Texas Surges Into 36-Hole Lead at Men's State Team September 30, 2014 By Scott Lipsky, USGA

Zach Atkinson's 70 in Round 2 helped put Texas in position to claim a fourth Men's State Team Championship. (USGA/Chris Keane)

FRENCH LICK, Ind. – A pair of solid performances on Wednesday has Texas in position to win a record-fourth USGA Men’s State Team Championship, as it will head into the final round with a three-stroke lead over Iowa and Illinois at the par-72, 6,891 yard Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort.

Texas tallied a score of 5-under 139 for a two-round total of 5-under 283. Iowa, the first-round leader, shot a 1-over 145, while Illinois climbed up the leader board with a 3-under 141.

The Men’s State Team Championship consists of 54 holes of stroke play, with the two lowest of three individual scores counting as the team total for the round. The team with the lowest aggregate score following the final round is the champion.

The championship is conducted biennially by the United States Golf Association. The men’s and women’s competitions are held in alternating years. Each state is responsible for selecting its team and the players must reside in that state to be eligible. All 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are represented in the 2014 field.

Colby Harwell, of Robinson, Texas, had a bogey-free outward nine – he started on the 10th hole – and then mixed in four birdies coming home to post a 3-under 69, one of only three sub-70 rounds recorded in Round 2.

I finally started making a few putts today and was able to read the greens a little bit better than I did yesterday, said Harwell, who made a 10-foot putt to save par on No. 9. I’ve really hit the ball well off the tee and I’ve only missed a couple of fairways, and my driver’s been really solid, so that’s been a big thing with my game.

Harwell’s teammate, Zach Atkinson, rebounded from a first-round 81 to fire a 2-under 70 and give Texas a chance to we championship for the first time since it won back-to-back titles in 2005 and 2007. Texas has won more Men’s State Team titles than any other state and should it win the championship on Thursday, the Lone Star State would surpass the Georgia women for the most titles – men or women – in State Team history.

It means the world. It’s what you play for, and it’s what we’ve played all year for, said Atkinson, who has advanced to the Round of 16 in both the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Mid-Amateur and is representing Texas for the first time. It’s an honor to represent Texas and bring a good team out here and have some fun and play well on top of that, so we’re going to go out there and give it our best tomorrow.

Iowa’s Gene Elliott carded five birdies for the second consecutive round, and on Wednesday he kept mistakes to a minimum, with back-to-back bogeys on holes 7 and 8, his 16th and 17th of the day, the only blemishes in what was an otherwise solid 69 to keep the team in contention.

I got tired coming in, it’s a hilly golf course and it’s not easy to walk, said Elliott, a veteran of 26 USGA championships. I got careless with a couple of putts, but if you’d have told me I’d shoot 69 starting the day, I’d have jumped at it. We’ll see what we can do as a team, and see what we can do tomorrow.

Iowa is trying to win the championship for the first time after finishing as the runner-up in 2012. J.D. Anderson was the second counting score for the Hawkeye State, posting a 4-over 76. Last year’s U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Mike McCoy, who posted the low score (70) for Iowa on Tuesday, shot a non-counting 77.

Elliott’s round was highlighted by a 50-foot birdie putt on the par-5 third and an approach shot on No. 12 that left him a tap-in for birdie. As impressive as his play was on Wednesday, his score had the potential to be even lower. Elliott was 5 under for the round through 12 holes, and had a makeable birdie putt on the par-4 fifth, his attempt just rolling over the edge of the hole. Additionally, he missed a 6-footer for eagle on the par-5 14th after a 3-wood approach. He enters the final round with the low individual score among all competitors at 4-under 140.

Illinois was paced by Kyle Nathan, who fired a 2-under 70. Nathan, 30, a reinstated amateur, was buoyed by sharp iron play, with all three of his birdies coming after approach shots to 8 feet or closer. He and Blake Johnson will look to teammate and 2008 U.S. Mid-Amateur runner-up Todd Mitchell, who has played for Illinois three times and has helped the squad to two top-five finishes, for veteran leadership on Thursday. Mitchell was the second counting score on Wednesday with a 71.

