Around The Green
By Darryl Loo, Station 17

Coming into the final two tournaments of the year, there were a handful of players contending for the club championship. Travis Rail, whose solid play throughout the year, had lowered his handicap steadily. In years past, Travis would be in contention, but seemed to get edged out, was the leader of the A flight going into the last two tournaments. The early leader, Tom Kiernan, was close on his heels despite missing several events due to an injury. In the B flight, there were no fewer than six players in the running for first place, including former club champ Leo Tingin and Station Five’s Dennis O’Neill. Whoever came out of the pack to take the lead would earn it, as Silverado’s slick putting greens and tough holes can bring up some big numbers.

On the day of the tournament, tension was in the air. Not all of it was due to golf as our S.F. Giants were in the World Series. Due to the game, several key players including Leo could not attend this important event. Others gave up tickets to try and come away with the trophy. Both the Giants and the golfers were blessed with a fine day. One of our newer members, Mike Peterson, had an outstanding round. His score of 80 net 63 was, I believe, a personal best. I think that if Mike plays in all the tournaments, he will contend for next year’s title. George Garcia was in second with a nice 85 net 68. He was followed by Ray Zanini and Frank Kelly with solid net 69’s.

Kevin Burke doesn’t play in a lot of events, but I am certain that he is glad that he played at Silverado. Not only did he shoot net 62, but most likely shot a career round. Good round Kevin, hope to see you more this year. Gerry Sullivan and Antonio Vernon were tied for second with net 67’s. Antonio has had several strong rounds this year and could be a contender next year. On a day where most of the leaders didn’t fare well, Dennis O’Neill finished in fourth place to make it a two-man race for the club champion. At the end of the day, Dennis had a slim lead over Travis Rail with several others needing to win the final event to overtake either of the two.

The last tournament was being held at Franklin Canyon. Franklin is a fun course that can yield either low scores or very high scores. With it’s many hazards, triple bogeys are right around the corner.

In the past, the winners at this event often came in with very low net scores. This year it seemed that the A flight shot at or above their handicaps. Three player, Phil Kelber, Arnie Lee, and Ray Zanini shot net 70’s to place first. George Garcia came in second place with a net 71. This is the second straight tournament George has placed in the money. Travis Rail played to a tie for fifth place to squeak by Dennis O’Neill to take the overall title.

Another Station 17 member moved into the winner’s circle for the first time. Norm Kwan who has been playing for several years, came within two strokes of breaking the 100 mark for the first time. I think he was pretty happy with an all time best net 64. Another Station 17 member was hot on his heels to take second place. Ramon Chea and Gerry Sullivan shot very fine scores to tie at net 68’s. That is Gerry’s second high finish in a row. Maybe Dennis and Gerry are benefiting from playing with Phil Kelber, who is a fine golfer. Unfortunately, Dennis could not hold onto his slim lead over Travis, but managed to become the B flight champ.

Now starts the 2003 season. Once again, our tournament directors have put together a strong schedule. Frank Bonal and John McNulty have worked hard and as a result, we have several new courses. We are very excited by the addition of Roddy Ranch and Hiddenbrooke. I personally consider these two courses the best new courses in the greater bay area. If you get a chance to play them in advance of our events, you should go check them out. We also have retained Chardonnay for our opening tournament and awards banquet. We have a shotgun start, so bring a guest and enjoy a day of golf and dinner.

Monterey was a very popular event last year and is once again on the schedule. We are limited to 60 players, so get your deposit in early to reserve your spot.

Well, I hope that we can have fun and play well for the 2003 season. I would like to encourage the new members of the department to contact the golf committee and join in the fun. It is a good way to meet other firefighters and make friends.


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