CARMEL, Calif. (Oct. 3, 2008)—With Hank McCusker and Stephen Molinelli qualifying for the 2008 Stocker Cup Invitational Golf Tournament via open qualifier, the field is officially set for the elite event, which will be held October 16-19 at The Preserve Golf Club in Carmel.
McCusker was the medalist at the Oct. 2 qualifier at Harding Park in San Francisco, carding a 4-under 68 in his third attempt to join the Stocker Cup field. He will be joined in Carmel by fellow qualifier Stephen Molinelli who notched a 71. Click here for open qualifier results and here for a full list of Stocker Cup participants.
Once again, the Stocker Cup boasts a strong, experienced field that includes multiple state champions and players of the year from coast to coast.
Brady Exber is the president of the Southern Nevada Golf Association and is no stranger to finishing at or near the top of the leaderboard in that state, having won the SNGA Player of the Year award a record seven times, with two state amateurs under his belt. He has recently enjoyed some attention on the national level with a run to the final 32 of the U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst and a T-41 at the Senior Open (where he was challenging for at top-20 spot before being derailed by a tough third round).
Northern California stalwart Randy Haag could be dubbed a favorite after the year he has been having, which includes a trip to the round of 32 at the U.S. Mid-Am and the final 16 at the NCGA Amateur. He is the reigning amateurgolf.com – Brigestone Golf Tournament Series Player of the Year and is once again leading that chase heading into the final months of the season. Haag has entered six AGC events and won two, taken runner-up in two more and never finished lower than 7th. Chris Marin, the player trailing him in that race by 75 points is also in the Stocker Cup field. Jason Pridmore of Ventura, Calif., is another amateurgolf.com Tournament Series winner in the field, having won the 2007 California Mid-Am at Stevinson Ranch.
Jon Mathias had a career year in 2007, as the Air Force flight instructor from San Antonio took home the Carlton Woods Invitational and his second straight Harvey Penick Invitational title. He won the Texas Mid-Am Match Play this year and in 2007 was one of three golfers to represent the winning Texas team at the 2007 USGA State Team Championship.
Moving across the country, there is Jim Lehman, a former Minnesota Mid-Am champ in 2003 with eight USGA championship appearances under his belt, including a run to the final-16 at the 2007 Mid-Am. Michael Kelley has been to 16 USGA championships, was the runner-up at the 2005 Crump Cup, and has won the Central Ohio Championship four times. Pennsylvania’s Chip Lutz won the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Marsten Cup in 2008 and the 2007 GAP Mid-Am. In 2006 he took home the Stocker Cup’s senior division title.
Reigning champ Craig Doell, a two-time winner, will not be in the field, nor will last year's runner-up Pat Tallent.
amateurgolf.com will be on site throughout the tournament, providing daily coverage and a tournament video wrap-up which will be posted on the Oct. 20, be sure to check back in with us to keep up with the action.
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 October 2, eighteen competitors with a handicap index of 2.4 or lower vied for the final two A-list spots in the main tournament. Hank McCusker and Stephen Molinelli joined the field after carding 68 and 71, respectively, at Harding Park in San Francisco.
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.