Marsh defends title at Stocker Cup
by Scott Seward, for AmateurGolf.com
- Michael Mustacchi photo
CARMEL, Calif. (October 24, 2010) - Kevin
Marsh burnished an already sterling
reputation as one of the finest mid-amateurs
on the West Coast with a second
consecutive victory at the 19th annual
The 37-year-old came from four strokes
behind in the final round – again – to
overtake Brad Wilder of Ft. Wright, Kentucky
by one shot at the Tom Fazio-designed
Preserve Golf Club on a rainy, blustery day.
Coming into the final round, Wilder had built a
four-shot lead on the strength of terrific
first- and third-round scores of 68 and 67,
respectively. But after extending the lead to
five after the first hole, the 31-year-old
would give back three shots via consecutive
three-putt greens. “It flipped quickly,” Marsh
said. “The weather, in a way, made it easier
because I was just trying to survive instead of
focusing on what anyone else was doing.
Then I got on a run and that was huge.”
That run amounted to three straight birdies
on holes six through eight. The Las Vegas
resident crafted a two-stroke lead until a
bogey on 16 left the door open for Wilder.
But solid chipping from the eventual champion
brought pars on 17 and 18 and the victory,
punctuated by a six-foot par putt on the final
hole for a two-under 70 and a seven-under
“He hadn’t missed one of that length all day,”
Wilder said. “So I knew I had to make mine.”
But the runner-up’s 25-footer slid just
underneath the hole. The University of
Cincinnati alum had been on a roll. Two
weeks prior, he and partner (and Stocker Cup
competitor) Mark Knecht captured the Bear’s
Invitational in Jupiter, Florida. A putting tip
from Knecht Wednesday seemed to unlock
the Kentuckian, producing the lead. “I’m
proud of the way I played the last 12 holes,”
Wilder said, referencing a one-under
performance over that stretch. But his final-
round 75 (for a six-under 282 total) was not
enough to put away the seasoned champion.
With the weather and course difficulty, the
final round quickly became a two-horse race as
attention focused on the final pairing. Mike
McCoy of West Des Moines, Iowa took third
place on the strength of the only other sub-
par final round, a 71 that left McCoy eight
behind the champion. California State Amateur
finalist Harry Rudolph of La Jolla took fourth
while Randy Haag of Burlingame and Steve
Hudson or Birmingham, Alabama tied for fifth.
By virtue of a scorecard playoff, Haag earned
his second consecutive Tatum Trophy,
named for former USGA president Sandy Tatum
and given to the best finisher over age 50.
Marsh’s victory adds to his collection of
trophies, which includes the 2009 Stocker Cup,
2005 U.S. Mid-Amateur, 2006 and 2008 SCGA
Amateurs, and consecutive Carlton Woods
Invitational titles, to name just a few. The
Pepperdine alum is only the second back-to-
back winner – Michael Brannon in 1994-1995
was the other. “I’ve played some good golf
over the past five years,” the champion said.
“I’ve been consistent and have given myself
chances to win.”
Based on the results of another Stocker Cup
victory, the champion is giving himself shots
at the winner’s circle more often than not.
At Saturday night’s awards dinner, the Elliott
Cup was presented to B-Player John Nichols
of Rancho Murieta and Randy Haag. The Elliott
Cup is a 54-hole best-ball team competition
that pits one of the scratch A-Players with a
B-Player competing at 90% of his assigned
handicap. Other awards for lowest daily
rounds were also presented.
* Marsh joins an elite group of multiple Stocker
title winners including Brannon, Randy Haag
('92 and '97) and Craig Doell ('04 and '07).
* Competitors praised the 7,067-yard
Preserve GC and its superb conditioning,
directed by superintendent Cory Isom.
View results for Stocker Cup 2015 Invitational