Santa Rosa, Calif. – The gigantic smile on Bryan Norton’s face said it all.

Twice a USGA runner-up – once as an individual at the 2003 U.S. " />

Kansas Claims USGA Men's State Team Title

Behind 68 From Medalist Bryan Norton, Team Posts 4-Stroke Victory


Bryan Norton was a bedrock for Kansas, carding a 68 on Thursday in the final round of the 2010 USGA Men's State Team Championship. (Steven Gibbons/USGA)
By David Shefter, USGA
September 16, 2010

Santa Rosa, Calif. – The gigantic smile on Bryan Norton’s face said it all.

Twice a USGA runner-up – once as an individual at the 2003 U.S. Mid-Amateur and again last September at the Men’s State Team Championship – the 51-year-old from Mission Hills, Kan., was aching to take home a national title.

“And I was second-low am at the [U.S.] Senior Open last year, too,” said an elated Norton, whose Kansas squad soared to the top in 2010 at the Men's State Team Championship at Mayacama Golf Club.

Carding a 3-under-par 68 in Thursday’s final round, Norton guided Kansas to a four-stroke victory over Rhode Island, Florida and North Carolina.

Kansas, which started the day tied with Georgia for the 36-hole lead, posted a final-round 142 (even par) on the 6,726-yard Jack Nicklaus design to finish the 54-hole competition at 3-under 423. Charlie Stevens of Wichita and Tyler Shelton of Fairway each posted 74s, with one being discarded in the three-count-two format.

“This means a lot,” said the 41-year-old Stevens. “I’m excited for Bryan. He’s done a lot for Kansas golf.

“I don’t know if it’s vindication or justification, but we showed we can play. It’s a neat deal. It’s going to be really neat for the Kansas Golf Association. [Executive Director] Kim Richey did not make it [to Mayacama]. He’s going to be pretty excited.”

Georgia, meanwhile, struggled in the final round, posting a 10-over 152 to share ninth position. The disappointment was on the faces of all three players entering the scoring area adjacent to the 18th green. David Noll Jr. of Dothan, who had a course-record 65 on Wednesday, carded a 77 and Adam Cooper added a 75. Doug Hanzel’s 79 was tossed out.

Florida, which started the day five strokes back, made an early run at Kansas on the first nine, shooting four under par. But only Don Bell managed to finish with a sub-par score, carding an impressive 67. Jon Veneziano added a 74. It was Florida’s best finish since the inaugural event in 1995 at Lake Nona, where they were solo second to champion Virginia.

“We’re excited about that for sure,” said Bell, coming off a second-round 80. “Of course it’s disappointing not to win. Congratulations to the winners, they played great. I think for our association, we are very pleased to finish second.”

North Carolina, which also tied for second in 2003, posted a 1-under 141 behind a 70 by Scott Harvey and Uly Grisette’s 71.

Rhode Island produced its best finish ever in the State Team after sharing fourth last year with South Carolina. Left-hander Charlie Blanchard rallied for a second-nine 33 for a 71 and Bobby Leopold posted a 70.

Illinois and Alabama shared fifth at 2-over 428, one stroke ahead of Virginia, which was six under for nine holes before falling back to shoot 2-under 140, thanks to a 67 from Scott Shingler.

Shingler finished one stroke behind Norton for individual medalist honors. With his 68, Norton posted a 5-under 138.

Defending champion Pennsylvania, which got a 72 from two-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Nathan Smith, finished tied for ninth at 433, while host California, behind an even-par 71 from Harry Rudolph III, garnered solo eighth.

With the course baked in sunshine all day and just a gentle breeze, conditions were ideal for scoring.  Eight teams managed under-par totals, doubling the totals (four) from the first two rounds. Eighteen individuals broke par, equaling the number of sub-par rounds over the first 36 holes.

