ALAMEDA -- Cal senior Pace Johnson had a weekend to remember at the Chuck Corica Golf Complex on Saturday and Sunday. For it was then that Johnson shot consecutive rounds that even most professionals would envy to win the 86th annual Alameda Commuters Golf Tournament.
"I had a great time, " Johnson said while addressing a gathering of tournament officials, fellow golfers and fans in the awards ceremony immediately after the Sunday final round. "It's my first time playing (the Commuters), and I'm sure I'll be back because I had such a fun time."
And a productive time, too. Johnson, a graduate of Clovis West High School who played his first two years of collegiate golf at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo before transferring to Cal, survived a third-round double bogey on the par-5 sixth hole Saturday to finish with a 7-under-par 64. He followed with a 5-under 66 on Sunday to complete the 72-hole tournament with an impressive 14-under 270.
Johnson won by five strokes over second-place finisher Joshua Stone. Johnson's Cal teammates Andrew Morgan and Shotaro Ban each finished six under at 278 to tie for third. Ban had led the tournament by two strokes through the tournament's first two rounds, April 20-21, and was tied with Johnson for the lead after three rounds.
The first two rounds took place on the Jack Clark and Earl Fry courses. Those making the cut returned for third- and fourth-round play on Fry the following weekend.
Johnson, 22, who was two strokes under par with respective scores of 71 (on Clark) and 69 (on Fry) through the first two rounds the previous weekend, found the Corica Complex to his liking. So much so that he expressed his gratitude to the course superintendent (Dan Holmes) during the awards ceremony.
"I've played in so many great tournaments, but I've got to say that these are some of the best greens I've ever played on," Johnson said.
As champion, Johnson not only received the traditional tournament trophy but also became the first golfer to wear the inaugural Bob Blomberg Champions Medal. Blomberg, a six-time Commuters champion considered by many the greatest golfer Alameda ever produced, serves as an active Commuters committee member, and was on hand to acknowledge the award named in his honor.
"It's a great honor, and it's been a lifetime of fun playing out here," said Blomberg, who notched his first Commuters win in 1974 and his last in 1993.
Johnson followed by acknowledging Blomberg after receiving the medal.
"Thank you, Mr. Blomberg," he said. "It's a tremendous honor to be wearing this medal. I appreciate everything you've done and what you've achieved in the Alameda Commuters."
Also concluding Sunday, was the two-day 36-hole senior tournament for competitors 55 and older. Three-time Commuters champion Gary Vanier beat two-time champ Ken Webb in a sudden-death playoff after each had finished regulation play at 1-under-par 141.
More Commuters information can be found at http://alamedacommuters.org/times_results.htm or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/alamedacommuters/?fref=ts.
Video of the awards presentation is on YouTube at http://youtu.be/aK2PyzabeaE.