I think it’s really exciting. Todd has [been in this position] before, so I’m sure we’ll ask him tonight for some leadership in that respect, Nathan said. It should be a lot of fun. You can’t ask for anything more than to play with some friends and try to win a golf tournament.

Missouri will enter the final round in fourth place after a second consecutive even-par 144, putting it five strokes back of Texas. Missouri continued to be led by Richard Skip Berkmeyer, who has been one of the most consistent players in the field. After carding a 71 on Tuesday in a round that featured three birdies and two bogeys, the Wildwood resident posted the same number on Wednesday, a round that included birdies on holes 3 and 14 for the second straight day. The Show Me State is looking to improve upon its best finish in the championship, a tie for seventh in 2003.

I’m just happy our team is at even par, that should give us a chance tomorrow, and all you want is a chance, said Berkmeyer, an eight-time U.S. Mid-Amateur competitor. You’ve got to play your own game. It’s team golf, but at the same time, you’ve got to do what you do. It’s out there if you hit good shots, but if you don’t, Pete Dye is going to make you pay.

Florida posted a 2-over 146 and sits in fifth position, , six strokes behind Texas.

Vermont’s Bryan Smith carded the low round of the day, posting five birdies against one bogey for a 4-under 68, which matched the lowest individual round of the championship. Louisiana’s Brandon Aydlett, Smith’s fellow competitor for the first two rounds, posted a 68 on Tuesday, as did Virginia’s Justin Young.

Scott Lipsky is a manager of websites and digital platforms. Email him at

FRENCH LICK, N.J. – Results from Wednesday's second round of the 2014 USGA Men’s State Team Championship being conducted at the 6,891-yard, par-72 Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort. (The two best scores out of three counts toward the team’s total for each round):

1. Texas 144-139--283 (Colby Harwell, Robinson 73-69--142; Zach Atkinson, Colleyville 81-70--151; Aaron Hickman, Tyler 71-80--151)

T2. Illinois 145-141--286 (Kyle Nathan, Glenview 71-70--141; Todd Mitchell, Bloomington 74-71--145; Blake Johnson, Winnetka 79-73--152)

T2. Iowa 141-145--286 (Gene Elliott, West Des Moines 71-69--140; Michael McCoy, West Des Moines 70-77--147; J.D. Anderson, Johnston 77-76--153)

4. Missouri 144-144--288 (Richard Berkmeyer, Wildwood 71-71--142; Brad Nurski, St. Joseph 73-75--148; Phil Caravia, St Louis 79-73--152)

5. Florida 143-146--289 (Sam Horsfield, Davenport 70-72--142; Gabriel Lench, Lake Mary 73-75--148; Jon Veneziano, Mount Dora 80-74--154)

T6. California 145-145--290 (Jason Anthony, Fairfield 70-71--141; Tim Hogarth, Northridge 75-74--149; Dan Sullivan, Pasadena 78-79--157)

T6. Connecticut 145-145--290 (David Pastore, Greenwich 70-72--142; Peter Ballo, Stamford 75-73--148; Kevin Josephson, New Britain 76-78--154)

8. New York 148-143--291 (Sam Bernstein, Bronx 74-72--146; Jim Scorse, Churchville 74-74--148; Tim Spitz, Pittsford 77-71--148)

T9. Louisiana 143-149--292 (Brandon Aydlett, Metairie 68-74--142; John Talley, St. Martinville 75-75--150; Patrick Christovich, New Orleans 79-75--154)

T9. Tennessee 144-148--292 (Todd Burgan, Powell 72-71--143; Craig Smith, Nashville 72-77--149; Matt Cooper, Memphis 79-80--159)

T11. North Carolina 151-142--293 (Bo Andrews, Raleigh 75-70--145; Scott Harvey, Greensboro 77-72--149; Matthew Crenshaw, Burlington 76-77--153)

T11. Ohio 151-142--293 (Jeffrey Scohy, Bellbrook 73-75--148; Bill Williamson, Cincinatti 78-71--149; Will Grimmer, Cincinnati 79-71--150)

T11. South Carolina 149-144--293 (Todd White, Spartanburg 72-70--142; Lee Palms, Greenville 78-74--152; Rick Cloninger, Fort Mill 77-77--154)