Kansas appeared as though it was going to run away from the field early on the second nine, with Shelton and Norton under par. But things can change rapidly in a team event, and when Shelton double-bogeyed No. 17 and knocked two in the water on 18 for a triple-bogey 8, things became a little precarious.

Norton, playing in the final group, only saw on a scoreboard that his team was six under and never heard about Shelton’s travails on the last two holes. He managed to birdie both par-5s coming in, reaching the 18th in two and two-putting for a closing birdie to offset a bogey at the par-3 17th.

The victory was especially sweet for Norton. At the 2003 U.S. Mid-Amateur, he pulled a calf muscle 8½ holes into the championship match and had to concede to Nathan Smith. A year ago at The Country Club of St. Albans in suburban St. Louis, Norton, competing with two different Kansas players (Jon Troutman and Dodge Kemmer), watched his team open with a 9-under 133, matching the championship 18-hole scoring mark. Caught in a heavy downpour in round two, the team struggled to a 152 and couldn’t recover enough in the final round, placing three strokes behind champion Pennsylvania, including Smith.

Norton vowed that 2010 would provide a different outcome, urging the Kansas Golf Association to change its selection criteria to focus on hot players, not points. The process seemed to work.

“As soon as they selected the team, I sent an e-mail to these two guys that we’re going to win,” said Norton, a veteran of two previous State Team Championships. “We’re not going there to play well. We had a good team for this course. We had guys who could keep it in play and good decision-makers.”

Even garnering medalist honors was secondary for the team-oriented Norton.

“Quite honestly, that’s nice,” said Norton. “But all I cared about was the team. Then you can share it with everybody.”

David Shefter is a USGA communications staff writer. E-mail him with question or comments at dshefter@usga.org.

Santa Rosa, Calif. – Results from Thursday’s final round of the Ninth USGA Men’s State Team Championship conducted at the 6,726-yard, par-71 Mayacama Golf Club:

1-Kansas (423): Bryan Norton, Mission Hills 69-71-68--208; Charlie Stevens, Wichita 71-70-74--215; Tyler Shelton, Fairway 80-76-74--230

T2-Rhode Island (427): Bobby Leopold, Cranston 72-71-70--213; Garrett Medeiros, Rumford 72-71-74--217; Charlie Blanchard, North Providence 76-76-71--223

T2-North Carolina (427): Uly Grisette, Clemmons 74-70-71--215; Scott Harvey, Greensboro 72-76-70--218; Paul Simson, Raleigh 71-73-76--220

T2-Florida (427): Jon Veneziano, Eustis 67-75-74--216; Doug Snoap, Apopka 74-70-75--219; Don Bell, Port Orange 74-80-67--221

T5-Illinois (428): Todd Mitchell, Bloomington 71-70-70--211; John Ehrgott, Peoria 79-74-70--223; Brad Benjamin, Rockford 73-76-75--224

T5-Alabama (428): Glenn Northcutt, Dothan 73-72-73--218; Robert Nelson, Mobile 68-83-69--220; Steve Hudson, Birmingham 74-74-72--220

7-Virginia (429): Scott Shingler, Haymarket 71-71-67--209; Keith Decker, Martinsville 75-71-77--223; Roger Newsom, Virginia Beach 76-76-74--226

8-California (432): Harry Rudolph III, La Jolla 75-70-71--216; Jeff Wilson, Fairfield 73-75-72--220; Randy Haag, Burlingame 71-76-76--223

T9-Georgia (433): David Noll Jr, Dalton 74-65-77--216; Doug Hanzel, Savannah 68-77-79--224; Adam Cooper, Columbus 75-74-75--224

T9-Washington (433): Erik Hanson, Kirkland 69-76-73--218; Derek Berg, Kenmore 71-77-70--218; Mike Haack, Bellevue 73-74-74--221

T9-Pennsylvania (433): Nathan Smith, Pittsburgh 71-72-72--215; Sean Knapp, Oakmont 73-71-74--218; Artie Fink Jr., Altoona 79-84-75--238

