Final Four Set for San Francisco City Championship
March 3, 2014
The annual San Francisco City Championship has a history of churning out this kind of stuff.
In 2008, one of the biggest upsets in tournament history occurred when 16-year-old Martin Trainer knocked off Bay Area amateur golf great Randy Haag to win the title.
A year later, Carlos Briones, a freshman at Moreau Catholic High in Hayward, became the event’s youngest champion ever when he won at age 14.
This year, the brackets at the City have again been tossed around more than a pizza at Tony’s in North Beach.
After just the first two rounds of match play, only two top-10 seeds (No .4 Ryan Knop and No. 3 Justin Suh) were still alive. By the end of this past weekend’s quarterfinals, only Knop was still kicking.
Looking ahead to this weekend’s semifinals, those still with a shot at winning at all are Shintaro Ban (No. 32), Rick Reinsberg (No. 27), Ryan Wilson (No. 47) and Knop.
As to whom the favorite is to win it all, take your pick.
The lone veteran in the group, Reinsberg has been in this kind of spot before. In 2003, he had to fight through a group of youngsters en route to winning the title. Reinsberg’s also won the Alameda Commuters’ title five times. Among his victims this week are former champion and No. 6 seed Stephen Sparolini and No. 11 Michael Tolladay.
As for Ban, the Archbishop Mitty senior has already slayed No. 1 seed and defending champion William Brueckner. Since that, he’s seemingly only become more dangerous. The UNLV freshman-to-be in the fall cruised in his two matches this past weekend, 4 and 3 and 6 and 4.
Ryan Knop, the lone top-25 seed remaining, fits the bill of Briones and Trainer. He’s still just a junior at Foothill High.
Wilson, meanwhile, is arguably the hottest of them all. In his run to the semifinals, he’s knocked out the No. 14, No. 15, No. 24 and No. 34 seeds. The No. 34 seed, Jonathan De Los Reyes, entered the City on the heels of a January victory at the amateurgolf.com Wine Country Cup.
This weekend, it’ll all come to the end with Saturday’s semifinals and Sunday’s 36-hole finale. Considering the way things unravel at the City, it ought to be another finish to remember.