T11. Vermont 154-139--293 (Bryan Smith, Jay 77-68--145; Garren Poirier, Killington 77-71--148; Eric Lajeunesse, Barre 85-80--165)

15. Oregon 151-143--294 (Hans Reimers, Albany 75-72--147; Justin Kadin, Corvallis 77-71--148; Jesse Heinly, Bend 76-78--154)

16. Minnesota 151-144--295 (Troy Johnson, Maple Grove 77-73--150; Trent Peterson, Eagan 80-71--151; Jesse Bull, Hopkins 74-80--154)

T17. Mississippi 147-149--296 (Eddie Brescher III, Hattiesburg 70-76--146; Alan Ellis, Greenwood 77-73--150; Brandon Laird, Biloxi 78-84--162)

T17. Pennsylvania 148-148--296 (Arnie Cutrell, Greensburg 77-71--148; Nathan Smith, Pittsburgh 72-77--149; Sean Knapp, Oakmont 76-78--154)

T17. Puerto Rico 152-144--296 (Erick J. Morales, Sabana Seca 77-72--149; Jeronimo Esteve, Guaynabo 78-72--150; Edward Figueroa, San Juan 75-78--153)

T17. Rhode Island 148-148--296 (Bobby Leopold, Coventry 73-71--144; Brad Valois, Warwick 75-77--152; Charlie Blanchard, North Providence 79-79--158)

T21. Indiana 149-148--297 (Kenny Cook, Noblesville 74-74--148; Sean Rowen, Greenwood 75-74--149; Brett Widner, Avon 77-80--157)

T21. Virginia 143-154--297 (Justin Young, Roanoke 68-80--148; Scott Shingler, Haymarket 75-76--151; Keith Decker, Martinsville 79-78--157)

T23. Alabama 149-149--298 (Matt Gourgeot, Decatur 72-76--148; Matt Johnson, Dothan 77-74--151; Steve Hudson, Birmingham 80-75--155)

T23. Nevada 149-149--298 (Josh Baskins, Reno 73-75--148; Kenny Ebalo, Las Vegas 76-74--150; Jeremy May, North Las Vegas 77-88--165)

T25. Colorado 147-152--299 (Jon Lindstrom, Broomfield 73-75--148; Steve Irwin, Arvada 74-77--151; Nick Nosewicz, Aurora 79-78--157)

T25. Delaware 146-153--299 (Chris Anderson, Wilmington 72-77--149; Jay Whitby, Wyoming 74-76--150; Ed Brown, Lewes 83-80--163)

T25. Georgia 150-149--299 (Jeff Knox, Augusta 76-73--149; Cameron Hooper, Atlanta 75-76--151; David Noll Jr., Dalton 75-77--152)

T28. Maine 150-150--300 (Andrew Slattery, Minot 74-75--149; Ricky Jones, Thomaston 76-75--151; Matt Greenleaf, Portland 88-85--173)

T28. Massachusetts 152-148--300 (Doug Clapp, Walpole 75-75--150; Matt Parziale, Brockton 77-76--153; Herbie Aikens, Kingston 81-73--154)

T28. New Jersey 151-149--300 (Steven Zychowski, Mendha.m. 77-70--147; Trevor Randolph, Franklin Lakes 74-82--156; Michael Stamberger, Brielle 79-79--158)

31. Washington 148-153--301 (Tom Brandes, Bellevue 71-76--147; Mike Haack, Bellevue 77-77--154; Erik Hanson, Kirkland 78-77--155)

32. Arizona 151-151--302 (Ken Tanigawa, Paradise Valley 77-74--151; R.J. Wood, Scottsdale 74-79--153; Trey Martin, Phoenix 77-77--154)

T33. New Mexico 149-154--303 (Ben Albin, Santa Fe 76-75--151; Nick Geyer, Albuquerque 73-79--152; Justin Knauber, Albuquerque 79-85--164)

T33. West Virginia 145-158--303 (Sam O'Dell, Hurricane 69-84--153; Philip Reale II, South Charleston 78-78--156; Trent Roush, Mason 76-80--156)

