Joe Deraney captures 25th Stocker Cup

Champion Joe Deraney (left) and his partner Drew Kitchen
Champion Joe Deraney (left) and his partner Drew Kitchen
CARMEL, Calif. (Oct. 22, 2016)

Joe Deraney capped a tremendous 2016 with his fourth victory of the year in claiming the 25th Annual Stocker Cup.

Deraney, 33, seized control of the 54-hole championship with an opening-round 68. Two even-par rounds followed for a 212 total. The champion was the only player to equal or break par in all three rounds.

“I’ve been playing solid,” the champion said. “And winning brings confidence. But even more importantly, just getting into the mix teaches me how my game is going to respond, how my nerves will feel.”

Deraney’s win follows victories in the Lupton Invitational, the Timuquana Cup and the Kentucky Mid-Amateur. It is The Nashville resident’s second year competing as a mid-amateur and his second time competing in the Stocker Cup.

“I’ve been able to get of to good starts,” Deraney said, attesting to his opening 68, the second low round of the event. “My bad shots aren’t that bad.” Indeed, the champion would go 13-under over 54 holes against seven bogeys and one double bogey. He next heads to the Crane Cup in Florida brimming with confidence.

John Sawin of San Francisco finished one back. Sawin is a past champion (2013), and a consistent tournament, book-ending a one-over 73 with two-under rounds of 70 for a 213 total.

Andy McCabe of Dallas and second round co-leader Steve Hudson of Birmingham, Alabama finished in third, three strokes back. The 58-year-old Hudson won the Tatum Cup, award to the low senior player.

Two-time defending champion Brady Exber posted a hot 3-under 69 in the second round, but was unable to duplicate that efforts in rounds one and three, finishing eight shots behind the champion.

The Stocker Cup also has concurrent team gross and net events, and the low gross team champions are awarded the Elliot Cup. “A” player Brian Harris and partner John Brellenthin carded a final round 64 for a -18 total and a three-shot victory. Steve Hudson and Lawrence Field were second.

The team net event was won by Robert Funk and Craig Kalinowski, who posted a net 20-under 196.

The Preserve Golf Club has hosted the championship for most of its existence. Located in a 20,000-acre nature preserve high above Carmel, the course 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 GC members — many of whom graciously share their homes with their partners.