Field expected to rise for Glendale City Golf Championship
On and off the course, there’s been plenty of build up leading to the fourth rendition of the Glendale City Golf Championship.
Since the tournament originated in 2012, there’s been a spike in the number of players who make up the field. In addition, the event has led to a growing awareness as it pertains to the tournament’s cause — serving as a benefit to the Glendale Parks and Open Space Foundation, a non-profit organization.
“There are a lot of good things that go with having the city championship,” said Rick Dinger, the tournament’s chairman, who expects a field of roughly 150. “The entries to the tournament have picked up more and more each year, so you are getting an even higher quality of golfers from all around the area and other surrounding towns. Plus, we are raising money for a good cause for the city parks and recreation.
“It’s taken some time, but we are moving along nicely. Our goal will be to keep seeing a bump in the field. It’s a very good thing when you can participate in a city golf championship.”
The two-day event, sponsored by Trusted Choice, will start with a qualifying round at 7:30 a.m. Thursday at the par-60 Scholl Canyon Golf Course. The qualifier will consist of four flights based on the low index of the past 12 months. The best 16 in the championship flight and the low eight in each of the other three flights (Brand, Verdugo and Deukmejian) will move on to the championship, which will be held at noon Monday at the par-71 Oakmont Country Club. In addition, a women’s flight will be conducted and decided at Scholl.
Golfers of all ages and abilities are encouraged to participate, provided they have a maximum handicap of 16.
Vince De Pinto, a former All-Area honoree while at St. Francis High, won the event by one stroke over Ryan Miranda (St. Francis and Glendale Community College) and Brandon Shin last year. Jon Levitt captured the title in 20012 and Chris Russo won the event in 2013.
“The greens are trickier and can be a little more severe at Scholl,” Dinger said. “At Oakmont, it’s a bigger course and a championship-style venue where you will need a good long game.”
Oakmont will hold another large event for the second month in a row. The course hosted the three-day Southern California Golf Assn. Amateur Championship in July.
Kris Hons, who will make his fourth straight appearance in the Glendale City Golf Championship and is a former assistant professional at Oakmont, said there will likely be a slew of talented collegiate players ready to tear up both courses.
“There’s been an uptick in college players, including some from the PAC-12, who are doing well and can provide further legitimacy to the event,” said Hons, the defending champion at Oakmont. “It will be interesting to see how the field makes the transition from Scholl to Oakmont.
“The key at Scholl will be using the wedge and hitting the greens. At Oakmont, it’s more about the driver and putting.”
Bob Merette won the Deukmejian flight last year. Clifton Tucker and Carlos Herrera took the Verdugo and Brand flights, respectively, in 2014. Cailey Gino captured the women’s flight last year.