Northern California’s top junior golfer has a chance to make history at the 84th annual San Francisco Junior Golf Tournament, which begins Tuesday at Lincoln Park Golf Course.
Andrew Bonner, 17, stands atop the year’s team points list and will be looking for his third consecutive win at the oldest match-play junior tournament in the country. He would be the first three-time winner since 1932, when Bob Marsky Jr. accomplished the feat.
“Obviously it comes to mind,” Bonner said of his chance at history. “But when the time comes, I don’t think I’ll be thinking about it too much. I think I’m just going to be worrying about one match at a time. I’m pretty confident with my game right now. I’ve been playing pretty well lately.”
Bonner, who lives in Ripon, said Lincoln Park suits his strengths well. He said he won last year by hitting well with his wedges, a necessary skill on a short course.
The bottom line, however, is that the tournament’s match-play format forces players to shift their approach, something Bonner has already considered as he plans his game.
“The best player doesn’t always win in match play,” he said. “The thing about match play is, obviously you want to play the course, but it’s kind of more you’re playing your [opponent]. If you have the opportunity where your opponent makes bogey and you’ve got a six-footer for birdie, you’re not going to ram it there, you’re just going to charge it down there and make the par so you win the hole. It’s kind of a different mindset.”
Bonner will compete in the boys’ 14-17 group, which competes Tuesday through Thursday. The event also includes a boys’ 7-13 match-play tournament and a girls’ 7-17 stroke play, both of which are Wednesday and Thursday.