Geoff Gonzalez (AmateurGolf.com Photo)
Geoff Gonzalez of San Jose, Calif., followed up his first-round 3-under 69 with a second-round scorching 6-under 66 at the 2023 Stocker Cup Invitational at the Preserve Golf Club to take a two-shot lead into the final round.
He started off slow, with a double bogey on No. 2, but a birdie on No.3 and an eagle on No. 4 got him right back on track to shoot 5-under through the next 14 holes.
The Cal Poly graduate is a member of the Preserve Golf Club.
Colby Harwell of San Antonio, Tex., and Jimmy Castles of Cupertino, Calif. are T2 at 7-under heading into the final round.
2021 and 2022 champion Michael Jensen sits four shots back of Gonzalez in fourth place at 5-under.
Gonzalez and his partner Kyle Robinson are also tied for first place in the team gross competition at 10-under with Rusty Mosley and Tommy Branch and Brian Blanchard and Colby Thiele.
In the net team competition, Rusty Mosley and Tommy Branch lead by four shots at 20-under.
FIRST ROUND RECAP
Legendary amateur golfer, Tim Jackson of Tennessee, used to play in The Stocker Cup.
After his first round at the Tom Fazio course located high above Carmel in a 20,000 acre nature preserve, he summed up his feelings about the greens in one sentence.
"I've played faster, and more undulating greens than these only once," he said. "At Augusta National."
In today's opening round things were no different than when the course -- co-founded by tournament namesake Peter Stocker -- opened for play in 2000. The fairways have been changed to a drought-tolerant bermuda hybrid, and they are flawless. And the greens are as close to that famous Georgia course as most of us will ever get.
One of today's co-leaders, Nick Randazzo, just returned from a two-day jaunt to Augusta. It should come as no surprise that he found The Preserve greens to his liking.
Randazzo (of Monterey) posted 3-under 69 and shares the round one lead with Preserve Member Geoff Gonzales, and Brian Blanchard of Arizona. They are trailed by a half dozen players at 2-under 70. And that group includes two-time defending champ Michael Jensen and multiple-time winner John Sawin.
It's going to be a fun final 36 holes. We will have an update on Friday, and a complete recap posted after Saturday's final round.
The 2023 Stocker Cup Invitational will feature Michael Jensen
looking to accomplish something that no one has before him.
Win three Stocker Cups in a row.
Jensen will look to become the third player to win the Stocker Cup three times. Jensen won in 2021 and 2022. Randy Haag
(1992, 1997, 2011) and Kevin Marsh
(2009, 2010, 2012) have won the Cup three times, but neither won three in a row.
Two-time winners Joseph Deraney
(2016, 2019) and John Sawin
(2013, 2018) will also look to join the list of three-time winners.
Nine-time PGA Tour winner Brandt Snedeker won the 2003 Stocker Cup.
The 31st edition of the Stocker Cup, which honors the memory of Peter Stocker, a real estate developer who was one of the partners behind the creation of Santa Lucia Preserve, will be held October 19-21.
The full list of competitors, including rankings results and biographies, can be found at: Stocker Cup Participants
The 54-hole individual competition features a simultaneous best-ball event, similar to the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. The 48 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.
ABOUT THE PRESERVE GOLF CLUB
The Preserve Golf Club is located within the Santa Lucia Preserve, a private community of only 297 home sites situated on 20,000 acres. Located on the southern ridge of Carmel Valley, the course reflects the contours of the natural terrain surrounding it: The Santa Lucia Mountains, mature oaks, grassy meadows, and flowing streams.
In typical Fazio fashion, there are plenty of strategically placed deep bunkers, fast greens, and challenging approach shots. The Santa Lucia Preserve is the only community in America with a perpetually endowed 18,000-acre nature conservancy.
In the heart of the Monterey Peninsula, The Santa Lucia Preserve provides its residents and members with a range of recreational opportunities second to none while offering a unique ethos of community, culture, and conservation.
For additional information on The Preserve Golf Club or Santa Lucia Preserve, access the website at santaluciapreserve.com
ABOUT THE Stocker Cup
The Stocker Cup was founded in 1991 to
memory of Peter Stocker. Peter and his
Harlan and John Montgomery founded San
Pacific Union Company, a highly successful
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
course -- has been described as "driving
through a California postcard." The Stocker
was played from 1991 to 1999 at Pebble
surrounding golf courses, before moving to
Fazio and Sandy Tatum designed Preserve
words of former USGA President Tatum:
Stocker was the quintessential amateur golfer.
loved golf with a passion. He would have
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
invited by the Committee.
View Complete Tournament Information