I am seriously living a dream this year, as the Stocker Cup win caps off the best year I’ve ever had in amateur golf. Why has this been such a break out year is what many have asked, but the answer has always been the same, I prepare for competition both mentally and physically. My putting was the hero of this event as I put myself in some very tough spots early in the final round, but always found a way to make a putt and stabilize myself. The pressure while leading an event can be excruciating, and causes your body to move quicker than is required during a golf swing, chip or putt. What I’ve worked on is a new pre-shot routine, that enables me to be in motion just prior to starting my back swing. I visualize my shot from behind the ball and swing the club in a motion that replicates the type of shot I’m trying to hit. That keeps my body fresh in remembering the motion of the shot, and is a lot easier than getting frozen over the ball to begin a golf swing.
The Preserve Golf Club was in immaculate shape, the staff at this awesome club could not have treated us any better. The course was a very difficult test as the low score both Sat and Sun was 70. The pin positions and the speedy greens made this a very good test for the strong Mid Am field that came from all over the country. George Kelley and Mary Craig have been doing such a phenomenal job with this event for 20 years now. We are lucky to have such a great event here in Northern California. The members that participated and housed many of the players, and made this event possible for many of the best Mid Amateurs in the country. A personal thank you goes to Steve and Patti Hoffman for once again having me in their wonderful home, making this one of my favorite weeks on the amateur circuit.
A special thanks goes to Kenny Howe, my caddy for the week. Kenny is a real pro, a great guy, and was spot on with virtually every putt we had over 72 holes. If your ever playing the Preserve, make sure to book Kenny well in advance!
The plan in the off season is to break down all aspects of the game, how I prepare, what foods I eat, and how to make significant improvement over the winter months while playing very few rounds. The goal is always that your best golf is ahead of you in life at any age. Through my exercise regimen I am now hitting the ball further than any time in my amateur career, which anyone can do as well if they properly prepare themselves.
Being a non-paid athlete as an amateur has it’s little perks like seeing where we are ranked on a Global basis, I have always aspired to be ranked in the top 100 in the world, but never play in the big point events held all over the country. This Stocker Cup win puts me at 101 the highest ranked player in the world over the golden age of 50. Link below will give you the up to date world ranking which Fred Solomon puts a huge amount and time and effort in and has a very comprehensive data base of events he includes in this ranking. I am not ranked as high in the other ranking services as they don’t provide points for many of the local events I compete in.
UP NEXT: How to play the best golf of your life through diet, exercise, proper coaching and mental preparedness
Official World Amateur Ranking
published 30 Oct 2011
2011 Stocker Cup Champion Randy Haag
– amateurgolf.com photo
by Scott Seward, for amateurgolf.com
CARMEL, Calif. (October 30, 2011) – It’s no surprise that the longevity and success of Randy Haag’s amateur golf career is best measured by numbers. The San Franciscan has captured low amateur honors at the British Senior Open the last two years, has won six Northern California Golf Association player-of- the-year awards, and on Sunday became the first three-time champion of the prestigious Stocker Cup Invitational.
More numbers? How about finishing at nine under par for an eight-stroke win over a talented field chasing Golfweek/amateurgolf.com World Rankings points, or being the only player to post four consecutive under-par rounds in a wire-to-wire win at the devilish and expansive Tom Fazio- de
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signed Preserve GC?
“I thought time might have passed me by for this event,” the champion said. “The field gets younger every year, and some great players come from all over the country. It’s very meaningful for me to win this. You always want to compete against the best.” Though his third overall win of the event, it was the first for Haag at the Preserve, where the event moved in 2000 after being contested at other Monterey Peninsula courses.
Haag’s only enemy is perhaps fatigue. The 52-year-old concluded a seven-day stretch of competitive golf with the final round of the Stocker Cup, and is primed for a month away from the game in November. Haag’s ball striking suffered at times over the weekend, but a hot putter allowed the Olympic Club member to post low scores. “My putter really bailed me out the last couple of days.” Haag has putted side saddle since 1997, a technique that rejuvenated his game. “It’s very different and hard to learn, but well worth it for me,” he said.
It wouldn’t have been the final round of the Stocker Cup without a charge from two- time defending champion Kevin Marsh of Henderson, Nevada. The 2005 U.S. Mid- Amateur champion started the day six strokes behind Haag (he was four behind the lead in 2010). But by the middle of the round the lead had been sliced in half, harkening to Marsh’s Stocker Cup titles in 2009 and 2010, when he came from behind in the final round. But a costly bogey on 15, where he came up short to the treacherous front hole location, coupled with a Haag birdie on the 13th ended the defending champion’s hopes of a three-peat. Haag posted a one-over 37 on the front nine – his worst performance on that nine by three strokes – and added a bogey on the 10th, but was able to close with three birdies in the last eight holes to slam the door on his pursuers. Haag had a one-stroke lead after the first round, and added to that lead after each round of the event.
Marsh would tie for second with Jerry Ledzinski of Carmel, Dan Sullivan of Pasadena (who had the low round of the day at two- under 70) and Billy Mitchell of Atlanta. Through a card-off, Ledzinski earned second place followed by Mitchell, Sullivan and Marsh.
The battle for the Tatum Trophy, for golfers aged 55 and older, was claimed by Brady Exber of Las Vegas, who claimed a share of the lead after the second round and never let go. The Southern Nevada Golf hall-of-famer cruised to a five-stroke win over Doug Pool, also of Las Vegas.