T9-South Carolina (433): Todd White, Moore 70-72-71--213; Steve Liebler, Irmo 74-74-74--222; Brent Roof, Columbia 79-77-72--228

13-West Virginia (435): Jonathan Bartlett, Lewisburg 72-72-72--216; Pat Carter, Huntington 72-73-75--220; Steve Fox, Huntington 85-74-74--233

T14-Ohio (436): Bill Williamson, Cincinnati 72-72-74--218; Robert Gerwin II, Cincinnati 79-74-69--222; Jeff Scohy, Bellbrook 76-73-74--223

T14-Tennessee (436): Todd Burgan, Knoxville 72-73-68--213; Jeff Golliher, Knoxville 72-76-75--223; Tim Jackson, Germantown 73-76-75--224

T14-Kentucky (436): Andy Roberts, Owensboro 73-71-75--219; Robert Crockett, Louisville 77-73-72--222; Mark Knecht, Paducah 77-76-70--223

T17-Texas (437): Aaron Hickman, Dallas 71-75-72--218; Rob Couture, Dallas 76-70-73--219; John Bearrie, Arlington 78-76-77--231

T17-Mississippi (437): Fletcher Johnson, Belden 73-71-69--213; Lane Pippin, Ocean Springs 75-76-74--225; Scott Rhodes, Ridgeland 74-83-77--234

T17-Massachusetts (437): John Hadges, North Easton 75-73-71--219; Brian Higgins, Bellingham 71-78-75--224; Frank Vana, North Andover 73-74-78--225

T17-Michigan (437): Joseph Juszczyk, Dearborn Heights 80-69-66--215; Eric Lilleboe, Okemos 77-80-73--230; Jeff Champine, Rochester Hills 78-74-79--231

21-Utah (438): Kirk Siddens, Salt Lake City 72-78-70--220; Dan Horner, Sandy 75-79-69--223; Darrin Overson, Provo 70-80-77--227

22-Lousiana (439): Grady Brame, Hammond 72-80-71--223; Patrick Christovich, New Orleans 80-72-71--223; Daniel Berger, New Orleans 81-73-73--227

23-New Jersey (440): Thomas Gramigna, Haddonfield 74-72-73--219; Brian Komline, Bridgewater 72-75-74--221; David Pierce, Branchburg 79-80-74--233

24-Nebraska (441): Travis Minzel, Lincoln 75-73-75--223; Ryan Nietfeldt, Omaha 75-71-77--223; John Sajevic, Fremont 77-80-72--229

T25-Oregon (443): Paul Peterson, Corvallis 79-70-69--218; Chad Sawyer, West Linn 73-82-76--231; Jim Dunlap, Beaverton 75-82-74--231

T25-Missouri (443): Scott Hovis, Jefferson City 71-72-77--220; Brad Nurski, St Joseph 75-74-75--224; Tyler Stalker, Springfield 82-85-76--243

27-New York (447): Tim Spitz, Pittsford 72-71-74--217; Ken Riter, Buffalo 81-76-79--236; Hans Albertsson, Sleepy Hollow 75-81-80--236

28-Vermont (448): Brian Albertazzi, Killington 71-74-78--223; Garren Poirier, Killington 77-74-74--225; Eric Lajeunesse, Barre 85-78-78--241

T29-Connecticut (449): Mike Ballo, Stamford 67-74-71--212; Ryan Leahey, Orange 79-80-81--240; Bill Hermanson, East Lyme 83-83-78--244

T29-New Mexico (449): Matthew Williams, Albuquerque 73-77-70--220; Patrick Hanlon, Las Cruces 75-75-81--231; Antone Salome, Socorro 80-76-80--236

T29-Oklahoma (449): Heath Myers, Kingfisher 71-77-77--225; Brad Kropp, Edmond 80-76-74--230; Jay Smith, Edmond 74-78-79--231

