A New York State Of Mind

Led by Mike Miller's final-round 68, Empire State claims first USGA Men's State Team title


Mike Miller's final-round 68 paced New York to its first-ever USGA Men's State Team title. (Hunter Martin/USGA)
By Brian DePasquale, USGA
September 21, 2012

Galloway Township, N.J. – Michael Miller, 20, of Brewster, N.Y., fired a 3-under-par 68 in Friday’s final round to lead New York to a six-stroke victory at the 2012 USGA Men’s State Team Championship conducted at the par-71, 6,963-yard Galloway National Golf Club.

It was New York’s first-ever title and the margin of victory was the largest in the championship since 1997.

New York, whose previous best finish was fifth in the inaugural playing in 1995, posted a 54-hole total of 2-over 428. Iowa (434) finished second, registering its best showing in the championship, while 2003 champion Tennessee was third at 435. Pennsylvania, the 2009 titlist, claimed fourth at 436.

The USGA 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 Men’s State Team 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, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, are represented in the 2012 field.

Miller finished as the low individual scorer in the championship. His round of 68 on Friday was the best round of the championship, and he finished at 4-under 209 overall. He birdied the opening three holes of the final round and added six pars on the outward nine. Miller sank a 10-foot putt at the first, before hitting a 9-iron inches from the hole at the par-3 second. His gap-wedge approach at the third hole stopped a foot from the flagstick.

“I had the dream start,” said Miller, who reached the second round of last month’s U.S. Amateur. “My ball-striking was good all week and I made all the putts I needed to.”

Miller kept up his good play on the inward nine. He drilled a 10-footer for par on No. 10 after short-siding his approach shot to the right of the green. He added a two-putt birdie at the 500-yard, par-5 11th after hitting a 3-wood and wedge to the green.. The former Penn State University golfer made a birdie on 16, but missed a chance to tie the competitive course record when he bogeyed the 18th hole..

“[The championship] is something I will keep forever,” said Miller, who has aspirations of playing for the 2013 USA Walker Cup Team. “It’s really cool. To win individually and as a team, it hasn’t sunk in… for now I am more than elated.”

Max Buckley, 22, of Rye, N.Y., also played a flawless outward nine with two birdies and seven pars, before settling for a 75. He knocked a wedge to 10 feet to set up a birdie at No. 6 and made a two-putt birdie on the par-5 ninth. The 2011 U.S. Amateur quarterfinalist added another birdie at No. 11 to give himself enough cushion to offset a triple-bogey 6 at No. 17.

“To be a national champion and part of such a good team, [it] means the world,” said Buckley, whose teammate Joseph Saladino, 32, of Huntington, N.Y., had a non-counting 82. “This course is so demanding…a couple shots means the difference between first, third and fourth. Mike [Miller] has played so well and taken a lot of pressure off of us [as a team].”

Jon Olson, 32, of Ankeny, led Iowa to its best performance in this championship. The Hawkeye State’s previous best finish was 10th in 2001. Olson carded a 2-over 73 in a final round that included four birdies. He shot 70 and 75 the first two rounds, respectively, for a 54-hole total of 218, good for a tie for fourth individually. Dennis Bull, 30, of Norwalk, a quarterfinalist at last week’s U.S. Mid-Amateur, added a 75 for the silver-medal winning team.

“We weren’t going to catch New York today, they were too darn good so I’m happy with second,” said Olson, the current Iowa State Amateur champion who was playing in his first USGA event in 11 years. “This is my first time in the Men’s State Team but the dynamic was really good so that really helps. We have a good leader in Gene [Elliott]; he’s been here many times.”

Tennessee’s Craig Smith, 25, of Nashville, shot a 1-under 70 that featured five birdies on the card, Tim Jackson, a two-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion, added a 72. Jackson, 53, of Germantown, has played on two USA Walker Cup Teams. The final-round effort moved Tennessee up the leader board into third after it started the day in a tie for fifth.

