CARMEL, Calif. (October 24, 2009) - First-round leader Greg Kennedy of Duluth, GA re-established a lead after the third round of the annual Stocker Cup at The Preserve GC.
"It was a lot of fun for 16 holes, but it was disappointing to lose out on some scoring opportunities coming in," Kennedy said, referring to two bogeys on par 5s he made. "It's certainly enjoyable to be on top, but with this golf course, anything can happen." Kennedy is playing in his first Stocker Cup.
John Pate of Santa Barbara and Randy Haag of Burlingame share second place, two strokes back. "I feel very fortunate to get out under par today," Pate said. "You never know with this game. Yesterday was about the best round I've played in a while." The 2001 Stocker Cup champion was referring to a tournament-low 67 that when combined with his one-71 in the third round, has him five-under for the championship.
Nick Ushijima, a Japan resident and Olympic member, is three back of the lead after an even-par 72 in the third round. Las Vegas resident Kevin Marsh, the 2005 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion and two time winner of the Stocker Cup Craig Doell of Victoria are four and five strokes behind respectively. "The course was a lot tougher today," Marsh said. "At least 12 of 18 pins were brutal pins. But it is nice to have a chance tomorrow."
Eight players are at even par or better after three rounds on the 7,067-yard course.
The Elliott Cup, a 54-hole best-ball team competition that pits one of the scratch A-Players with a B-Player competing at their assigned handicap from the gold tees, was grabbed by “B” player Dan Kreer of Corral de Tierra in a wire to wire win. Kreer's three net rounds in the 60s produced the three-shot win.
In a change from years past, players changed partners throughout the three-day competition, with awards for the best “A team player and “B” player to be given Saturday night. Those awards went to Kreer and "A" player Craig Doell.
Defending champion Joe Sanders of Incline Village carded a 226 total for the three rounds, missing the cut by a single stroke.
The field was cut to the players with the low 20 scores and ties after the round. That number came at 225 with exactly 20 players earning a spot in Sunday's final round.
Starting times begin at 8:00 a.m.
•Second-round leader Randy Haag had the "worst putting day of the year" during the third round. "The first two days my speed was on, but not today," the 50-year-old said. Haag switched to putting side-saddle 12 years ago and credits that with saving his game.
•Casey Boyns of Pacific Grove certainly is consistent. The 53-year-old posted three consecutive 73s on the tournament which included a 39 and a 34 each day.
•"B" player David Reese and partner Craig Doell produced the low team round of the event in the third round, a better ball net 61
•Milas Russell of San Diego proved that persistence pays off. The 26-year-old San Diego County champion is playing in his first Stocker Cup after securing one of four qualifying spots at CordeValle. Russell failed to qualify a year ago.