Haag extends Stocker Cup lead
by Scott Seward, for amateurgolf.com
CARMEL, Calif. (October 28, 2011) - Randy
Haag has a three-stroke lead at the mid-
point of the 20th annual Stocker Cup at The
Preserve GC.The Olympic Club member
posted a three-under 69 to pair with an
opening 68, yet still left the course unfulfilled
after watching five putts rim out and making
three bogeys. "That's too many on a day like
this," the 52-year-old said after the round.
But the leader still managed to avoid three-
putting, a notable accomplishment on the
Tom Fazio design's devilish greens.
"I've really worked on my shot game the last
year," Haag said. "I think it's important that
your expectations match your talent level. I
know I'm going to miss shots, but it's how I
recover from those misses that matters."
Mike McCoy of West Des Moines, Iowa fired
the low score of the event thus far in the
second round, a sterling five-under 67 that
has him three back of Haag. McCoy finished
third in this same event in 2010 and has
captured five Crump Cup championships at
prestigious Pine Valley.
"This sure is a relaxing week," he
said. "It's such a spectacular place."
Defending champion Kevin Marsh of
Henderson, Nevada posted a 69 in the
second round and is four back of the leader
in third place. Last year's runner-up Brad
Wilder vaulted into contention with a three-
under 69, leaving the 2011 Greater
Cincinnati Amateur champion two under for
the championship and five off the lead.
Wilder changed putters after Thursday's
opening round, from an Odyssey Two-Ball
model to a heaver mallet.
"I putted poorly yesterday," he
said. "You have to be comfortable with the
putter on these greens so I was afraid to
change, but it made a difference today."
Wilder led the 2010 Stocker Cup for the first
three rounds before getting overtaken by
champion Marsh in the final round. Friday's
picture-perfect weather, low wind and slightly
easier hole locations had a huge impact on
scoring. After Thursday's first round saw only
four players break par, 17 were below par
Friday, with eight in the 60s.
you didn't shoot a good score today, you got
passed," Wilder said.
Russell Humphrey of Woodbridge GCC saw
his second-round score swing 10 shots better
than his opening effort.
"The greens are tricky," he said. "I was able
to get a lot of reads today from the other
players in my group."
Humphrey and partner Fred Vinton of The
Preserve carded the low better ball team
score of the event thus far, a 60. Vinton,
Justin Roach and Jack Myers, both of
Claremont Country Club lead the Elliott Cup,
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. The three players stand at net 18-
under 126. The Elliot Trophy is presented
after Saturday's third round. Brady Exber
and Doug Poole, both members of TPC
Summerlin, share the lead in the race for
the Tatum Cup, for "A" golfers aged 55 and
older. Exber and Poole stand at one-over
145. The top 16 "A" players and ties along
with the top 4 senior players will advance to
the final round on Sunday.
praised the outstanding condition of the
course. Superintendent Cory Isom, CGCS,
has prepared an outstanding championship
venue characterized by smooth and fast
greens and fairways that rival the the putting
surfaces at other courses.
know players in the field have competed in
past U.S. Opens including Darryl Donovan
('92 at Pebble Beach as a professional), Jeff
Wilson ('82, '90, '00 - where he was low
amateur at Pebble Beach and '08), Dave
Nelson and Dr. James Rheim, a "B" player
who competed at Southern Hills in 1977.