Pennsylvania was three strokes behind New York entering the final round and could not muster a challenge. Sean Knapp, 50, of Oakmont, Pa., was two -under early on the inward nine, but bogeyed holes 14, 16, and 17 to shoot 72. Nathan Smith, 34, of Pittsburgh, had a 76. The four-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion played 5-over golf during a four-hole stretch on the last nine.

“They ran and hid,” said Knapp about New York’s victory. “I mean they played great. They deserved to win. His [Buckley] score doesn’t reflect that he shot 75. That’s how quickly it can turn out here. He had a triple and a couple of bogeys coming in. He got them to where they needed to be and obviously Mike [Miller] did the rest.”

Brian DePasquale is a manager of championship communications for the USGA. Email him at bdepasquale@usga.org.

Galloway Township, N.J. – Final results from the 2012 USGA Men’s State Team Championship conducted at the 6,963-yard, par-71 Galloway National Golf Club. (Note: The lowest two scores from the three-man teams are used to determine the team’s daily score.)

1. New York 145-140-143--428 (Michael Miller, Brewster 72-69-68--209; Max Buckley, Rye 73-71-75--219; Joseph Saladino, Huntington 79-80-82--241)
2. Iowa 144-142-148--434 (Jon Olson, Ankeny 70-75-73--218; Dennis Bull, Norwalk 79-70-75--224; Gene Elliott, West Des Moines 74-72-84--230)
3. Tennessee 148-145-142--435 (Craig Smith, Nashville 75-76-70--221; Tim Jackson, Germantown 73-77-72--222; Todd Burgan, Powell 76-69-78--223)
4. Pennsylvania 144-144-148--436 (Sean Knapp, Oakmont 72-73-72--217; Nathan Smith, Pittsburgh 72-71-76--219; Andrew Mason, Huntingdon Valley 72-75-78--225)
5. Georgia 145-145-147--437 (Mark Strickland, Woodstock 70-77-72--219; William Mitchell, Roswell 77-69-75--221; David Noll Jr., Dalton 75-76-78--229)
6. California 144-149-145--438 (Andrew Biggadike, Belmont 75-73-70--218; Paul Misko, Thousand Oaks 70-79-75--224; John McClure, Los Angeles 74-76-75--225)
7. Florida 148-145-147--440 (Jon Veneziano, Mount Dora 74-73-70--217; Joe Alfieri II, Lutz 78-72-77--227; Don Bell, Port Orange 74-78-79--231)
8. Ohio 146-148-147--441 (Bill Williamson, Cincinnati 72-75-74--221; Robert Gerwin II, Cincinnati 74-74-74--222; Jeffrey Scohy, Bellbrook 84-74-73--231)
9. North Carolina 140-155-147--442 (Bruce Woodall, Yanceyville 69-82-72--223; Scott Harvey, Greensboro 73-75-76--224; Paul Simson, Raleigh 71-80-75--226)
10. Missouri 145-148-150--443 (Richard Berkmeyer, Wildwood 73-73-74--220; Brad Nurski, St. Joseph 72-75-76--223; Nick Wilson, Columbia 73-77-78--228)
11. Michigan 148-148-148--444 (Tom Werkmeister, Kentwood 77-74-71--222; Drew Preston, Grand Rapids 74-74-77--225; Brian Hayward, Grand Rapids 74-77-79--230)
12. Louisiana 145-150-150--445 (Robby McWilliams, Bossier City 76-74-74--224; Matt Nicholas, Lake Charles 71-76-79--226; Patrick Christovich, New Orleans 74-76-76--226)
T13. South Carolina 145-152-149--446 (Todd White, Moore 74-76-71--221; Steve Liebler, Irmo 71-76-78--225; Josh Branyon, Honea Path 82-82-81--245)
