Stocker Cup: Michael Jensen wins the 29th edition in a playoff
23 Oct 2021
by Pete Wlodkowski of

see also: View results for Stocker Cup, The Preserve Golf Club, Michael Jensen Profile

2021 Champion Michael Jensen (left) with Tatum Cup winner Bryan Hoops
2021 Champion Michael Jensen (left) with Tatum Cup winner Bryan Hoops

In 28 years of competition, The Stocker Cup has never required extra holes to crown a champion. But that all changed this year, as a small gallery surrounding the 18th green was treated to the best finish in tournament history.

It all started with Michael Jensen, one of three co-leaders heading into today's final round. Jensen, a former standout golfer at Cal Berkeley, is enjoying more starts on the amateur circuit and his game is in top form. He was tied with Jason Anthony at 6-under when his approach shot to No. 18 left him facing a slick 20-foot downhill putt, With a treacherous Sunday pin, it was the kind of putt that could easily run past the hole and off the green, leaving a 40-foot pitch as you might see at Augusta National.

But Jensen, working a new "saw" grip that had him holing his share of putts this week, wisely allowed the putt to roll end-over-end until its final revolution rolled in like Tiger's famous chip-in at No. 16 in the Masters.

"The last 6-feet, it just starts to get faster," said Jensen of his final putt. "I was just trying to roll it down there for a tap-in."

When the putt went in, the crowd erupted, thinking that a Stocker Cup champion had been crowned. But Jason Anthony, one of the top mid-amateurs in the country, was in the final group still on the course and had other ideas.

Anthony, standing at 4-under on the tournament on the par-5 17th, made eagle on 17 to get to 6-under and turned it into a nail-biter. As Golf Genius showed the updated scores, the gallery around the 18th green got more interested. Anthony, playing with his father Jack as his B-player partner, did not disappoint. He left his approach shot pin-high left, with about 15 feet between him and an eagle-birdie finish.

As if on command, he dropped the putt, the crowd got electric, and it was on to sudden-death with both Jensen and Anthony tied at 7-under-par.

The 18th hole at The Preserve is a gorgeous dogleg-left with a fairly daunting bunker guarding the left side of the fairway. Many players can carry it, but the safe play is out to the right. Anthony's drive was spot on, carrying that bunker and leaving him a short iron to the green. Jensen was in the hay to the right of the fairway but managed to get enough club on his ball to be positioned on the steep fringe in front of the green.

Anthony, with adrenaline flowing, fired his approach shot right over the pin, but it carried too far and left him with a very difficult 35-foot putt. After Jensen putted up the steep slope to within 3-feet, Anthony tried to nurse his putt close, but left it 10 feet short and missed, setting the stage for Jensen to try that saw grip one more time and make the 3-footer for the win.

"I know Jason well," said Jensen of his opponent. "We have played amateur golf together in tournaments like the Santa Clara County in the final group, and he's a tough competitor."

Pete Wlodkowski (AG, far left) with George Kelley, champion Michael Jensen, and Erik Stocker

Defending champ Joe Deraney of Mississippi did his best to keep his hands on the trophy, firing 6-under for the tournament to finish alone in third place. Bryan Hoops of Arizona, one of the co-leaders heading into today's final round, finished tied for fourth with Bryan Blanchard (also of Arizona) at 5-under. Hoops, 52, took home the Tatum Cup trophy for low player over age 50.

Tournament co-chairman Erik Stocker (left) with Tatum Cup winner Bryan Hoops, Dan Hoops, and co-chairman George Kelley (far right)


After Bill Williamson and partner Paul Favorito posted a tournament-record 11-under 61 in the first round and followed it up with a 6-under 66 in round two, nobody thought they were going to let another team have a chance in the final round. Sitting 4-strokes in front, Williamson and Favorito sealed the gross title with a 7-under 65 in the final round, scoring 24-under for the championship. Adam Harrington and Mike Fritz of Portland, Oregon took second at 15-under, Tug Maude and Richard Tuohey took third at 14-under.

Team Gross champions Paul Favorito (L) and Billy Williamson

In the Net team competition, Brian Blanchard and Colby Thiele won a card-off over Rusty Mosley and Tommy Branch of Georgia after both teams tied at 30-under. John Sawin and Mark Flynn took third at 24-under.

Team Net co-champions (L to R) Colby Thiele & Brian Blanchard and Tommy Branch & Rusty Mosley

The Stocker Cup committee was pleased to be back at the wonderful Preserve Golf Club after a one-year hiatus due to Covid.

Special thanks to Riley Ramones, Preserve head professional, and his entire staff as well as The Preserve agronomy, food and beverage, and everyone else that makes The Preserve hospitality so legendary. A debt of gratitude to the Northern California Golf Association for administering the competition, to Straight Down for providing amazing embroidered tee gifts to all players, and to Seaside Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM who loaned us the amazing Jeep Grand Cherokees to shuttle players to the 10th tee. A final note of thanks to The Preserve members who provided lodging for many players, and gave up their course all week for this event.

Results: Stocker Cup
1CAMichael JensenSan Francisco, CA40066-71-72=209
2CAJason AnthonyFairfield, CA30067-70-72=209
3MSJoseph DeraneyBelden, MS20073-67-70=210
T4AZBrian BlanchardTempe, AZ20067-76-68=211
T4AZBryan HoopsChandler, AZ20067-70-74=211

View full results for Stocker Cup

ABOUT THE Stocker Cup

The Stocker Cup was founded in 1991 to honor the memory of Peter Stocker. Peter and his partners Bill Harlan and John Montgomery founded San Francisco's Pacific Union Company, a highly successful real estate development company. The firm initiated the development of The Santa Lucia Preserve, a 20,000 acre residential and golf community located above Carmel. Meandering through the winding road to The 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 and its surrounding golf courses, before moving to the Tom Fazio and Sandy Tatum designed Preserve G.C. In the words of former USGA President Tatum: "Peter Stocker was the quintessential amateur golfer. He loved golf with a passion. He would have loved this tournament."

54-hole individual competition with a simultaneous best-ball event, similar to the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Invited Mid- Amateur players are either paired with a single digit amateur or can propose their own partner to be introduced and invited by the Committee. 

View Complete Tournament Information

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