CARMEL, Calif. (Oct. 12, 2007)—Heavy overnight rains softened up the super-fast greens at The Preserve Golf Club, which was a blessing for golfers at the 17th annual Stocker Cup Invitational Golf Tournament. Unfortunately, the rain tampered into intermittent showers as the day wore on, but the wind kept howling throughout.
Virginia’s Pat Tallent entered the day with the lead after carding an even-par round, and fired another 72 to take what seemed to be a solid lead in the clubhouse.
That is until former champion Craig Doell presented his 4-under-par 68 to the scoring table, giving him a share of the lead at even-par 144 heading into the third round. When the number was announced, he received a round of applause from the clubhouse full of competitors who knew just how tough that score was to produce.
“I hit it really solid today, but I hit it really solid yesterday too, today I just finally capitalized on a few putts,” said Doell, a Victoria, B.C. resident who won the event in 2004. “Some of the hole locations where a bit more accessible today, yesterday was almost like a final day.”
Familiar with playing in the harsh conditions of western Canada, Doell said the gusty, wet weather didn’t have that much of an effect.
“I’ve played in it, so I’m used to it, but obviously no one likes playing in the rain,” said Doell. “The key is to stay as dry as you can, for as long as you can.”
His round started as an up-and-down affair, as he bogeyed the second hole, then drew even on the next. He went 1-under on the fifth, but gave it back on three-putt on hole 6.
It was after that hole that Doell started his charge, birding the next two holes and making his shot of the day on the tenth, with a 15-foot downhill birdie.
“I was pin-high, left of the hole sitting up on a little mound,” said Doell. “I barely touched it to get it rolling. It was one of those that you just get it started and hope it goes in.”
In it went, and after playing mistake-free golf, including another birdie on 17, he found himself in a tie for first through the at the tourneys halfway point.
Brian Swenson, of Dublin, Calif., was the only other player under-par for the day, carding a 1-under-71. His round included the shot of the day, a near ace using a 4-iron on the 198 yard 14th hole where he rolled to within six inches. It also included the questionable clothing decision of the day, as he walked the round through chilly, raining conditions in shorts.
“I think I was the only one dumb enough to wear shorts today,” laughed Swenson. “I actually stayed drier than my partner did, our cart didn’t have a windshield.”
There are ten players within six strokes of the pair.
For complete A-Player results, click here.
In the best-ball team competition, which pits one of the scratch A-Players with a B-Player competing at their assigned handicap from the gold tees, is a logjam going into Saturday’s final round. Currently four teams share the lead at 9-under 135: Dan Sullivan and Denny Crow, Steve John and Martin Connolly, Billy Mitchell and Scott McWhorter and Billy Williamson and Tom Graunke.
There are also ten teams within three strokes of the lead, so the team prize is still there for the taking.
For complete team results, click here.
amateurgolf.com will have daily tournament updates, as well as a wrap-up video posted on Monday, so be sure to check back with us.
ABOUT THE STOCKER CUP:
The Stocker Cup, played in memory of Peter Stocker, is held each October at The Preserve Golf Club in Carmel. The field is comprised of 52 world-class mid-amateur invitees, who meet stringent eligibility requirements, and pay a minimal fee for their participation. Offering both NCGA and national Golfweek and amateurgolf.com Bridgestone Player Rankings points, the Stocker Cup also holds a one-day qualifying tournament for regional players who were not among the original invites. On September 28, eighteen competitors with a handicap index of 2.4 or lower vied for the final two A-list spots in the main tournament. (Brian Swenson and Harold Chuhlantseff both qualified at 76 at Stevinson Ranch.)
Those final A-list golfers are complimented by a matching number of qualified B-list competitors, with invitations extended to friends, relatives and associates of the late Peter Stocker, as well as to various sponsors and other supporters of the event. Every A-player is teamed with a B-player in a handicapped best-ball competition held simultaneously with the individual stroke-championship.
Results will be posted on this website daily, and emailed to major golf media outlets. Please use the contact information below to add your name to the media list.
MEDIA CONTACT INFORMATION:
6965 El Camino Real
Carlsbad, CA 92009
1.) www.amateurgolf.com provides information on amateur tournaments around the U.S., runs an 18-event tournament series, and provides web and media services for events such as The Stocker Cup, The Carlton Woods Invitational, The Harvey Pennick Invitational, and The St. Augustine Amateur. The website is supported by membership fees and advertising -- the annual fee of $45/year will be waived for members of the golf media upon receipt of an email or phone request.
2.) A complete list of A-player biographies, as well as tournament history, background, and information on the late Peter Stocker can be viewed at- http://www.stockercup.com/contestants