Stockton takes lead at NCGA PubLinks
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (April 2, 2012) -- Despite sunny skies and light breezes, scoring proved to be tough at Spyglass Hill on Monday. Group after group that came into the scoring area after their rounds much of the sentiment was the same: Players showed disappointment and mentioned the tough course setup. The one player who was fairly pleased with his round was Salinas' Ricky Stockton, who posted a 2-over 74 to take the 18-hole lead. Stockton explained he wasn’t necessarily hitting the ball great, converting only about half of his greens in regulation, but was able to get up-and-down on many spots throughout the course.
Only a shot behind Stockton is Fairfield’s Barry Logar. For the second year in a row Logar will be in the final group and this year he hopes to come out of it with a win. His 75 consisted of five bogeys and two birdies, one of those coming on the number one handicap hole on the course, the uphill eighth hole. In a three-way tie for third are Russell Nygard, Trent Tessler and Andy Nevin, who all posted a respective 76. Two of those three will join Stockton and Logar in tomorrow’s final group. Still not out of it three shots back of the leader at 5 over par is current NCGA Senior Player of the Year Jim Knoll, Danny Paniccia and Jeff Gilchrist.
Stockton has been in similar situations in the NCGA Public Links a couple times prior after a solid first round. Two years ago in the 2010 Public Links he had the solo 18-hole lead after a first round 72. The next day however turned out to be a dreadful day as he shot a final round of 80 to tie for fourth. In 2009 he held the 18-hole lead with William Moore and Brandon McNally after a first round 72. Unfortunately for Stockton he wasn’t able to duplicate or better his first round score and lost by two shots over eventual winner Moore. Stockton hopes this year the third time is the charm and that he won’t have another top-five finish. He feels pretty good about his game coming off a recent win at the Salinas City Amateur despite being busy with life.
“I feel I have a little bit [of momentum from the recent win], but I haven’t played too many rounds this year because I work full-time,” said Stockton.