2016 Stocker Cup Gets Underway Thursday

CARMEL, CA (October 8, 2016) — October 20-22 will mark the 25th playing of the Stocker Cup, played in memory of real estate developer Peter Stocker. Brady Exber of Las Vegas is back, and looking for his third consecutive title at The Preserve Golf Club, which will once again be the host course.

Located in a 20,000 acre nature preserve high above Carmel (while still holding a Carmel address) The Preserve Golf Club is a par-72 layout designed by Tom Fazio and Sandy Tatum that plays at 7,067 yards from the back tees. The tournament features two simultaneous competitions: An individual championship with 50 of the country’s top Mid-Am golfers, and a gross and net team competition pairing those same golfers with 50 avid golfers in a format similar to the PGA Tour’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. The B players include friends of Peter Stocker and the Stocker family, invited friends of A players, as well as Preserve Golf Club members — many of whom graciously share their homes with their partners. Wednesday, October 19th is the official practice round day at The Preserve, as well as the day of the “Friends of Peter Stocker” outing played at Quail Lodge Golf Club.

Ten Players to watch follow. Click on any of their names to view a detailed profile.

Jason Anthony (Fairfield, CA): Making his fourth-straight appearance in the Stocker Cup, the Californian placed T4 the last two years, and won the 2015 gross team title at 18-under with his father Jack (who, by the way, made five birdies on the front nine in the final round). Anthony is a USGA-seasoned player who advanced to the round- of-16 at the 2016 U.S. Mid-Am and just recently qualified for the 2017 USGA Four-Ball with Randy Haag.

Patrick Christovich (New Orleans, LA): Making his first appearance in the Stocker Cup, Christovich comes in as the 21st ranked player in the AmateurGolf.com Mid-Am Rankings. So far this year Christovich has finished inside the top-10 four-times in individual events. His best 2016 individual finish to date is a tie for fourth at the Lupton Invitational. The highlight of his season was making a run to the semifinals of the USGA Four-Ball, where he and partner Garrett Rank (Canada) lost a nail-biter to the eventual winners in the semifinals. The match was nationally broadcasted on Fox Sports. In 2014 and 2016 Christovich represented the USA at the Concession Cup.

Joseph Deraney (Nashville, TN): It has been a banner year for Deraney, a wire-to wire winner at the prestigious Lupton Invitational at The Honors Course in Tennessee in May. Prior to winning that title, Deraney captured the Timuquana Cup title the first weekend of the same month. Deraney, the seventh ranked AmateurGolf.com Mid-Am player, has also won the Kentucky Mid-Amateur, finished runner-up at the Tennessee Mid-Am and tied for fourth at the Canadian Mid-Am — all in 2016. He’s got to be on anyone’s short list of favorites to contend for the 2016 Stocker Cup title.

Gene Elliott (West Des Moines, IA): The winner of the “Tatum Cup” for low senior in the 2015 Stocker Cup also seriously contended for the overall title, finishing T2 at 4-under. He’s had another great year in 2016, finishing T2 in the Coleman Invitational, and qualifying for the U.S. Senior Open. Elliott continues to dominate the tournament circuit in Iowa, where he won both the Senior Match Play and Stroke Play tournaments this year, as well as partnering with pal Mike McCoy to win the Iowa Four-Ball. Perhaps most impressive is Elliott’s ability to compete with the “kids” — he finished T33 against a mostly Division I collegiate field at the prestigious Porter Cup in July.

Brady Exber (Las Vegas, NV): Nobody has had more recent success at the Stocker Cup then Exber. Since 2006 Exber has finished inside the top-20 every year and has won the last two years — at two different courses no less! Exber has yet to win a ranking event in 2016, but he has a few notable finishes, including a tie for second at the British Senior Amateur and a tie for third at the Canadian Senior Stroke Play. A member of the 2016 US Concession Cup team, Exber shares the seventh spot in the AmateurGolf.com Mid-Am Rankings with Deraney.

