Federal Way, Wash. – The Washington State Golf Association has announced the team that will represent Washington State in the 10th USGA Men’s State Team Championship, to be held at Galloway National Golf Club in Galloway, New Jersey from September 19-21. The players were selected based on their standings on the WSGA Performance Points List, compiled over the last two years (August 1, 2010 – August 1, 2012).
Tom Brandes of Bellevue headlines the 2012 team, fresh off his victory at the 2012 Washington State Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship. Dating back to August of 2010, Brandes has four victories, including the 2012 Pacific Northwest Senior Men’s Amateur Championship, the 2012 Washington State Senior Champion of Champions, the 2011 Washington State Senior Men’s Amateur Championship, and the 2011 Washington Senior Open. Brandes also earned qualifying medalist honors into the 2011 USGA Senior Amateur Championship. His strong play was rewarded in 2011 when he was named the Pacific Northwest Senior Men’s Player of the Year. Brandes also won last week’s Pacific Northwest Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship. He will be making his second trip to the USGA Men’s State Team Championship, having participated in the inaugural championship in 1995, held at Lake Nona Golf Club in Orlando, Fla.
Joining Brandes will be Mike Haack, also of Bellevue, and Sean Packer of Seattle. Haack boasts a strong resume over the past two years, including victories at the 2010 Washington State Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship and the 2010 Washington State Men’s Champion of Champions. He also qualified for the 2011 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship and finished in the top-5 at the 2012 Washington State Men’s Amateur Championship. Haack’s game is strengthening as the USGA State Team Championship approaches, evidenced by the fact that he recently earned medalist honors in qualifying for the 2012 U.S. Amateur Championship.
Packer comes in as one of the top mid-amateur golfers in Washington after a runner-up finish in the 2011 Washington State Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship. His best finishes in the past two years include a victory in the 2012 Washington State Men’s Champion of Champions, a top-5 finish in the 2011 Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Public Links Championship, and qualifying for the 2012 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.
Galloway National Golf Club will be set up at roughly 6,950 yards and will play to a par of 35-36-71. Designed by Tom Fazio, it opened in 1993 on rolling topography and sandy soil ideal for drainage. The club is located near Atlantic City and club founders Vernon Hill and John Silvestri visited nearly 80 clubs and consulted with numerous individuals within the golf industry before choosing Fazio as the architect.
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 19-21, 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.
In 2010, Bryan Norton, 51, of Mission Hills, Kan., carded a 3-under-par 68 in the final round to lift Kansas to a four-stroke victory over Rhode Island, Florida, and North Carolina at Mayacama Golf Club in Santa Rosa, Calif. Norton, the 2003 U.S. Mid-Amateur runner-up, was aided by a pair of 74s from 41-year-old Charlie Stevens of Wichita and Tyler Shelton of Fairway, as Kansas posted a 54-hole team total 3-under-par 423. The lowest two scores from each three-man team counted in the team scoring each day. Kansas had started the final round sharing the 36-hole lead with Georgia, which shot a 10-over 152 in the final round and finished in a tie for ninth.
This is the 10th USGA Men’s State Team Championship and the first USGA Championship to be conducted at Galloway National Golf Club. 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.
Go to http://www.usga.org/ChampEventArticle.aspx?id=21474850442 for more information on the USGA State Team Championship.