STOCKER CUP INVITATIONAL

October 21-24, 2014 | Sonoma Golf Club | Sonoma, California

STOCKER CUP INVITATIONAL

October 21-24, 2014 | Sonoma Golf Club | Sonoma, California

Final Day Recap: Exber completes wire-to-wire victory at 2014 Stocker Cup

36-hole leader Brady Exber

SONOMA, Calif. (October 24, 2014) — The temperatures stayed high for the final round of the 2014 Stocker Cup, but the scores once again came down, and in the end a playoff was needed between Brady Exber and Herbie Aikens to crown a champion. When the dust settled, Exber completed a wire-to-wire victory with a par on the 1st playoff hole. In was a late charge by Aikens, who had 5 birdies and 3 bogeys in a final round 70, which looked like it might be enough to give him the championship, after Exber missed his tee-shot on the final hole of regulation to the right of the fairway. Although his line to the green was obstructed by some trees, he was able to hit a small cut around the trees and found his ball in the rough left of the green. With the hole location on the same side, he faced a difficult shot that he had to get up and down. “I feel like I have a solid short game, so I thought I could get it up and down” Exber stated, adding, “I got it to within 5-feet of the hole and then called in my partner (Jim Fisher) to confirm the read, and then I knocked it in the middle of the hole.” It wasn’t Exber’s best golf in round 3, as he missed a short put on the 11th and stood in the middle of the 16th fairway a couple over for the day, that was when he hit what he feels was the shot of the tournament, a 3-wood from 274 yards that finished just through the green where he was able to get down in 2 for a birdie. “That’s a big 3-wood for me, really on my limit, but I nailed it and it’s a shot I’ll remember for a long time” he stated after the round. In the playoff, both players found the fairway and Aikens hit his approach first, to about 25 feet. Exber followed with a little pitching wedge from 104 yards that stopped just 10 feet away from the cup. Aikens then got a little bold with his putt and rolled it 5 feet past the hole, but when Exber missed his birdie, it looked like the playoff would go to a 2nd hole. That wasn’t needed, as Aikens’ par attempt slid by the hole giving the title to Exber and giving him a fantastic year of tournament victories. It was Exber’s first time playing Sonoma Golf Club and he came away impressed, especially with the par-3′s, on which he made 4 birdies over the 3 rounds. “I’m really happy, there are some great names on that trophy and the guys that were here are really good” he said in closing. Defending champion John Sawin got the round of the day with an impressive score of 68.

Team Competition

It was a clean sweep, as Exber and Fisher took home the low net championship with an epic 199 total. Fisher was the glue that held the team together in the final round, firing an even-par 72 on his own ball to outplay his A partner. Bryan Hoops and Chris Strahan took home the gross title with a 204 total.

In the senior championship, Jeff Wilson didn’t have his best on the final day, but it was good enough to give him the title after rounds of 74, 69, 74.

There was also a 1-day stableford event for the B players that failed to make the cut, and in the gross division, John Nichols took home the title with a 30-point total, while Jerome Joodeph did 10 points better to take home the net division with 40 points.

It was a good day for Sonoma Golf Club members when it came to skins, with Mike Parnow walking away with a skin for birdie on the 1st hole, while Ryan Snow picked up his 2nd skin of the week with a birdie 2 on the 14th hole.

Exber takes 3 shot lead into the final round at the Stocker Cup

36-hole leader Brady ExberSONOMA, Calif. (October 23, 2014) — Calm conditions at day one of the Stocker Cup brought the average score down and led to a few more under par rounds than day one, but when the dust settled, no one could overtake first round leader Brady Exber, (Las Vegas) who carded an even-par 72 which he described as “scruffy” to sit atop the leaderboard with a 140 total. The biggest move of the day came from Green Valley’s Jeff Wilson, who carded a great 69 to move into 2nd place with a 143 along with Herbie Aikens who carded a 2nd round 73. The popular 145 number (1-over) sees both Nick Ushijima of Japan and Brad Wilder of Kentucky (who each had 71’s) plus Jerry Ledzinski of Carmel and Steve Schroeder who resides in Lake Tahoe. Other under-par rounds in the 2nd round belonged to Edward Sanchez and Joe Sanders, who each carded 70’s and defending champion John Sawin and Jason Anthony with 71’s.