35. Kansas 154-150--304 (Bryan Norton, Overland Park 78-71--149; Doug Albers, Leawood 76-79--155; Zac Burton, Manhattan 78-82--160)

T36. Hawaii 155-150--305 (Andrew Chin, Honolulu 76-74--150; Tyler Ota, Aiea 80-76--156; Brent Grant, Honolulu 79-78--157)

T36. Michigan 154-151--305 (Tom Werkmeister, Kentwood 74-71--145; Nathan Clark, Charlotte 80-80--160; Andrew, Traverse City 82-81--163)

T38. Maryland 155-151--306 (Joseph Rice IV, Dunkirk 76-75--151; Mark Cusic, California 79-76--155; Patrick McCormick, Baltimore 79-76--155)

T38. Wisconsin 156-150--306 (Josh Udelhofen, Platteville 76-72--148; Matt Behm, Janesville 82-78--160; Tom Halla, Colgate 80-82--162)

T40. Idaho 152-155--307 (Graysen Huff, Eagle 75-74--149; Darren Kuhn, Pocatello 77-84--161; Josh Nunamaker, Idaho Falls 84-81--165)

T40. Montana 158-149--307 (Brian Beach, Missoula 77-70--147; Jimbob Coleman, Billings 81-79--160; Ross Bartell, Great Falls 82-88--170)

42. Nebraska 152-156--308 (John Sajevic, Fremont 74-78--152; Ryan Nietfeldt, Elkhorn 78-78--156; Andrew Sajevic, Fremont 78-80--158)

T43. District of Columbia 155-155--310 (Endel Liias, Washington 75-77--152; Mark Vedete, Washington 80-78--158; Kevin McDonnell, Washington 82-82--164)

T43. North Dakota 156-154--310 (Rick Kuhn, Mandan 77-77--154; Greg Melhus, Fargo 79-77--156; Duane Wages III, Grand Forks 81-86--167)

T43. Oklahoma 157-153--310 (Heath Myers, Kingfisher 75-77--152; Jon Valuck, Edmond 85-76--161; Kirk Wright, Oklahoma City 82-80--162)

T46. Arkansas 159-153--312 (Drew Greenwood, Hot Springs 78-73--151; Wes McNulty, White Hall 81-81--162; Trey Schaap, North Little Rock 87-80--167)

T46. Utah 158-154--312 (Jon Wright, Salt Lake City 80-76--156; Dan Horner, Sandy 82-78--160; Darrin Overson, Provo 78-83--161)

T48. Kentucky 154-159--313 (Denver Haddix, Lexington 75-83--158; Tom Campbell, Danville 79-80--159; Kyle Leach, Louisville 81-79--160)

T48. New Hampshire 156-157--313 (Craig Steckowych, Greenland 76-81--157; Ryan Kohler, Chesterfield 81-77--158; Michael Martel, New Ipswich 80-80--160)

50. Wyoming 157-162--319 (Todd Griffin, Rock Springs 80-79--159; John Hornbeck, Saratoga 77-86--163; Mark Isakson, Sheridan 81-83--164)

51. Alaska 163-160--323 (Greg Sanders, Anchorage 78-75--153; David Hamilton, Anchorage 85-85--170; Kevin Daniels, Anchorage 87-85--172)

52. South Dakota 158-166--324 (Matthew Johnson, Sioux Falls 77-86--163; Scott Nowak, Harrisburg 81-83--164; Jeff Meyerink, Mitchell 83-83--166)

FRENCH LICK, Ind. – Groupings and starting times for Thursday’s final round of the 2014 USGA Men’s State Team Championship being conducted at the 6,891-yard, par-72 Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort. (All times EDT):

