Stocker Cup: Mitchell leads after first round

CARMEL, Calif. (Oct. 16, 2008) -- After last year's Stocker Cup Invitational, where Craig Doell topped Pat Tallent in a one-hole playoff after each finished at 1-over, tournament chairman George Kelley noted that: "This year, the course won."

If the first round is any indication, the 2008 field of golfers is looking to take the title back.

Georgia's Billy Williams grabbed the early at The Preserve Golf Club with a 2-under-par 70 despite bogeying the final three holes.

"I putted really well for the first 15 holes, I ended up with six birdies and four bogeys," said Mitchell, noting that his knowledge of the course was a factor after playing for the first time last year. "That's huge, knowing where to place the balls, for example, some of these greens, you just can't above the pin. These greens go from rolling a 12-14 to rolling 22's. I struck the ball well and never felt out of control.

Mitchell, a golf-specific trainer who works with high school and college golfers in Georgia, is chased by a pair of competitors with impressive resumes.

Tim Jackson of Tennessee is a two-time U.S. Amateur winner (1994, 2001) who has also won three straight Birmingham National Invitational tournaments. Jackson trails by a stroke in his first Stocker Cup, as does veteran Jim Lehman of Minnesota, who was the runner-up in 2001.

There are 15 golfers within five strokes.

In the chase for the Elliott Cup, a 54-hole 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, the Northern California pairing of Garrett Larson and Martin Connolly put up a scorching 10-under 62, to leave the competition five strokes back.

Connolly, a native Irishman who now owns a series of pubs in San Francisco, got things started for the team with four straight gross birdies on the his back nine (holes 1-4).

"If I live to be 200, I'll never do it again," said Connolly, before someone at the bar yelled to him that he should admit to skulling a off the pin for a birdie.

"That information stays on the course," he laughed.

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.

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.

Fulll results follow:

Name Club Rd.1
Billy Mitchell River Pines Golf Club 70
Tim Jackson Ridgeway Country Club 71
Jim Lehman Windsong Farm Golf Club 71
Bob Burton Estancia Club 73
Mike Kelley New Albany Country Club 73
Joe Hillman Wolf Run Golf Club 73
TJ Brudzinski Worthington Hills Country Club 73
Steve White Teton Pines Country Club 73
Brad Wilder Triple Crown Country Club 73
Chris Marin Del Monte Golf Club 74
Mark Mance The Preserve Golf Club 74
Ron Ewing Merced Country Club 74
Joe Sanders Montreux Country Club 74
Stephen Nichols Walnut Hills Country Club 75
Mike Rowley San Luis Obispo Country Club 75
Brady Exber TPC Summerlin 75
David Nelson Montreux Golf and Country Club 75
Jon Mathias La Cantera Golf Club 76
Chris Carlson Highlands Ranch Golf Club 76
John Pate The Valley Club 76
Michael Karlberg Old Greenwood Golf Club 76
Billy Williamson Coldstream Country Club 76
Alex Stamey III Everett Golf and Country Club 77
Garrett Larson UC Golf Club 77
Tripp Davis Belmar Golf Club 77
Jon Lindstrom Legacy Ridge Golf Club 77
Robert Funk Canyon Lake Country Club 78
Chip Lutz Ledgerock Golf Club 78
Brad Penfold Valley Hi Country Club 78
Hank McCusker Little River Inn Golf Club 78
Keith Kinsel Los Angeles Country Club 78
Phillip Huff, IV The Olympic Club 78
Kent Wiese Brookside Golf Club 78
Ed Cuff, Jr. The Farms Golf Club 78
Ryan Mitchell Montreux Golf & Country Club 79
Tom Brandes Rainier Country Club 79
Kevin Kobalter Meadow Club 79
Jerry Ledzinski Tehama Golf Club 79
Todd Barsotti San Joaquin Country Club 79
Randy Haag Olympic Club 80
Dan Sullivan Brookside Golf Club 80
Stephen Molinelli The Olympic Club 81
Jason Pridmore Spanish Hills Country Club 81
Andrew Gabelman Barrington Hills Country Club 82
Garth Watrous Seascape Golf Club 85
Brock Palmer Trump National Golf Club 86



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