The Washington State Golf Association (WSGA) has announced the team that will represent Washington State in the 11th USGA Men’s State Team Championship, to be held at the French Lick Resort’s Pete Dye Course in French Lick, Ind. from September 30 to October 2, 2014. The players were selected based on their standings on the WSGA Performance Points List, compiled over the last two years (August 2012 – August 2014).
Tom Brandes of Bellevue, Wash. is making his third trip to the USGA Men’s State Team Championship. Brandes made the team in 2012, and participated in the inaugural playing of the championship in 1995 at Lake Nona Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. Brandes has continued his dominance in the region’s amateur competitions the past two years. He took home the titles in the 2012 PNGA Mid-Amateur Championship, the 2012 WSGA Mid-Amateur Championship and the 2012 and 2013 WSGA Senior Men’s Amateur championships. Brandes finished runner-up in the 2013 British Senior Amateur Championship, along with runner-up finishes in the 2014 PNGA Men’s Master-40 Amateur Championship, the 2013 WSGA Mid-Amateur Championship, and the WSGA Senior Champion of Champions. Brandes also qualified for the U.S. Senior Open Championship in 2013 and 2014.
Brandes’ unparalleled excellence in Pacific Northwest and Washington State amateur golf was recognized, as he was awarded the WSGA Senior Men’s Player of the Year and the PNGA Senior Men’s Player of the Year in 2013.
Joining Brandes in representing Washington State is Mike Haack of Bellevue, Wash. Haack also played on the 2010 and 2012 Washington teams and finished 14th overall individual in his last appearance. His titles include the 2013 and 2014 Washington State Champion of Champions. Haack has five other top-5 finishes in the past two years, including the 2013 Oregon Open, the 2013 PNGA Mid-Amateur Championship, the 2014 Washington Open, the 2014 Oregon Open Invitational, and the 2013 Washington State Mid-Amateur Championship. Other accomplishments include qualifying for the 2013 U.S. Amateur Championship.
Haack was honored for his strong play with the WSGA Men’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year title in 2013.
Erik Hanson of Kirkland, Wash. rounds out the 2014 Roster, re-joining his 2010 teammate Haack. Hanson has accumulated an impressive resumé in the past two years, piling up six major top-5 finishes. He finished runner-up in the 2013 Washington Open and the 2013 Seattle Amateur Championship, and finished in the top-5 in the 2012 and 2013 Washington State Mid-Amateur championships, the 2014 Pacific Northwest Men’s Master-40, and the 2013 Pacific Northwest Mid-Amateur Championship. Hanson also qualified for the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship where he advanced to the Round of 32.
Click here for complete bios of these three players.
The Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort is par 36-36-72, and can play up to a whopping 8,102 yards from the back tees. From that yardage, the USGA Course Rating is 80.0, with a Slope Rating of 148. Opened in 2009, the Pete Dye Course sits atop of Mount Airy at an elevation of 1,000 feet above sea level.
In 2012, New York claimed the 10th USGA Men’s State Team Championship, their first, by the largest margin of victory recorded in the championship’s history. Mike Miller of Brewster, N.Y., Max Buckley of Rye, N.Y. and Joseph Saladino of Huntington, N.Y. attacked the Galloway National Golf Club in Galloway Township, N.J. to win by six strokes over Iowa. Miller finished as the low individual in the championship, and his final round 3-under par 68 was the low round of the championship.
All states and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico may enter teams of three players. This year, 52 teams are entered into the championship. Eighteen holes of stroke play are scheduled for September 30 – October 2, with the two lowest of the three individual scores counting as the team’s score for the round. The team with the lowest aggregate score through 54 holes hoists the James R. Hand Trophy.
This is the 11th USGA Men’s State Team Championship and the first USGA championship to be conducted at the Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort. The competition, as well as the Women’s State Team Championship, grew out of the Association’s centennial anniversary in 1995. USGA officials believed that a new championship, one in which each state could be represented by amateur, non-college golfers, was an appropriate way to cap the USGA’s year-long birthday celebration. The competition proved to be such a success that the Association decided to continue conducting the championship biennially.
The format was fashioned after the biennial World Amateur Team Championship, which involves three-person teams in a 3-count-2 stroke-play format. State associations were given a variety of options in which to select its team members. The inaugural Men’s State Team Championship drew teams from all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The District of Columbia has also been added in recent years.
In 2009, the USGA decided to hold the Men’s State Team and Women’s State Team competitions at separate sites, and beginning in 2010, the schedule was changed to have the competitions alternate years, with the Men’s State Team Championship conducted in even years and the Women’s State Team in odd years.
Click here for more information on the USGA Men’s State Team Championship.