Hole No. 10

7:40 a.m. – Josh Nunamaker, Idaho Falls, Idaho; Ross Bartell, Great Falls, Mont.; Andrew Sajevic, Fremont, Neb.
7:49 a.m. – Darren Kuhn, Pocatello, Idaho; Jimbob Coleman, Billings, Mont.; Ryan Nietfeldt, Elkhorn, Neb.
7:58 a.m. – Graysen Huff, Eagle, Idaho; Brian Beach, Missoula, Mont.; John Sajevic, Fremont, Neb.
8:07 a.m. – Duane Wages III, Grand Forks, N.D.; Kevin McDonnell, Washington, D.C.; Kirk Wright, Oklahoma City, Okla.
8:16 a.m. – Greg Melhus, Fargo, N.D.; Mark Vedete, Washington, D.C.; Jon Valuck, Edmond, Okla.
8:25 a.m. – Rick Kuhn, Mandan, N.D.; Endel Liias, Washington, D.C.; Heath Myers, Kingfisher, Okla.
8:34 a.m. – Darrin Overson, Provo, Utah; Trey Schaap, North Little Rock, Ark.; Kyle Leach, Louisville, Ky.
8:43 a.m. – Dan Horner, Sandy, Utah; Wes McNulty, White Hall, Ark.; Tom Campbell, Danville, Ky.
8:52 a.m. – Jon Wright, Salt Lake City, Utah; Drew Greenwood, Hot Springs, Ark.; Denver Haddix, Lexington, Ky.
9:01 a.m. – Michael Martel, New Ipswich, N.H.; Mark Isakson, Sheridan, Wyo.
9:10 a.m. – Ryan Kohler, Chesterfield, N.H.; John Hornbeck, Saratoga, Wyo.
9:19 a.m. – Craig Steckowych, Greenland, N.H.; Todd Griffin, Rock Springs, Wyo.
9:28 a.m. – Kevin Daniels, Anchorage, Alaska; Jeff Meyerink, Mitchell, S.D.
9:37 a.m. – David Hamilton, Anchorage, Alaska; Scott Nowak, Harrisburg, S.D.
9:46 a.m. – Greg Sanders, Anchorage, Alaska; Matthew Johnson, Sioux Falls, S.D.

Hole No. 1

7:55 a.m. – Patrick McCormick, Baltimore, Md.; Tom Halla, Colgate, Wis.; Andrew, Traverse City, Mich.
8:04 a.m. – Mark Cusic, California, Md.; Matt Behm, Janesville, Wis.; Nathan Clark, Charlotte, Mich.
8:13 a.m. – Joseph Rice IV, Dunkirk, Md.; Josh Udelhofen, Platteville, Wis.; Tom Werkmeister, Kentwood, Mich.
8:22 a.m. – Brent Grant, Honolulu, Hawaii; Zac Burton, Manhattan, Kan.; Trent Roush, Mason, W.Va.
8:31 a.m. – Tyler Ota, Aiea, Hawaii; Doug Albers, Leawood, Kan.; Philip Reale II, South Charleston, W.Va.
8:40 a.m. – Andrew Chin, Honolulu, Hawaii; Bryan Norton, Overland Park, Kan.; Sam O'Dell, Hurricane, W.Va.
8:49 a.m. – Justin Knauber, Albuquerque, N.M.; Trey Martin, Phoenix, Ariz.; Erik Hanson, Kirkland, Wash.
8:58 a.m. – Nick Geyer, Albuquerque, N.M.; R.J. Wood, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Mike Haack, Bellevue, Wash.
9:07 a.m. – Ben Albin, Santa Fe, N.M.; Ken Tanigawa, Paradise Valley, Ariz.; Tom Brandes, Bellevue, Wash.
9:16 a.m. – Michael Stamberger, Brielle, N.J.; Herbie Aikens, Kingston, Mass.; Matt Greenleaf, Portland, Maine
9:25 a.m. – Trevor Randolph, Franklin Lakes, N.J.; Matt Parziale, Brockton, Mass.; Ricky Jones, Thomaston, Maine
9:34 a.m. – Steven Zychowski, Mendham, N.J.; Doug Clapp, Walpole, Mass.; Andrew Slattery, Minot, Maine

