88th Commuters Golf Tourney Tees Off

Courtesy Mike Maurice Carlos Briones of San Lorenzo leads the pack after the first two rounds of play in the 2015 Alameda Commuters Golf Tournament.

There were lots of changes to the top of the leaderboard during the first two rounds of play at the 88th Annual Alameda Commuters Tournament.

The Bay Area’s most prestigious amateur golf tournament kicked off last Saturday, April 18, at the Chuck Corica Golf Complex. The field consisted of 208 of the best amateur golfers on the West Coast with some travelling all the way from La Jolla to participate in the spring event.

Carlos Briones of San Lorenzo leads the pack after two rounds with an eight-under-par 134. Briones, a former member of the Alameda Junior Golf Club, shot a three-under 68 in the first round, but followed that with a masterful five-under-par 66. He leapt over Jeremy Sanchez of Redwood City who led the field as the second round began on Sunday after posting a seven-under 64 on Sunday. Sanchez shot even par in the second round, but held onto second place in the standings. He is tied for second place with Steven Chung who is also at seven-under 135. He shot four-under in the second round.

Finigan Tilly of Redwood City (six-under-par 136) and Andrew Morgan of Long Beach (five-under-par 137) round out the top five golfers in the tournament.

Like most golf tournaments, the field was cut after the first two rounds. The field was due to be sliced from 208 to the low 50s. There was an 11-way tie for 42nd place at three-over-par 145 so the committee ruled the top 52 players qualified for the second weekend of play.

Twenty-six golfers shot an even par or better through the first two rounds. Last year’s champion Jonathan De Los Reyes, fired a first round four-over 75 in the first round. The St. Mary’s College golfer bounced back with a 69 for a two-over 144 total, making him eligible for the second weekend. Alameda’s Matt Baiardi fired rounds of 66-75 for a one-under 141 putting in a six-way tie for 16th place. Alameda High graduate David Na shot one-over par in both rounds putting him at two-over 144 to keep his title hopes alive for next weekend.

The youngest player in the field, 13-year-old Andrew Bagasba of San Ramon, shot a 166. Four top female amateurs teed it up this weekend. Alameda’s Sam Equerra fired rounds of 82-80 for a 162, Mabel Wong of Oakdale posted rounds of 79-79 for 158, Kimberly Liu, Dublin, 85-85 for a 170 and San Francisco City Champion, Sarah Banke, shot 77-76 for 153. None of them qualified for the second weekend.

The festivities kicked off a bit earlier than usual due to the reconstruction of the Clark South Course.

Alameda Commuters Golf Committee decided to conduct play in a "wave format" on the Earl Fry North course. The first 104 players played in the early wave on Saturday morning followed by another 104 players who teed it up for the afternoon wave. Contestants who played early on Saturday, played late on Sunday — an arduous task for the 36-member Commuters Committee who began calling players to the tee at 6:45 a.m. and had the last group coming off the course at 7 p.m.

The second weekend, beginning Saturday, will hold the final two rounds of the Commuters Tournament and the 28th Alameda Commuters Senior Golf Championship. Fifty-two of Northern California Golf Association’s best seniors 55 and over will tee it up to see who will win the Jack Cummings Champions medal for 2015.

Spectators are welcome and admittance to the final two rounds is free.

For real-time scoring updates as scores come in, log onto www.alamedacommuters.org.