Bill Williamson (USGA photo)
CARMEL, Calif. (October 20, 2017) -- Things changed overnight in the hills above Carmel, with a rare October squall bringing just enough rain to soften the course, and just enough lingering wind to send scores higher in the second round of the Stocker Cup.
Eight players broke par in the first round but just three players, (Reid Hatley of Idaho, Timm Hamm of Texas, and Bill Williamson of Cincinnati) managed rounds under par today, both posting 1-under 71.
Williamson, a runner-up in the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur and the 2017 Crump Cup at Pine Valley, is looking to break through with victory in a major Mid-Am tournament. Williamson posted his 71 today on top of a 70 in round one to sit at 3-under for the tournament. He'll go up against Tyler Crawford of Indio, who backed up a first round 68 with a 73 today.
Before it turns into a two horse race, consider the talent giving chase -- three players tied at 1-under 143 all have serious tournament experience. Kevin Wolf of Lodi, Calif., Tim Hamm of Austin, and Reid Hatley. Hatley competed in the U.S. Amateur at Riviera in August; it is his first Stocker Cup.
First round co-leader Colby Harwell got four shots of help from his partner yesterday on the gross side, and today he got even more. Coming off an 8-under 64 on Thursday, the pair put up a 7-under 65 to lead Patrick Christovich and Andrew Rosenberg (a Preserve G.C. member) by 7 shots, at an amazing 15-under 129. As we said yesterday, the phrase "B Player" doesn't apply in the modern era of the Stocker Cup.
Harwell and Goble's 129 also leads the Net division, but they can't win both titles, so there is a close race taking shape behind them. And the funny thing is that the team in second place, (Stephen Sparolini of San Mateo and Jon Hastings of San Luis Obispo) is also ineligible for the title. That's because Jon Hastings needs to WD to represent his San Luis Obispo CC team in the final match of the NCGA Team play. Let's see. The Stocker Cup, or Team play. Hmmmm...
So the team of Daren Johnson (Covina, Calif.) and Andrew Gross of Kentfield, at 13-under 131, is setting the pace. They are trailed by Bill Williamson and partner Jerome Joondeph (Portola Valley, Calif.) at 132. Another shot back is the rare "Preserve-Preserve" member team of Curtis Abbey and Mark House, who stand at 11-under 133. House, known for his tactical analysis of the tricky Preserve greens, helped Abbey with the hardest putt on the course today.
Facing a steep downhill 40-footer for par on No. 15, House pointed to a spot, Abbey hit it, and the putt went in. Next stop, the middle of the fairway 50 yards out. But the hole got in the way.
Jack Peat, a Preserve member (partnered with Kyle Rector of San Diego) playing in the group with Abbey and House, couldn't believe what he saw. Not only was the putt amazing but the celebration was even better.
"He spiked his hat like a touchdown in the end zone, and shed his shirt, like he hit a walk off home run," said Peat.
The players standing on the 16th tee shouted down that it was the best putt they had ever seen in their life. Nice work Curtis.
ABOUT THE Stocker Cup
The Stocker Cup was founded in 1991 to honor
memory of Peter Stocker. Peter and his
Harlan and John Montgomery founded San
Pacific Union Company, a highly successful real
development company. The firm initiated the
development of The Santa Lucia Preserve, a
acre residential and golf community located
Carmel. Meandering through the winding road
Preserve's centerpiece -- the top-100 rated golf
course -- has been described as "driving
through a California postcard." The Stocker Cup
was played from 1991 to 1999 at Pebble Beach
surrounding golf courses, before moving to the
Fazio and Sandy Tatum designed Preserve G.C.
words of former USGA President Tatum: "Peter
Stocker was the quintessential amateur golfer.
loved golf with a passion. He would have loved
simultaneous best-ball event, similar to the
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Invited Mid-
players are either paired with a single digit
can propose their own partner to be introduced
invited by the Committee.
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