The Marin County Amateur Championship is an annual golf tournament held at San Geronimo Golf Course in Marin County. The tournament is a 36-Hole Stroke Play event, which consists of two flights: Championship and Senior (50+). In 2011 the NCGA awarded the Marin County Amateur as a 100-point event.
The tournament is put on by two local amateurs, Steven Wight and Michael Conklin, who felt that Marin County needed an annual individual golf championship. The inaugural Marin County Amateur was held in September 2008 and consisted of 27 players. In 2012, the tournament had a total of 105 players consisting of three flights: Championship, Senior & Women's.
The inagural event was won by 17 year old Cole Seeger who recorded a score of 144 (even par). Cole remains the youngest champion of the Marin County Amateur.
In 2009 the field grew to 40 players. This year a Marin County native from Tiburon won the Championship with a score of 141 ( 3-under par). His name is Kaz Hoffman, and despite a "Van de Velde" like finish, he was able to secure his title.
Kaz would repeat as Champion in 2010 with a tournament record score of 137 ( 7-under par). This year Kaz did not stumble down the finish, but in fact continued to increase his lead through the 36th hole where he made birdie. Kaz won his second Marin County Amateur title by 8 strokes.
Also in 2010, the Marin County Amateur added a second flight to the tournament, the Senior Flight. The inaugural Senior Championship had a total of 21 entrants and was won by Antioch resident Mark Miller with a score of 150.
In 2011, the championship flight would be battled by the out-of-towners. Brent Booth, Jerry Ledzinski, and Grant Rappleye all shot in the 60's on their opening round and none of them had played the course before! The locals came back in day 2 as the winds picked up, but it was a little too late. Grant completed his weekend pair of 69 for a two day total of 138! It would be enough to secure the 2011 Marin County Amateur Title by 4 strokes over Brent Booth. Marin locals Alex Franklin, Matt Seramin, Anthony Vaccaro and Esan Geroux were all able to lock down a top 10 finish.
The 2011 Senior Tournament was won by Ray Kong, despite the fact that it didn't appear that Ray or anyone in his group wanted to win the title Sunday morning! The final group of Kong, Guerin, and Wilmer posted front nines scores of 40, 43, and 44, respectively. Ray Kong was able to hold it together with a 39 on the back nine to give him a Sunday total of 79. His tournament total was 152, giving him a one shot lead that he didn't realize he had until the scorecards were turned in.
The 2012 championship flight was exciting to say the least. Jack Persons, San Francisco, led the way after 18 holes at 1-under par, followed closely by 2 Marin natives, Matt Seramin and Chad Heschong, and an out-of-towner Jonathan Sockell at even par. Day 2 was a battle. 36 holes was not enough to determine a victor. Day 1 leader Jack Persons fired an impressive 72 to finish at 143, but was somehow caught from a group ahead of him...Robby Salomon fired a 70 to finish at 143. The low round of the tournament was shot by Kyle Gentry of San Francisco on Day 2 with a round of 69. Kyle would finish in 3rd place, at 144. The playoff began on Hole 1. Both players hit the green in two and both seemed to struggle with the putter leaving each player a putt over 4 feet for par. Both of them hit the back of the cup and dropped. Hole 2, bombed drives down the right rough around 320 off the tee. Salomon hit his shot first to about 15 feet below the hole for Eagle. Persons responded with a shot about 15 feet above the hole for Eagle. Salomon cozied his putt up the hole for a tap in Birdie. Persons tricky downhill slider raced past the hole and he left himself a putt from 10 feet. Unable to convert his Birdie effort, Persons congratulated Salomon as the 2012 Marin County Amateur Champion!
The senior flight was captured by Peter Moren who has played in the senior flight every year since it's addition in 2010. Peter fired a solid 145 total for 36 holes to capture the championship by 5 strokes. Larry Riis, Petaluma, the Day 1 leader would struggle in Day 2 to keep himself in a top-10 finish.
The inagural women's flight was added in 2012 and was comprised of 5 women. Allie Economou, Laura Howard (Played in 2011 in the Championship Flight), Kim Jackson, Rose Friedman & Dorothy Donnelly. The women kept it close until the very end. Rose, Allie and Laura battled down to the last few holes when it become clear that Rose Friedman would win. Rose finished with a 36 hole total of 162, 6 shots clear of Laura.