St. Mary’s Student Leads Commuters
The first two rounds are in the books at the 87th Annual Alameda Commuter’s golf tournament and the big story of the weekend was Alameda High School senior David Na.
Na, a standout on the Hornets men’s golf team, was one of the youngest participants in the prestigious tournament, which featured 220 of the best amateur golfers in Northern California. Na finished the first round of the tournament Saturday as the leader shooting a four-under 67 on the Fry North Course.
Na took a step back when the competition moved over to the Clark Course in round two last Sunday. Na shot an admirable three-over par 74, placing him tied for fifth place in the tournament. The Alameda High senior still has a good shot to become one of the youngest Commuters champions in tournament history. The youngest winner of the “The Commuters” is Alameda’s Doug Poole, who at 17 won the title in 1975. In 1996, Alameda’s Dong Yi took the title while a student at Alameda High.
Youth was the theme of this year’s field. Some 80 percent of the 220 participants were 25 years of age or less. Another young sensation in the first two rounds was Brendan Hy of San Ramon. Hy shot a 73 in the first round and 75 on the second round giving him a two-round score of six-over par 148, squeezing him past the cut line. What makes it remarkable is Hy is not even in high school yet. At 13 years, 2 months, Hy is the youngest player to ever make the cut in the Alameda Commuters history.
Despite the exploits of Na and Hy, it was Jonathan de los Reyes who finished with the 36-hole medalist honors. Reyes, an Antioch native, shot an opening-round 68 on the Fry Course and followed it up with a four-under par 67 on Sunday. He is currently seven-under par and has a four-stroke lead.
Adam Stone of Hayward, Matt Williams of San Jose and Shintaro Ban of San Jose are in a tie for second place with matching three-under par 139s. Reyes, a former De La Salle standout, is seeking his second amateur tournament win of 2014 after winning the AGC Wine Cup earlier this year. Reyes is a freshman on the St. Mary’s College golf team.
Brandon McNally of San Francisco, Cameron Shaw of Berkeley and Na are tied for fifth place with each shooting a one-under 141. Pace Johnson, the 2013 Commuters champ and current UC Berkeley golfer, was a late addition to the field. He shot a one-over par 143 tied for 14th place. He was scheduled to play in the Pac-12 championships but he didn’t qualify.
Commuters Chairman Steve Taddei, Commuters was happy the defending champion was able to defend his crown. “We are excited to have our defending champ in the field for this year,” said Taddei.
Reyes’ stellar play set the cut line at six-over par 148, which means 13 strokes separates the remaining field making the final weekend that more intriguing.
Just 51 of the original 220 golfers made the cut line. Thirteen players finished the 36-hole qualifying rounds this year with scores of even-par 142, or better, which is a testament to the quality of golf and exceptional course conditions.
The tricky winds played their part throughout the weekend in elevating the scores. Golfers battled windy conditions all day Saturday. Winds blew west throughout the day making pin placements difficult for the players on the very firm and fast greens.
Conditions continued on Sunday when slight rain in the early morning was followed by wind blowing from the south making both courses challenging to the players.
The championship concludes this weekend. The 27th Alameda Commuters Senior Golf Championship also takes place this weekend. Included in the field are defending champion Gary Vanier, and past champions Jay Guerin and Mark Miller.
For more information on the Commuters tournament, visit www.alamedacommuters.org.