The three-man team of Tom Brandes of Bellevue, Wash., Erik Hanson of Kirkland, Wash. and Reid Hatley of Hayden Lake, Idaho, combined to finish tied for fifth at the 12th USGA Men’s State Team Championship, held this week at the Country Club of Birmingham (Ala.).
The trio had been selected to represent Washington State in the competition by virtue of their standings on the WSGA’s OGIO Performance Points List compiled over the past two years.
The team from Michigan won the title, finishing a combined 4-under par for the three-day, 54-hole championship.
Brandes, Hanson and Hatley, made a charge at the end of the final round, picking up a lot of ground on the back nine to climb up the leaderboard. Brandes birdied four of the last six holes, including a three on the long par-4 18th. Hanson birdied two of his last four holes, and Hatley went 3-under par over his final six holes, which also included a birdie on 18.
There were 52 teams competing, representing all 50 states as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.
The format is fashioned after the biennial World Amateur Team Championship, which involves three-person teams in a 3-count-2 stroke-play format. State associations are given a variety of options in which to select its team members.
This was the fourth USGA Men’s State Team that Brandes had been selected for, having previously played in the 1995, 2012 and 2014 championships. For Hanson, this was his third appearance, having previously been named to the 2010 and 2014 squads. Hatley was the rookie on the team, with this year being the first time he’s been selected.
Click here for complete bios of these three players.
This championship, as well as the USGA Women’s State Team Championship, grew out of the USGA’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.
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 complete final results and more on the USGA Men’s State Team Championship.