Hole No. 10

12:25 p.m. – Eric Lajeunesse, Barre, Vt.; Rick Cloninger, Fort Mill, S.C.; Jesse Heinly, Bend, Ore.
12:34 p.m. – Garren Poirier, Killington, Vt.; Lee Palms, Greenville, S.C.; Justin Kadin, Corvallis, Ore.
12:43 p.m. – Bryan Smith, Jay, Vt.; Todd White, Spartanburg, S.C.; Hans Reimers, Albany, Ore.
12:52 p.m. – Jesse Bull, Hopkins, Minn.; Charlie Blanchard, North Providence, R.I.; Brandon Laird, Biloxi, Miss.
1:01 p.m. – Trent Peterson, Eagan, Minn.; Brad Valois, Warwick, R.I.; Alan Ellis, Greenwood, Miss.
1:10 p.m. – Troy Johnson, Maple Grove, Minn.; Bobby Leopold, Coventry, R.I.; Eddie Brescher III, Hattiesburg, Miss.
1:19 p.m. – Edward Figueroa, San Juan, PR; Sean Knapp, Oakmont, Pa.; Brett Widner, Avon, Ind.
1:28 p.m. – Jeronimo Esteve, Guaynabo, PR; Nathan Smith, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Sean Rowen, Greenwood, Ind.
1:37 p.m. – Erick J. Morales, Sabana Seca, PR; Arnie Cutrell, Greensburg, Pa.; Kenny Cook, Noblesville, Ind.
1:46 p.m. – Keith Decker, Martinsville, Va.; Steve Hudson, Birmingham, Ala.; Jeremy May, North Las Vegas, Nev.
1:55 p.m. – Scott Shingler, Haymarket, Va.; Matt Johnson, Dothan, Ala.; Kenny Ebalo, Las Vegas, Nev.
2:04 p.m. – Justin Young, Roanoke, Va.; Matt Gourgeot, Decatur, Ala.; Josh Baskins, Reno, Nev.
2:13 p.m. – David Noll Jr., Dalton, Ga.; Ed Brown, Lewes, Del.; Nick Nosewicz, Aurora, Colo.
2:22 p.m. – Cameron Hooper, Atlanta, Ga.; Jay Whitby, Wyoming, Del.; Steve Irwin, Arvada, Colo.
2:31 p.m. – Jeff Knox, Augusta, Ga.; Chris Anderson, Wilmington, Del.; Jon Lindstrom, Broomfield, Colo.

Hole No. 1

12:40 p.m. – Will Grimmer, Cincinnati, Ohio; Matthew Crenshaw, Burlington, N.C.; Patrick Christovich, New Orleans, La.
12:49 p.m. – Bill Williamson, Cincinatti, Ohio; Scott Harvey, Greensboro, N.C.; John Talley, St. Martinville, La.
12:58 p.m. – Jeffrey Scohy, Bellbrook, Ohio; Bo Andrews, Raleigh, N.C.; Brandon Aydlett, Metairie, La.
1:07 p.m. – Matt Cooper, Memphis, Tenn.; Tim Spitz, Pittsford, N.Y.; Dan Sullivan, Pasadena, Calif.
1:16 p.m. – Craig Smith, Nashville, Tenn.; Jim Scorse, Churchville, N.Y.; Tim Hogarth, Northridge, Calif.
1:25 p.m. – Todd Burgan, Powell, Tenn.; Sam Bernstein, Bronx, N.Y.; Jason Anthony, Fairfield, Calif.
1:34 p.m. – Kevin Josephson, New Britain, Conn.; Jon Veneziano, Mount Dora, Fla.; Phil Caravia, St Louis, Mo.
1:43 p.m. – Peter Ballo, Stamford, Conn.; Gabriel Lench, Lake Mary, Fla.; Brad Nurski, St. Joseph, Mo.
1:52 p.m. – David Pastore, Greenwich, Conn.; Sam Horsfield, Davenport, Fla.; Richard Berkmeyer, Wildwood, Mo.
2:01 p.m. – Blake Johnson, Winnetka, Ill.; J.D. Anderson, Johnston, Iowa; Aaron Hickman, Tyler, Texas
2:10 p.m. – Todd Mitchell, Bloomington, Ill.; Michael McCoy, West Des Moines, Iowa; Zach Atkinson, Colleyville, Texas
2:19 p.m. – Kyle Nathan, Glenview, Ill.; Gene Elliott, West Des Moines, Iowa; Colby Harwell, Robinson, Texas