This spring, competitive golf blossomed in San Francisco. Over a span of 7 weeks, we saw a constant flow of other-worldly talent on our city’s fairways. The #1 golfer’s in the world, Rory McIlroy & Lydia Ko, are a part of the San Francisco’s golf history. Exciting times and a beautiful site.
It all started in mid March with The San Francisco City Championship. As the oldest consecutively played golf championship in the world that draws an eclectic mix of golfers throughout Northern California, it's a truly special match play event. In the words of Bo Links, SF golf historian, "The City Championship is as diverse as San Francisco itself. Hackers hitting the ball sideways play alongside more accomplished golfers who bomb it down the middle." Justin Suh, of San Jose, Ca and future USC Trojan, won the high profile Men's Championship. In the Women's Championship, Sara Banke from Danville, Ca made it past Lucy Li in the semifinals to go on and win the title. Lucy Li, who we had the pleasure meeting while practicing for the tournament at TPC Harding Park, is well known for being the youngest qualifier for the US Women's Open as an 11 year old in 2014.
The LPGA came to town in April for the Swinging Skirts event at Lake Merced Golf Club. In an exciting playoff, Lydia Ko, 18 years old and world #1 golfer, took home the title for the second year in a row.
Heading into May, the top 64 golfers in the world, converged at TPC Harding Park for the WGC Cadillac Match Play. This was special treat to watch the best golfers compete on our home track, where we played just weeks before in the SF City Championship, and in classic damp and cool SF golf conditions. It proved to be a tough test that brought the #1 golfer in the world, Rory McIlroy, to the top.
The inaugural U.S. Amateur Four Ball at Olympic Club rounded out an epic run of golf competition. As host to the newest national championship conducted by the USGA, our city is in the history books along with the winners, Nathan Smith and Todd White. We think this format, two man teams, can bring more players and excitement, which is great for the game of golf. Notable California teams include Ahmed (age 15 and youngest competitor) and Hussain Ali (brothers from Palo Alto), Virhat Badwhar and Maverick McNealy (Stanford golf team), Alistair Docherty and Lee Gearhart (Chico State golf team), Jason and Ryan Higton (brothers from Fresno),and Drew Olson and David Reneker (UCLA quarterback and golfer respectively).
There are more big tournaments on the horizon. The 2020 PGA Championship and 2025 President's Cup will be at TPC Harding Park. Exciting times for San Francisco golf!