Stocker Cup Invitational: Simson Over Davis by 1
By Ron Salsig

CARMEL, CALIFORNIA (October 16, 2005) - - This one is for the seniors.

Paul Simson of North Carolina, age 54, held off much younger golfers at The Preserve Golf Club to win the Stocker Cup by one slim stroke.

“I’ve been invited to play here the past few years but it’s a long way to come,” Simson said. “I am so glad I finally did. I fell in love with this place the first time I saw it, and that was no doubt a key to winning.”

Simson shot a final round 73 for a 1-under- par 287 total, the only player in red numbers at the end of the day. Tripp Davis of Oklahoma made a run at Simson, but three-putted the final hole for bogey to post a 2-under-par 70 for the day and a 288 total.
Jeff Wilson (73) of Vallejo took third place at 290. Terrence Miskell (73), a Salinas native who now lives in Texas, was fourth at 291 and Gene Elliott (73) of Iowa took fifth at 294.

Simson started the day with a three-shot lead at 2 under par. He cruised through the front nine with a 1-under 35, playing steady. But he had a start when he heard on the 13th tee that Tripp Davis had closed to within one shot.

“I was surprised to see Tripp at two under,” Simson said. “We’ve butted heads a few times at the U.S. Mid- Am. So I knew I was in for a fight.”

Davis made his move with birdies on four of the last five holes on the front nine, but the birdie barrage stopped at the turn. Simson said the key to his win was two putts – a six-foot putt for birdie on the 13th, and an eight-footer for par on the 14th.

“The bird on 13 gave me a two-stroke lead,” Simson said. “And the par putt on the next hole was real big.”

Simson held his two-shot lead to the final hole, where he hit his second shot left of the slick green. Knowing that he had a shot to play with, he chipped well to the left of the hole, which startled the gallery.

“There was no way I could get it close going straight for the hole,” he said. “I could have tried a flop shot, but then anything can happen. So I played it thirty feet from the hole and trusted my putter to get me a two-putt.”

His downhill putt from 30 feet tickled the front lip of the cup before breaking off, and Simson had a tap-in for the victory.
Simson had only one three-putt the entire tournament, a stat that usually points to victory.

“I play better on courses that are real fast so I was pleased when I saw this golf course the first time on Wednesday,” he said. “It was my kind of golf course. Now it’s my favorite golf course.”

When someone mentioned Pebble Beach, Simson was quick with his response.

“Why play Pebble Beach when you’ve got The Preserve?” he said.

Stocker Notes: Simson was given the Sandy Tatum trophy for the low senior player at Saturday’s dinner since he was the only senior to make the cut, and he acknowledged the trophy but said he wanted that big cup on the table … Tripp Davis said the golf course broke his momentum and his run of birdies. “The twelfth and thirteenth holes played very tough and fifteen is as tough a par-4 as you’ll find,” he said … Terrence Miskell wowed the gallery on the 18th hole by making par from the hay left of the fairway. “I’ve never seen anyone get out of there,” said a member of the club … Simson admitted to some nerves after watching Miskell’s tee shot on that hole. “He hits it four miles left, and then I’ve got to hit,” he said. But Simson found the left side of the fairway with a good drive … Jeff Wilson was satisfied with third place. “This is only my second tournament of the year,” he said. “I’ve been busy.” … Simson said the land around The Preserve reminded him of home. “It’s a lot like the Smokey Mountains,” he said … Simson also predicted that the Stocker Cup will be a very hard invitation to get in the near future. “I’ll spread the word around, and so will these other players,” he said. “The Stocker Cup will be very popular, soon.”

* * *

Final results from the Stocker Cup Invitational, played at the 7067 yard, par-72 Preserve Golf Club. (Note: The top 20 A players advanced to Sunday's final round, while the 54 hole team competition concluded on Saturday)

Pos Player Club Scores
1 Paul Simson North Ridge Country Club 74-71-69-73--287
2 Tripp Davis Belmar Golf Club 73-74-71-70--288
3 Jeff Wilson Green Valley Country Club 72-75-70-73--290
4 Terrence Miskell Dos Rios Golf Club 71-73-74-73--291
5 Gene Elliott Glen Oaks Country Club 76-76-69-73--294
6 Dave Nelson Montreux Golf & C.C. 75-73-74-73--295
7 Bob Niger Serrano Country Club 78-73-75-70--296
T8 Craig Doell Victoria Golf Club 79-72-73-74--298
T8 Nick Ushijima Olympic Club 71-73-77-77--298
10 Mike Goodes Pennrose Park C.C. 75-75-73-76--299
11 Chip Lutz Pine Valley 72-76-78-74--300
T12 Jimmy Bryan Latrobe Country Club 80-72-75-74--301
T12 Kenny Weixel New Albany Country Club 73-74-76-78--301
T12 Alex Stamey Olympic Club 74-75-73-79--301
T15 Bowen Osborn Windsong Farms 77-75-75-77--304
T15 John Balfanz Stockdale Country Club 80-72-72-80--304
T16 John Pate The Valley Club 78-75-74-78--305
T16 Steve Nichols Walnut Hills Country Club 73-76-77-79--305
T16 Chris Carlson Highlands Ranch 72-77-74-82--305
20 Phil Huff Olympic Club 72-75-79-81--307


Nick Ushijima of Japan and partner Jon Reynolds of Oakland held on to win the team championship, which ended Saturday, by one stroke over the team of Simson and John Rodenburg. Ushijima and Reynolds posted a 69 for a 194 total. Simson and Rodenburg had a 64 for a 195 total. Trent Tessler and Robby Robinson tied for third at 199 with Phil Huff and Keith Anderson.
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