GLENDALE — Perhaps it was only fitting that a Glendale native won the Glendale City Golf Championship for the first time.
It took three years since the tournament's inception for that to become a reality, but it's something Vince De Pinto cherished after clutching the championship trophy and leaving the grounds of Oakmont Country Club on Monday. It's quite possible De Pinto, a St. Francis High graduate, might have helped elevate a growing interest for locals looking to compete in a tournament in future summers.
"I was born here in Glendale and it's an honor to be a part of the tournament," said De Pinto, who fired a two-over-par 74 to finish with a two-round total of 133 and win the event by one stroke over Ryan Miranda and Brandon Shin. "There are so many great players in this event, and hopefully there will be a lot more coming here.
"I can see it growing."
The two-day tournament, sponsored by Trusted Choice, started July 23 with a qualifying round at Scholl Canyon Golf Course before moving to Oakmont for the championship Monday. All proceeds benefit the Glendale Parks and Open Space Foundation, a non-profit organization.
Rick Dinger, the tournament's chairman, said a look at the swelling field serves as an indicator that the event is continuing to grow.
"Yes, it's for a great cause and we are happy with the way it turning out," Dinger said. "You look at the quality of players and it's very exciting to see.
"They have a chance to play at a championship course in Oakmont. All three years have had exciting finishes. Maybe it will take a winner in the future to have to shoot even par or under par."
When the tournament began in 2012, the field consisted of 86. It jumped to 108 in 2013 before reaching 126 this year. Among those who participated in the event this year were Glendale Mayor Zareh Sinanyan, along with a handful of current and former standout high school golfers that included Miranda, Cody Renfro and Johnny Brandt.
Miranda, a St. Francis graduate who competed on the Glendale Community College men's golf team, made his second straight tournament appearance.
Though Miranda just missed winning the championship, he said he'd recommend the tournament to other players.
"You have to give props to the city of Glendale, Oakmont and Scholl for having this tournament," Miranda said. "There's a good golf culture around here.
"I'm glad to take part in the tournament. It's something I can put on my resume."
Follow Charles Rich on Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich .