CARMEL, Calif. (October 25, 2012) - David Nelson of Reno, NV has staked a three-shot lead after the first round of the 21st annual Stocker Cup at The Preserve GC.
The new grandfather – daughter Kassia recently gave birth to his first grandson – posted a 68. The Montreux member has the course record at the difficult Tom Fazio-designed Preserve GC, a 65 produced during the 2004 Stocker Cup. Thursday’s hot round came on the power of seven birdies, including a kick-in three on no. 10 to start the tournament (Nelson began on the back nine). “It’s always nice to hit a quality shot and get rewarded,” the 56-year-old said. A double bogey on no. 1 was perhaps the only blemish on the day. But the four-time Nevada State Amateur champion recovered to post three additional birdies to close out the round.
Two-time champion Kevin Marsh of Henderson, Nevada and Tal Tartaglia of Reedley lie in second place. Marsh, the current California State Amateur champion, carded five birdies against four bogeys in producing his one-under 71. “The course is softer so the greens aren’t as tricky as they normally are,” the 39-year-old said. “But you have to be careful. This is a four-round marathon and it’s nice to get off to a good start.”
Tartaglia earned his spot in the field via a co-medalist performance at a qualifier held at StoneTree GC.
Nelson has the lead in the race for the Tatum Cup, for "A" golfers aged 55 and older while Bob Burton of Scottsdale, AZ is in second. Burton carded an even-par 72, a score that led most of the day. “I’m very happy,” the Estancia Club member said. I made a couple of putts and didn’t have any big numbers like you can have out here.”
Burton is also tied for third in the overall standings with Robert Funk of Canyon Lake, CA.
Martin Connolly of The Olympic Club, Mike Machette of Claremont CC and Dan Kreer of Corral de Tierra have the lead in 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. Connolly and partner Steve Fink of Las Vegas, Machette and partner Greg Kennedy and Kreer and partner David Nelson carded net best-ball 64s. The Elliot Trophy is presented after Saturday's third round.
The second round commences Friday with starting times beginning at 9:00 a.m. The top 16 "A" players and ties along with the top 4 senior players advance to the final round on Sunday.
• The four most recent champions are in the field, representing eight of the 20 past Stocker Cups. All four are in the running including Marsh (2009-2010), Joe Sanders (2008) and Craig Doell (2004 and 2007) who both shot 74, and Randy Haag (1992, 1997 and 2011) who carded a 75
• Two seniors are in the top five on the leader board, including David Nelson and Bob Burton.
• San Luis Obispo's Straight Down is back for the third year providing custom-embroidered clothing for the tournament field.