TEAM COMPETITION.

In the Team competition, Exber and his partner Jim Fisher lead both the net and gross divisions, with a score of 124 and 132 respectively. This gives them a 3-shot lead in the net over the team of Bryan Hoops and Chris Strahan after their rounds of 67 – 60. Ushijima and his partner Andrew Doll round out the top-3 in the net with a 64-64 total. Sitting in 2nd place in the gross is Jerry Ledzinski and Pete Wlodkowski with a 132 total; highlighted by Wlodkowski’s chip-in eagle 3 on No. 16. “I hit it to 10 feet there yesterday and missed it, so it was nice to chip in today, that hole really fits my eye,” said the AmateurGolf.com founder. It was the back-9, which the duo played first, where they tore it up with a 30. Warren Vickers and Jim Marsh combined for a 136 total for 3rd while Shane Sigsbee and Erik Stocker sit in 4th with a 138 total. .

On the skins side of things, only one skin was won in the 2nd round and that went to Ledzinski with a birdie on the difficult par-4 15th.

The team cut fell at 134 and ties for the net division and 140 and ties in the gross division. B Players not making the cut will play a 1-day stableford event on Friday. .

Story by Rich Davison, for AmateurGolf.com

Brady Exber fires 68, takes first round lead at 2014 Stocker Cup

Brady-Exber-StockerIt has been almost 20 years since the Stocker Cup was first played at the Sonoma Golf Club in Sonoma, California. This year’s event has returned to the gorgeous Wine Country setting, on a 1923 Sam Whiting layout that winds through old growth oak trees with vineyards all around the perimeter. And once again the tournament honoring Peter Stocker brings some of the top amateurs from around the country to the West Coast to compete in a unique A and B player format.

Clear skies and light breezes greeted the players on day one and no one took better advantage than Brady Exber, of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Exber got off to a fantastic start by making birdies on four of his first five holes, and adding another at the 11th and another at the difficult par-3 14th, before making his only mistake of the day with a double-bogey on the tough dogleg right 15th. It’s a continuation of a dream season for Exber — a member of the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame — as he has taken top honors at the British Senior Amateur, along with winning his 4th straight Azalea Senior Amateur and following that up with a victory at the Yeamans Hall Invitational a week later.

Two shots back of Exber was the duo of Jerry Ledzinski and Herbie Aikens with their fine rounds of 70. Ledzinski, who finished T- 2 at the 2011 Stocker Cup, played a very steady 16 par and 2 birdie round, while Aikens’ round was highlighted by an eagle 3 on the par-5 16th. San Rafael’s Kevin Kobalter was the remaining under-par round with a 1-under 71 that included a bogey on the always difficult par-3 4th, offset by birdies on the 9th and 13th.

TEAM COMPETITION

On the team side of things, Exber and his partner, Santa Rosa’s Jim Fisher, along with Sonoma Golf Club member Mark Mance and his partner Scott Clark and Hillsborough’s Nick Ushijima and Andrew Doll all matched cards with Net 64′s, giving them all a piece of the lead after day 1. The field is tightly bunched however, as more than a dozen teams are within 4-shots of the lead including the always dangerous duo of Jeff Wilson and George Kelley. It was Sonoma Golf Club that Wilson played in the first round of qualifying for the 2000 US Open, before making it on the number and eventually being low amateur at Pebble Beach.

The shot of the day belonged to Sonoma Golf Club member, Ryan Snow. Snow, who recently won the Sonoma Golf Club stroke- play club championship, was heading to his last hole, the short uphill par-4 9th, sitting at 8-over par on the tee when he realized his B player partner Michael Ahern was tied with him gross. “”I better do something (on here or my B player is going to beat me,” Snow lamented then proceeded to drive into the fairway and hole his 56 degree wedge from 86 yards for an eagle-2. That eagle was good enough for one of just two skins that went out on the day, the other going to Aikens and his partner Casey Cowell for an eagle on the 16th. With all players “opting in” to the skins game, those four have a little spending money.

NOTE: Story by Rich Davison, for AmateurGolf.com. Results and Thursday pairings are available by clicking “pairings and results”