Stocker Cup: Niger Holds on Strong for Win

by John Reger, for amateurgolf.com

CARMEL , California (October 15, 2006) –- Though the team portion of the Stocker Cup Championship ended Saturday, Bob Niger continued the theme in the final round, Sunday at The Preserve Golf Club.

Niger approached the final green not knowing where he stood in relation to the leaderboard, but his wife, Wendy, gave him an assist, telling him how far ahead of the field he was.

It turned out he needed the information. Niger made a bogey on the final hole, but managed to hold off Michael Goodes to win by a stroke. Niger shot a final round 71 to finish at 11-under par 277. Goodes tied the low round of the day, a 69, to finish 10-under 278.

“It was a lot closer than I wanted it to be,” Niger said. “I had two three putts and one bad drive on No. 10, but didn’t hurt myself too badly.”

While Niger made mistakes, he minimized their damage, though there was little he could about a hard charging Goodes.

Goodes, who was playing in the group in front of Niger , shot a front nine 32 and he birdied four of five holes beginning on No. 4. His birdie on No. 8 gave Goodes the lead briefly at 11-under until Niger countered with a birdie on the same hole to tie him.

“I played great on the front nine,” Goodes said. “I had some opportunities on the back nine and couldn’t take advantage of them.”

Niger birdied the 10th to retake the lead and never gave it back, though he tried. He made a bogey on 14 and when his approach shot on 18 flew the green and came to rest in the rough behind the hole.

It was a similar shot he faced the following day and made a great up and down to save par.

Niger didn’t know where he stood and that is when Wendy stepped in to help. She ran from the 18th green to the scorer’s table and found out that Niger had a two-stroke lead.

“I had already hit the pitch shot but I needed to know if (Goodes) was at 10 under,” Niger said. “I didn’t know if I had to try and make the putt. I told her to just nod if he was at 10.”

She did and he knew he could make a bogey and still win the tournament.

The caliber of competition impressed both Niger and Goodes.

“I think it’s a great golf course,” Goodes said. “The players are some of the best amateurs in the country. It seems to get better every year.”

Not only does the field have some of the best amateurs from California, but golfers from North Carolina, New Jersey, and Japan accepted invitations to play in the event.

Even if Niger wasn’t going to be defending champion, he would be returning to the event.

“I love everything about this tournament,” said Niger, who played in his second Stocker Cup Championship. “I love The Preserve, it’s like a national park. It’s very peaceful. I look forward to coming back.”

Tatum Cup goes to Lutz
Chip Lutz, a member at Pine Valley Golf Club, won the Sandy Tatum Cup portion of the event. The trophy is given to the low senior golfer. Lutz, who shot a four-day total of 2-over 290, defeated last year’s winner and defending champion of the main event, Paul Simson and Graham Banister.

Craig Doell and Jack Myers Capture The Newly Named Elliott Cup
The team competition -- named the Elliott Cup in memory of former Tournament Co-Chairman Jack Elliott, who passed away earlier in 2006 -- concluded Saturday. The title was won by 2004 Individual Champion Craig Doell of Victoria, BC and Jack Myers of Claremont Country Club in Oakland (Jack Elliott's club). The duo shot a total of 26-under. Click here for final team scores.

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Final individual results (players who survived 54-hole cut only are shown below) from the Stocker Cup Invitational Golf Tournament, played at the 6974-yard, par 72 Preserve Golf Club in Carmel, California:

Pos Player Hometown Rd1 Rd2 Rd3 Rd4 Tot To Par
1 Bob Niger El Dorado Hills, CA 71 66 69 71 277 -11
2 Michael Goodes Reidsville, NC 70 72 67 69 278 -10
3 Marc Peterson Modesto, CA 73 66 66 75 280 -8
4 Randy Haag Burlingame, CA 73 66 75 69 283 -5
5 Gene Elliott W. Des Moines, IA 70 71 72 72 285 -3
T6 Jeff Wilson Fairfield, CA 69 74 70 74 287 -1
T6 Craig Doell Victoria, British Columbia 74 73 66 74 287 -1
T6 Kevin Marsh Las Vegas, NV 70 68 73 76 287 -1
T9 Robert Gerwin II Cincinnati, OH 73 71 74 71 289 1
T9 John Pate Santa Barbara, CA 73 71 73 72 289 1
11 Chip Lutz Wyomissing, PA 77 70 70 73 290 2
T12 Bert Atkinson Charleston, SC 73 76 69 73 291 3
T12 David Nelson Reno, NV 74 69 74 74 291 3
T12 Graham Banister Raleigh, NC 70 72 71 78 291 3
T15 Joe Sanders Incline Village, NV 69 76 72 75 292 4
T15 Paul Simson Raleigh, NC 68 74 72 78 292 4
17 Brad Wilder Florence, KY 72 75 70 76 293 5
18 Casey Boyns Pacific Grove, CA 75 72 71 76 294 6
19 Brady Exber Las Vegas, NV 72 70 77 76 295 7
20 Joe Hillman Zionsville, IN 73 73 73 90 309 21

Failed to qualify for final 18 holes:
Bryan Toth, Gorge Vale Golf Club, 67-79-74- -220
Cass Traub, Virginia Country Club, 73-75-72- -220
Michael Wharton-Palmer, Texarkana Country Club, 70-75-75--220
Keith Kinsel, Oakmont Country Club, 71-72-78- -221
Garth Watrous, De Laveaga Golf Club, 79-68-75- -222
John Finster, Heritage Golf Club, 73-76-74- -223
Michael Kelley, The Golf Club, 71-73-79--223
Nick Ushijima, Olympic Club, 75-74-74--223
Alex Stamey III, Olympic Club, 75-75-74--224
Bob Burton, Estacia Club, 71-74-79--224
Jerry Ledzinski, Tehama Golf Club, 74-74-77- -225
Kevin Kobalter, Meadow Club, 74-77-74--225
Mike Rowley, San Luis Obispo Country Club, 71-75- 79--225
Chris Carlson, Highlands Ranch Golf Club, 76-74- 76--226
Garrett Larson, UC Golf Club, 77-74-75--226
Chris Kilkenny, Beau Pre Golf Club, 79-72-76- -227
Jim Lehman, Windsong Farm Golf Club, 77-73-77- -227
Ken Weixel, New Albany Country Club, 76-73-78- -227
Mark Maguire, Claremont Country Club, 73-80-74- -227
John Desantis, Coral de Tierra Country Club, 73-75- 80--228
Phil Ebner, Windsong Farm Golf Club, 76-75-78- -229
Tim Rouillard, Shadow Hills Country Club, 75-75- 79--229
Mike Butler, Olympic Club, 80-73-79--232
Harold Chuhlantseff, Sunnyside Country Club, 81-78- 74--233
Phil Huff, IV, Olympic Club, 80-74-80--234
Robert Funk, Bear Creek Golf Club, 77-81-78- -236
George Kelley, Stevinson Ranch Golf Club, 80-74- 83--237
Steve John, Tehama Golf Club, 80-76-81--237
Tripp Davis, Belmar Golf Club, 81-77-79--237
Todd Barsotti, San Joaquin Country Club, 87-77- 77--241
Mike MacDonald, eClub South Bay, 85-79-78- -242
Rob Martin III, Rancho Murieta Country Club, 85-89- 79--253
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