T13. Washington 150-147-149--446 (Mike Haack, Bellevue 75-72-75--222; Sean Packer, Seattle 78-76-74--228; Tom Brandes, Bellevue 75-75-79--229)
15. Vermont 153-145-149--447 (Mike Stackus, Barre 78-72-72--222; Garren Poirier, Killington 77-77-77--231; Devin Komline, Dorset 76-73-84--233)
16. Texas 154-150-147--451 (Aaron Hickman, Tyler 74-75-74--223; Clarke Kincaid, Trophy Club 80-75-73--228; Lucas Boyd, Plano 80-86-79--245)
T17. Rhode Island 148-157-148--453 (Bobby Leopold, Coventry 75-77-75--227; Brad Valois, Warwick 73-82-73--228; Charlie Blanchard, North Providence 78-80-76--234)
T17. Wisconsin 150-149-154--453 (Max Hosking, Madison 74-73-78--225; Bob Gregorski, Menasha 76-76-78--230; Sam Frank, Madison 79-85-76--240)
19. New Hampshire 150-156-148--454 (Joshua Chamberlain, Amherst 75-79-76--230; Ryan Kohler, Spofford 77-82-72--231; D.J. Lantz, New London 75-77-83--235)
20. Colorado 155-146-155--456 (Jon Lindstrom, Broomfield 77-73-80--230; Michael Harrington, Colorado Springs 78-79-75--232; Brian Dorfman, Greenwood Village 78-73-81--232)
T21. Arizona 154-146-157--457 (Adam Walicki, Phoenix 77-73-75--225; Trey Martin, Scottsdale 81-73-82--236; Andy Aduddell, Avondale 77-79-82--238)
T21. Indiana 147-153-157--457 (Kenny Cook, Noblesville 73-77-76--226; Bob Stephens, Indianapolis 74-78-81--233; Todd Palmer, Fishers 78-76-84--238)
T21. Oregon 153-149-155--457 (Scott Hval, Portland 78-73-75--226; Tyler Simpson, Happy Valley 75-76-80--231; Bill Winter, Portland 78-79-WD--NS)
T24. Maryland 152-151-155--458 (Michael Mulieri, Silver Spring 76-77-78--231; Mark Cusic, California 79-74-79--232; Serge Hogg, Baltimore 76-80-77--233)
T24. Minnesota 154-152-152--458 (Matt Schneider, Cohasset 77-76-75--228; Andy Jacobson, Willmar 77-76-79--232; Jesse Larson, Shakopee 84-79-77--240)
T24. Virginia 152-152-154--458 (Keith Decker, Martinsville 76-75-80--231; Buck Brittain, Tazewell 78-77-79--234; Scott Shingler, Haymarket 76-87-75--238)
T27. Connecticut 148-152-159--459 (Matt Smith, Thompson 74-75-80--229; Jeffrey Hatten, Farmington 74-77-79--230; Brian Ahern, West Hartford 80-77-80--237)
T27. Illinois 153-153-153--459 (Todd Mitchell, Bloomington 82-71-75--228; Dave Ryan, Taylorville 73-82-78--233; Andy Mickelson, Lockport 80-83-80--243)
T27. Nebraska 156-155-148--459 (Rylee Reinertson, Gibbon 77-80-71--228; Ryan Nietfeldt, Elkhorn 79-78-77--234; John Sajevic, Fremont 80-77-82--239)
T30. Alaska 153-150-157--460 (Adam Baxter, Fairbanks 77-71-78--226; Kevin Daniels, Anchorage 76-79-84--239; Paul Blanche, Anchorage 95-86-79--260)
T30. Oklahoma 149-156-155--460 (Jeff Coffman, Oklahoma City 73-75-74--222; Michael Hughett, Owasso 76-81-81--238; William J. Lavender, Oklahoma City 80-82-87--249)
32. New Jersey 156-148-157--461 (Brian Komline, Bridgewater 76-73-80--229; Mike Stamberger, Brielle 80-75-79--234; Niall Handley, West Caldwell 81-76-78--235)
