SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (March 19, 2017) --
36-hole final match in the San Francisco City
Championship came down to the last hole, as it
often does. Recent USF grad Seb Crookall-Nixon
battling a 16-year-old Mitty High School (San
player named Brian Ma, and the afternoon fog
it so cold that one kind woman saw it in her
loan her hand warmers to numb-fingered
photographer, Steve Lewis.
Neither player was backing down as they
the mighty 18th, a dogleg left that winds it's way
around the lake, to a tucked, elevated green.
Ma cutting the corner a bit too much, he was
to play his approach to the right of the green.
but no easy par.
Meanwhile Crookall-Nixon was playing from
right side of the fairway, but his 7-iron approach
came in hot to the firm green and left him a
downhill birdie putt that he played to the 10-foot
range, inside Ma's pitch shot, which came up 15-
With the first crack at par, Ma drained a putt
that most players had been misreading. The
wasn't over, but the pressure was on the former
golfer, Crookall-Nixon. A former top junior player
his native England, he showed no sign of fear
boldly struck his putt, but alas it caught two-
of the hole and lipped out. The match belonged
the high schooler, Ma.
"This tournament is the biggest win I have
so far in my golf career. Throughout the entire
tournament, my long game was very consistent,
it was setting me up for many birdies during the
round," said Ma the third youngest winner in the
tournaments 101 year history.
"I hit a good putt on the last and thought it
in but it just caught too much of the hole and
out," said Crookall-Nixon, who overall was happy
with his play considering it was just his second
competitive tournament since graduating in May.
The players were never separated by more
two holes during the 36-hole final, which started
under calm but cool conditions at 7:30 in the
morning. Ma built a two-hole lead after 13 holes
Crookall-Nixon made birdies on the 16th and
holes to square the match at the lunch break. Ma
was nursing a 1-up lead after he won the 32nd
of the day (par-4 14th) with a bogey, but
Nixon squared the match on the next hole after
rolling in a 15-foot birdie putt.
The Englishman missed an opportunity to
the lead in the match on the 34th hole, the short
par-4 16th. After playing a brilliant second shot
within five feet, Crookall-Nixon's birdie putt
past the hole. The par-3 17th was halved with
setting up the thrilling finish on No. 18.
"My emotions almost got the better of me in
middle of the match," explained Ma. "But prior to
the weekend I was working on forgetting about
shots and accepting mistakes, and I was able to
keep my head in the game."
-- USF Athletics, the NCGA and SF Chronicle
contributed to this story
For the second straight year 15-year-old
Sabrina Iqbal has won the San Francisco City
Championship. With the victory Iqbal became the
first back-to-back winner since since Casie
The top-seeded Iqbal won the 2nd
hole of the 36-hole title match on Sunday and
looked back as she handled 15-seed Kiran
Iqbal, a TCU commit, led 2 up after 12 holes
took things to a new level over the eight holes,
winning seven of them to take a commanding 9
Iqbal concluded the match in dramatic
with an eagle on the 27th hole.
“I was looking forward to this. I wanted to
back-to-back," told the NCGA. "I love match play
but don’t play in it often,” Iqbal said. “Overall,
game is in a good place. But I still need to
on everything. There’s always room for
In the Julie Inkster Division it was No. 10
Dean besting No. 5 Cynthia Zhang in 19
-The NCGA contributed to this story
Once again Gary Vanier had to dig deep to
emerge victorious. After winning his semifinal
on Saturday in 19 holes, Vanier had to play 20
on Sunday to win the title but in the end it was
Playing as the top-seed, Vanier faced No. 26
Rich Rowley in what turned out to be a match of
sides. Vanier came storming out of the gates
up after 12 holes. However, Rowley would fight
to win five of the final six holes and with his
on No. 18 the match was all-square.
With his lead now gone Vanier regrouped
after halving the first extra hole he won the next
and lifted the hardware.
The victory of Vanier was his fourth San
Francisco City Championship Senior title and
overall after winning the championship draw six-
SUPER SENIOR DIVISION
The Super Senior Division went to extra
as well and it was eight-seed Ron Johnson who
outlasted three-seed Tom O'Grady.
Johnson was 2 up through 13 holes, only to
O'Grady win the next two holes and square the
match. After Johnson won Nos. 14 and 15 the
halved the next three holes and set the stage for
extra hole triumph.
Ken Venturi Flight
No. 6 Ken Harrington defeated No. 4 James
John Susko Flight
No. 11 Drew Walker defeated No. 8 Kevin
George Archer Flight
No. 14 Abi Vickram defeated No. 16 Shoe
Harvie Ward Flight
No. 5 Daniel Sheridan defeated. No. 3
Ray Pellegrini Flight
No. 3 Phil Pineda defeated No. 9 David
Sandy Tatum Flight
No. 16 Michael Redman defeated No. 6
Matthew 20 holes