Chip Lutz (Reading, PA): Ranked fifth in the AmateurGolf.com Senior Rankings, the 2015 U.S. Senior Amateur champion proved he can compete on both sides of the pond, by capturing the 2016 British Senior Amateur. The way he did it was nothing short of spectacular. In a thrilling finale, Lutz, fellow American Brady Exber (our two-time defending champ) and Scotland’s Graham Bell (yes, that’s his name) were forced to sudden-death after finishing the 54-holes tied. Lutz ended things quickly, holing a 25-foot putt at Formby Golf Club to claim the title. Lutz last played the Stocker Cup in 2006, when he placed T11.

Bowen Osborn (Burbank, CA): There are many players in the Stocker Cup field who have won a state amateur title. But how many have done so in different states? Osborn won the 2002 State Amateur in his home state of Minnesota, then captured the 2011 Arizona Amateur, which he calls the highlight of his golf career (so far). In 2016, Osborn finished runner-up at the Timuquana Cup in Jacksonville, then qualified for the U.S. Amateur, firing 142 at the challenging Pauma Valley Golf Club in Southern California.

John Sawin (San Francisco, CA): The 2013 Stocker Cup winner is finding his form just in time for the 2016 edition, having recently finished runner-up at the prestigious Crump Cup, a tournament that draws the top Mid-Ams in the world to Pine Valley. Sawin also picked up top-15 finishes at the Coleman Invitational and George C. Thomas Invitational earlier this season. In 2015 he won the Walter J. Travis Invitational and in the last four years he has qualified for three USGA events. Sawin has won multiple club championships at both San Francisco Golf Club (3) and Merion Golf Club (5). Not bad!

Charles Waddell (Chicago, IL) – A second-year player who will look to build on the experience he gained at the Preserve in 2015. Like Joseph Deraney, Waddell has captured recent Lupton Invitational (2015) and Timuquana Cup (2014) titles. He is also one of the two players (Bowen Osborn is the other) in the field that qualified for the 2016 U.S. Amateur, a feat in itself. (Chip Lutz had an exemption, but was busy playing the Monday final round at the U.S. Senior Open and couldn’t play)

Brad Wilder (Fort Wright, KY) – Wilder, one of the most consistent performers at the Stocker Cup over the past 10 years, is still looking for his first title. He has finished inside the top-10 at the Stocker Cup six of the last seven years, and recorded two runner-up finishes, a T2 in 2015, and solo second in 2010. This year, his golf swing graced the USGA website for almost a full day after he shot 67 to pace early qualifiers at the U.S. Mid-Am, where he advanced to match play. In 2015, his “Masters dreams” stayed alive at the same event well through the week — he advanced all the way to the semifinals. His match play skills were again on display this year at the Walter J. Travis Invitational in New York, where he finished runner-up.

You can find a full list of A players on the Contestants page.

Brady Exber wins back-to-back

CARMEL, Calif. – Brady Exber wanted that asterisk gone. exber-champThe 2015 Stocker Cup champion came into the event with the motivation to capture the tile at the event’s home course, The Preserve GC in Carmel.

“Winning last year at Sonoma was great, and I had a great year,” Exber said. “But there’s an asterisk when you win at a different course.”

Indeed, the Stocker Cup returned to the Tom Fazio design in the hills above Carmel after a year’s absence, and perhaps the tournament’s strongest field came with it.

Exber had been a perennial contender in Stocker Cups past, and in fact won the Tatum Trophy – presented to the player over 50 with the lowest score – four times, but finally broke through with the championship last year.

He tore into the final round looking to repeat the title, making birdie on the opening three holes. “I felt someone else was playing golf in my body,” the champion said of his hot start.

After his second shot landed up against a divot on No.5, Exber made bogey. His round became something of a grind then as he played even-par golf for the next 12 holes.

