Some of the golfers playing at Lincoln Park Golf Course this week can’t remember their sport before Tiger Woods, let alone Bobby Jones.
But this morning, approximately 170 players aged 7 to 17 will tee it up at the third-oldest youth golf event in the United States, the 78th San Francisco Junior Golf Tournament. Past boys’ winners include San Francisco natives and PGA greats Johnny Miller and Ken Venturi, while current LPGA Tour member Dorothy Delasin (Daly City) is a former girls’ champion of the event.
“There’s a great tradition to this tournament — it started in 1927 and we only missed 1943, 1944 and 1945 because of World War II,” tournament director George Ambrosio said. “Lincoln is an old-time, hilly course and it should be a lot of fun.”
The boys’ champion will be decided by match play, with the top 16 qualifiers from today’s opening round of stroke play going head-to-head until the final on Thursday. Other boys’ divisions include 14-and-over, 12-13, 10-11 and
9-and-under. Defending champion Spencer Fletcher is playing in the U.S. Junior Amateur and will not compete this year, leaving the field wide open for a host of talent. Brendan Costello (Sacred Heart Cathedral), Dennis Carson (Serra), Matt Garcia (Burlingame), Arsenio Delasin (El Camino) and recent Carlmont grad Brett MacLeod all have a shot at winning.
Chelsea Stelzmiller, last year’s girls’ winner, will be back to defend her title, withchallenges coming from Ananda Rochita (Lowell), Daly City’s Catherine Chan and Rosalie-Wil Tolentino (St. Ignatius). Tolentino has two sisters, Jari-Lee, 14, and Angelo-Rae, 12, who should be contenders in other age groups.
The girls will compete in stroke play, with titles to be in the 15-17,
12-14 and 11-and-under age divisions.