The Washington State Golf Association (WSGA) has announced the team that will represent Washington State in the 12th USGA Men’s State Team Championship, to be held at the Country Club of Birmingham (Ala.) on September 28-30, 2016. The players were selected based on their standings on the WSGA’s OGIO Performance Points List, compiled over the last two years (August 2014 – August 2016).
Tom Brandes of Bellevue, Wash. is making his fourth trip to the USGA Men’s State Team Championship. Brandes made the team in 2012 and 2014, and participated in the inaugural playing of the championship in 1995. Brandes has continued his dominance in the region’s amateur competitions the past two years. In 2014, he won the Washington State Senior Amateur, and qualified for the U.S. Senior Amateur where he would eventually make the Round of 16. In 2015, he won the Washington State Men’s Mid-Amateur, was a semifinalist in the Pacific Northwest Master-40 Amateur, finished fourth in the Senior Washington Open, third in the Pacific Northwest Senior Men’s Amateur, and tied for third in the Washington State Senior Champion of Champions. His best performance was in the U.S. Senior Amateur, where he made it to the final match, finishing runner-up. In 2016, Brandes won the Pacific Northwest Senior Men’s Amateur, the Washington State Senior Champion of Champions, and tied for third in the Senior Washington Open.
Brandes earned WSGA Senior Player of Year honors for 2014 and 2015, an award he has now received for six consecutive years. In 2015, he was inducted into the Pacific Northwest Golf Hall of Fame.
Joining Brandes in representing Washington State is Reid Hatley of Hayden Lake, Idaho. Hatley’s 2015 season included top-5 finishes in the Washington State Amateur, Pacific Northwest Men’s Mid-Amateur, Washington State Men’s Mid-Amateur, and Washington State Champion of Champions. He also qualified for the U.S. Mid-Amateur, and eventually made it to the Round of 32. In 2016, Hatley won the Washington State Men’s Mid-Amateur, finished ninth in the Rosauers Open Invitational, made it to the Round of 32 in the Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur, and again qualified for the U.S. Mid-Amateur.
In 2015, Hatley was named the Men’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year for both the WSGA and PNGA.
Erik Hanson of Kirkland, Wash. rounds out the 2016 team, having also earned a spot on the team in 2014 and 2010. During the 2015 season, Hanson won the Pacific Northwest Master-40 Amateur (the third time he has won that championship), won the Seattle City Amateur, was runner-up in the Washington State Men’s Mid-Amateur, and had top-10 finishes in the Washington Open, Senior Washington Open, and Pacific Northwest Men’s Mid-Amateur. In 2016, he finished second in the Washington Open, was a semifinalist in the Pacific Northwest Master-40, and finished third in the Washington State Men’s Mid-Amateur.
Click here for complete bios of these three players.
This is the 12th USGA Men’s State Team Championship. The competition, as well as the USGA 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 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. There are 52 teams participating, representing all 50 states plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.
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.