April 6, 2015
Youth is again being served at the annual San Francisco City Championships.
Heading into next weekend’s semifinals at TPC Harding Park, three of the four players left alive are teenagers.
Justin Suh, at No.4 the highest seed remaining in the brackets, won his quarterfinals match, 1-up, and will take on No.17 Tommy Semereaux in one of Saturday’s semis.
The other semifinal will pit No.18 Thomas Hutchison against No.27 Bryan Baumgarten. Both Hutchison and Baumgarten cruised in their quarterfinals matches, winning 5 and 3 and 6 and 5, respectively.
Suh, Hutchison and Baumgarten are all members of the Junior Tour of Northern California. Semereaux, who won his quarterfinals match, 2-up, is 31 years old.
Last year, Shintaro Ban, now a freshman at UNLV, cruised to victory, defeating veteran Rick Reinsberg 8 and 7 in the 36-hole finale.
Over in the Women’s Championship, the semifinals will see No.8 Ty Akabane take on No.5 Anna Zhou and No.7 Lucy Li face No.14 Sara Banke.
Akabane, Zhou and Li, who last year became the youngest player to ever qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open, are also all members of the Junior Tour of Northern California. Banke, a graduate of UC Irvine, won last year’s California Women’s Championship.
Akabane advanced to the semis with a 2 and 1 win over No.17 Emily Rotter, while Zhou bounced No.4 Amanjoty Sangha, 2 and 1.
Li knocked out No.2 Belinda Hu with a convincing 6 and 5 win, while Banke defeated Emily Laskin, 5 and 4.
In the Senior Men’s Championship, the semifinals will feature No.8 Gary Vanier taking on No.4 Michael Staskus and No.2 Jim Williams squaring off against No.3 Mark Miller.
Williams, the defending champions, also won the title in 2012. Vanier won the title in 2009 and 2013, while Miller hoisted the senior trophy in 2011.
The Super Senior Championship semifinals will see No.1 seed Herb Jensen take on No.5 Vic Shellenberg and No.7 Michael Mahoney face No.6 Joe Rogers.
Play in Sunday’s 36-hole Men’s and Women’s Finals will begin at 8 a.m.