Coming up the final hole, the seven-time Southern Nevada Golf Association player of the year thought he needed a little more to pull away. “I was in the fairway thinking I might need birdie,” he said. “So I didn’t want to be too safe.” Exber’s approach was short, and his chip left a little too much work to make par. His third bogey of the round (and only seventh overall for the event) mattered not. He won by three shots. Exber was the only player in red numbers in all three rounds.

Exber became the first repeat champion since 2009-10 (Kevin Marsh). The champion won in wire-to-wire fashion in 2014. Except for being out of the lead after the first round in 2015 – Brad Wilder held that advantage – Exber has held the lead in the past five of six Stocker Cup rounds. At age 59.

“For me to win a mid-am event (for players aged 25 and older) with the great players here….it’s a huge thrill,” the TPC Summerlin member said.

Gene Elliot of Glen Oaks CC and first-round leader Brad Wilder tied for second. Elliot earned the Tatum Award for the low senior in the event. Elliot had the low round of the tournament, a second-round, 6-under 66.

TEAM GROSS EVENT anthonys

Jason and Jack Anthony held onto their second-round lead to capture the team gross championship. The father-son duo posted a 198 total, powered by a final-round 65 that matched their second round. Jason Anthony has been a factor in NCGA events for years, but it was his father that drive the team early in the final round, making five birdies to card a stellar 31 on the front nine. (Jason and Jack are pictured right with tournament chairman George Kelley and Erik Stocker).

“I didn’t hit the ball very well yesterday so my son gave me a tip and it made a big difference,” the elder Anthony said. And the magic tip that would produce a 31 on the stout Tom Fazio-designed Preserve GC: “Drop it in the slot.”

Exber and partner Dusty Allen took second with a 203 total. Third went to Brad Wilder of Valhalla GC in Louisville and Nick Fezcko of Sharon Woods in Cincinnati at 206.

TEAM NET EVENT pete-jerry

The team of Jerry Ledzinski of Monterey Peninsula CC and AmateurGolf.com’s Pete Wlodkowski captured the team net event with a 195 total. Tyler Crawford and Brandt Kuhn of the Plantation GC took second, two back of the champions while Mark Sear and Michael Lebbin of Los Angeles CC took third.

Defending champion Brady Exber takes lead after the second round of the Stocker Cup

exberCARMEL, Calif. – Defending champion Brady Exber has taken the lead after the second round of the Stocker Cup at The Preserve GC.

Exber, who plays out of TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas, carded a 4-under 68 highlighted by six birdies. Exber, who was a perennial contender in the Stocker Cup before breaking through with his first win last year at Sonoma GC, stands at 6-under total.

Exber is being chased by Tyler Crawford of The Plantation Club and Jerry Ledzinski of Monterey Peninsula CC, who are one back. Two shots back are first-round leader Brad Wilder of Valhalla GC and Jason Anthony of Green Valley GC.

Past champion Craig Doell had perhaps the shot of the day, making double eagle on the par-5 10th hole.

TEAM GROSS EVENT

Jason and Jack Anthony grabbed the lead in the team gross event, a best-ball tournament. The Anthonys stand at 133 after a 7-under 65 today.

Craig Doell and Erik Stocker (Peter Stocker’s son), Jerry Ledzinski and AmateurGolf.com’s Pete Wlodkowski and Brady Exber and Dusty Allen are one stroke back.

TEAM NET EVENT

The Anthonys are tied with Ledzinski and Wlodkowski in the net event, and best-ball using handicaps. The low score is 14-under 130. Four teams are one back setting up a tight final round.

The Olympic Club’s Sam Nunes had a run any player would dream of, making natural birdies on Nos. 3,6,7 and 8 on the front nine. Toss in two other net birdies against one bogey, and the 5-handicapper carded an impressive net 31.

Eagle usually yields a skin, but not at the 2015 Stocker Cup. There were also two 2s made on No. 7, a short par 4.