With last year’s champions unable to defend their titles, two new players were presented with championship trophies Thursday afternoon at Lincoln Park Golf Course in the 82nd annual San Francisco Junior Golf Tournament.
Andrew Bonner, 15, from Ripon High School, made some key putts on the back nine, earning him the boys’ overall championship in his first appearance at the tournament. While he started out the event shaky, he pulled through in the championship match, defeating Will Cross 2 up. Bonner topped Nate Le Blanc 6 and 4 in the semifinals.
“I played well for the most part,” Bonner said. “I should have made more putts throughout the championship round, but I started making some at the end and it just came through for me.”
Despite some early trouble, Bonner buried a par putt on the 17th hole, pushing him ahead for the first time in the championship round.
“I could have putted a lot better, but that made me feel really good. It was definitely a highlight,” Bonner said.
Bonner, who has been playing golf for about seven years, also won the club championship at his home course, Spring Creek Golf and Country Club in Ripon, last November.
Caroline Belmont, 15, improved from her runner-up finish in last year’s tournament to come out on top as the girls’ overall champion with a total score of 147 (73-74).
“The greens were bumpy, so my putting wasn’t great,” Belmont said. “I did have a good putt on No. 4 though, it was about 35 feet.”
Aside from some trouble putting, Belmont said she was hitting the ball well all day. One of her best moments during the championship round was on the 16th hole, a short par 4, where she drove the green from 242 yards out.
The junior at Monte Vista Christian — where she also rides horses competitively for the school’s show team — began playing golf about six years ago with a set of hand-me-down clubs.
“Neither of my parents play golf, which is weird,” Belmont said. “My friend outgrew a set of clubs and passed them on to me.”
While she has not thought too much about college, Belmont hopes to play Division I golf somewhere in California. She plans to return to the Junior Golf Tournament next year to defend her championship title.
Other boys’ winners were Nathan Winn (Hollister) in the 16-17 first flight, Dorian Patel (Oakland) in the 16-17 second flight, Ryan Maund (Pleasanton) in the 14-15 first flight, Jesse Atlas (Palo Alto) in the 14-15 second flight, Brandon Wu (Livermore) in the 12-13 flight, Thomas Hutchinson (San Jose) in the 10-11 flight and Rajvir Bedi (San Jose) in the 9-and-under division.
Girls’ winners were Carly Childs (Alameda) in the 15-17 flight, Amy Huang (Fremont) in the 12-14 flight, Jessica Luo (San Jose) in the 10-11 flight and Sabrina Iqbal (San Jose) in the 9-and-under division.
At Lincoln Park GC
Andrew Bonner (Ripon) def. Nate Le Blanc (Windsor), 6 and 4
Will Cross (Walnut Creek) def. Jos. Furtado-Foster (Dublin), 2 up
Andrew Bonner def. Will Cross, 2 up
16-17 first flight
Nathan Winn (Hollister) def. Mason Welch (Sacramento), 3 and 2
16-17 second flight
Dorian Patel (Oakland) def. Tom Ebergen (San Francisco), 21 holes
14-15 first flight
Ryan Maund (Pleasanton) def. Sam Neithammer (Palo Alto) 6 and 5
14-15 second flight
Jesse Atlas (Palo Alto) def. Justin Wei (San Ramon), 2 and 1
Caroline Belmont (Freedom), 73-74-147
Carly Childs (Alameda), 74-76-150
Annie Bowlsby (Monterey), 84-75-159
Amy Huang (Fremont), 86-81-167
Meridith Hirsch (Fremont), 87-85-172
Jessica Luo (San Jose), 39-49-88
9 and under
Sabrina Iqbal (San Jose), 47-45-92
Brandon Wu (Livermore), 73-69-142
William Brueckner (Walnut Creek), 73-73-146
Thomas Hutchinson (San Jose), 35-37-72
9 and under
Rajvir Bedi (San Jose), 39-44-83