T33. Massachusetts 156-154-152--462 (Brian Higgins, Bellingham 78-77-77--232; Doug Clapp, Walpole 78-79-75--232; Herbie Aikens, Kingston 83-77-79--239)
T33. Mississippi 160-148-154--462 (Eddie Brescher, Jackson 79-75-78--232; Clay Homan, Starkville 83-73-79--235; Alex Rowland, Houston 81-79-76--236)
35. Kentucky 154-150-159--463 (Tyler Sharpe, Greensburg 79-73-78--230; Davis Boland, Louisville 75-77-81--233; Joshua Rhodes, Paducah 87-80-82--249)
T36. Utah 154-153-157--464 (Dan Horner, Sandy 74-76-79--229; Jeff Jolley, South Jordan 84-77-78--239; Jon Wright, Sandy 80-86-86--252)
T36. West Virginia 150-158-156--464 (Patrick Carter, Huntington 76-78-74--228; Sam O'Dell, Hurricane 74-80-82--236; Bruce Wetherholt, Barboursville 80-82-83--245)
T38. Delaware 152-165-149--466 (Greg Wolfe, Newark 77-81-72--230; Chase Brockstedt, Rehoboth Beach 75-84-81--240; Simon Hagger, Hockessin 86-86-77--249)
T38. Kansas 153-159-154--466 (Kit Grove, Lawrence 76-79-77--232; Jack Courington, Wichita 77-80-77--234; Zac Burton, Manhattan 79-80-78--237)
T38. Wyoming 158-154-154--466 (Todd Griffin, Rock Springs 78-74-77--229; John Hornbeck, Saratoga 80-80-83--243; Todd Van Rensselaer, Douglas 81-87-77--245)
T41. District of Columbia 159-155-153--467 (Frank Alafoginis, Washington 78-80-75--233; Rich Sobonya, Washington 81-75-83--239; Mychael Cohn, Washington 86-88-78--252)
T41. Nevada 161-154-152--467 (Brady Exber, Las Vegas 78-75-79--232; David Nelson, Reno 83-79-73--235; Ryan Mitchell, Incline Village 90-84-84--258)
43. Alabama 157-151-160--468 (Victor Kyatt III, Hoover 75-87-79--241; Andy Mc Rae, Hoover 87-75-81--243; Lew Mitchell, Troy 82-76-DQ--NS)
44. Montana 156-152-161--469 (Ben Leestma, Great Falls 77-75-85--237; Jerry Pearsall, Billings 80-77-80--237; Nathan Bailey, Laurel 79-80-81--240)
45. New Mexico 153-159-158--470 (Sam Saunders, Albuquerque 76-79-76--231; Justin Knauber, Albuquerque 77-80-86--243; Anton Salome, Socorro 79-83-82--244)
46. Arkansas 153-158-161--472 (Joey Nichols, Little Rock 77-76-78--231; Chris Jenkins, Little Rock 78-83-83--244; Wes McNulty, White Hall 76-82-WD--NS)
47. North Dakota 163-155-159--477 (Josh Bergrud, Grand Forks 79-80-78--237; Tim Skarperud, Grand Forks 84-75-84--243; Chad Skarperud, Fargo 84-90-81--255)
48. Idaho 161-160-158--479 (Darren Kuhn, Pocatello 82-81-77--240; Everett Grimes, Nampa 79-84-81--244; Todd Points, Star 83-79-89--251)
T49. Hawaii 176-165-162--503 (Eric Le, Aiea 89-82-78--249; Carl Ho, Honolulu 87-88-84--259; Kenji Miyata, Kapaa 93-83-89--265)
T49. Puerto Rico 168-168-167--503 (Raul Rivera, Toa Baja 79-84-78--241; Daniel Caban, Cabo Rojo 89-84-90--263; Roberto Fabelo, San Juan 90-86-89--265)
51. South Dakota 172-170-170--512 (Brandon Sigmund, Mitchell 84-84-88--256; Ben Irlbeck, Sioux Falls 88-86-85--259; Chris Long, Garretson 88-92-85--265)
52. Maine 152-152-WD--WD (Ricky Jones, Thomaston 77-73-75--225; Jason Gall, Augusta 75-79-WD--NS; Mark Plummer, Manchester 92-85-WD--NS)

 
                   
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