Stocker Cup: Niger Fires 66, Leads by 1 at 7-under

By John Reger, for amateurgolf.com

CARMEL, California (October 13, 2006) -- Though he is not considered a streaky player, Bob Niger used a string of birdies to grab the second round lead of the Stocker Cup Championship at The Preserve Golf Club.

Niger , who lives in El Dorado Hills, made birdies on his third, fourth and fifth holes and finished with a 6-under 66 and has a 7-under 137 for two rounds. He leads Kevin Marsh by one stroke. Randy Haag and Marc Peterson, both of whom shot 66, are two strokes behind a.

The tournament record is 65 by Dave Nelson and Niger had a chance to break it. He missed three eagles from around 10 feet on par 5s.

“I could have shot 29 on the front easily,” said Niger , who settled for 31 on his front nine. “I just missed some putts I could have made.”

Marsh made some putts, but they weren’t for birdie. The 2005 USGA Mid Am Championship winner converted some long par saves to keep his round going.

“I made a 25 footer on my second hole and a 15 footer three holes later,” Marsh said. “I putted really well. I played solid on my front nine and had some great par saves.”

Haag’s round could have been lower as well. He was on the 18th hole with a 20-foot uphill putt to tie Nelson’s record 65.

“I knew I had a chance at his record,” Haag said. “I just didn’t read it for any break and it broke off at the end.”

Shakeup on the Team Leaderboard:
In the team competition, Craig Doell and Jack Myers shot a second round 12-under 60 and have a four-shot lead going into the final day, Saturday. The duo is at 20-under 128. Three teams; Michael Kelly/David Rawson, Robert Gerwin II/Dennis Crow and Michael Goodes/Rich Griffith are four shots behind.

The pair was aided by two natural birdies by Myers, who is a 15 handicap.

“I don’t think there could have been a better script for today,” Myers said. “We did really well together as a team.”

Myers was strong for the first nine and then Doell, who was 6-over par through 10 holes, made five birdies on his last six holes.

“I had a brutal start, I wasn’t too happy,” Doell said. “I figured out what I was doing and turned it around.”

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NOTE: Pairings for Saturday, 10/14, can be viewed (adobe pdf) by clicking here>

ABOUT THE Stocker Cup

This event is dedicated to the memory of Peter C. Stocker, a prominent west coast real estate developer and avid amateur golfer who died in a tragic helicopter accident in 1990. The premier mid-amateur tournament on the West Coast, this is a 72 hole stroke play Invitational with an open qualifier for players aged 25 and over with a 3.5 index or lower (number of qualifiers based on player count). A 54 hole team competition, including friends of Peter Stocker, runs concurrently.

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