club on Friday,
Once entries close, if there are any unfilled
the Men's Championship (due to
fewer than 50 exempt players registering
or withdrawals), they will be filled by Pre-
registrants in the order in which
Players entering pre-qualifying will pay an
of $165 for the pre-qualifier, and
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
9-10, 2024, with
18 holes played at TPC Harding Park and 18
Course for a combined 36-hole qualifying
There will be 156 players in the qualifying
64 players advancing to match play. When all
qualifying has been completed, the Men’s
Championship Flight will consist of 64
In the event of a playoff to qualify for
player must be present in order to retain his
to participate in the playoff.
Match play will begin on March 16, 2024. All
match play for the Championship Flight (Mar
23-24) will be held
at TPC Harding Park.
A schedule of all dates of
play can be found on the tournament website
WITHDRAWALS AND REFUND
Players needing to withdraw should do so by
out the form at sfgolfchampionship.com/contact/
the entry deadline of February 19
refund of their entry fee minus
$50. There will be no refunds after the
The use of carts is prohibited for players and
in the Men’s Championship Flight (Appendix I
SPECIAL OFFER TO SF CITY PLAYERS:
players get 50% off Strackaline Yardage Books! CLICK HERE for
ABOUT THE SAN FRANCISCO CITY
The oldest municipal tournament in the USA.
play event with scratch men's, senior men’s,
women's, senior women’s, and open flight
Past champions include Ken Venturi, Harvie
Juli Inkster, Bob Rosburg, George Archer, and
Dorothy Delasin. Some of the “non winners”
Tom Watson and Johnny Miller. Click the
for more about this wonderful event.
View Complete Tournament Information