T29-Maine (449): Ricky Jones, Thomaston 77-75-72--224; Seth Sweet, Madison 79-75-75--229; Matt Greenleaf, Portland 75-83-76--234

33-Maryland (450): Brent Martin, La Plata 75-69-78--222; Jeff Lim-Sharpe, Silver Spring 78-78-74--230; Michael Meyer, Rockville 84-77-77--238

34-Iowa (451): Jon Brown, Urbandale 78-74-72--224; J. D. Anderson, West Des Moines 77-79-77--233; Michael McCoy, West Des Moines 72-79-WD--NS

35-Arizona (452): Kyle Kallan, Peoria 71-77-72--220; Kenneth Kellaney, Phoenix 81-76-77--234; Patrick Geare, Tucson 81-75-80--236

36-Colorado (453): Jon Lindstrom, Broomfield 75-77-71--223; Michael Harrington, Colorado Springs 77-78-75--230; James Kurtenbach, Highlands Ranch 77-79-76--232

37-Minnesota (455): Erik Christopherson, Stillwater 71-78-74--223; Greg Melhus, Rogers 77-77-79--233; Johnny Larson, New Ulm 76-78-84--238

T38-Montana (457): Mark Mance, Whitefish 75-72-79--226; Bill Dunn, Missoula 78-88-73--239; Brandon Davison, Billings 80-80-81--241

T38-Indiana (457): Randy Nichols, Brookville 75-77-74--226; Skip Runnels, Richmond 80-78-73--231; Sam Till, Fort Wayne 80-78-84--242

40-North Dakota (462): Rick Kuhn, Bismarck 82-76-73--231; Tim Skarperud, Grand Forks 84-75-76--235; Todd Baumgartner, Bismarck 80-84-86--250

41-Wisconsin (463): Todd Schaap, Kenosha 80-72-73--225; Pat Boyle, South Milwaukee 81-75-84--240; Kevin Cahill, Waukesha 81-79-82--242

T42-Nevada (465): Joe Sanders, Incline Village 81-80-76--237; Brady Exber, Las Vegas 81-76-81--238; Steve Fink, Las Vegas 88-74-77--239

T42-Arkansas (465): Wes McNulty, Pine Bluff 77-78-79--234; Neal Westbrook, Russellville 79-76-81--236; Chris Jenkins, Little Rock 85-76-78--239

T44-Alaska (466): Adam Baxter, Fairbanks 76-89-75--240; Greg Sanders, Anchorage 79-82-81--242; Casey Cusack, Anchorage NC-81-73--NS

T44-South Dakota (466): Ryan Jansa, Sioux Falls 76-74-76--226; Tim Kalil, Brookings 80-79-81--240; Paul Schock, Sioux Falls 89-90-87--266

46-New Hampshire (469): Nicholas Macdonald, Lebanon 74-75-79--228; Jim Cilley, Penacook 75-83-83--241; Ken Nilson, Center Harbor 82-88-93--263

T47-Wyoming (471): Todd Griffin, Casper 79-77-77--233; John Hornbeck, Saratoga 80-79-79--238; Morgan Splichal, Gillette 81-87-83--251

T47-Delaware (471): Greg Wolfe, Newark 78-73-78--229; Chase Brockstedt, Rehoboth Beach 82-77-90--249; Darrell Clayton, Wilmington 81-89-84--254

49-Puerto Rico (478): Erick J Morales, San Juan 79-73-80--232; Roberto Fabelo, San Juan 84-74-88--246; Elvin Gonzalez, San Juan 90-85-96--271

50-Hawaii (484): Hunter Larson, Naalehu 77-76-80--233; Reo Saito, Honolulu 85-84-82--251; Jared Kato, Pearl City 90-98-87--275

51-Idaho (486): Matt McPhie, Star 77-88-78--243; Everett Grimes, Nampa 79-84-80--243; Matt Meador, Hailey 85-90-91--266

52-District of Columbia (502): Mychael Cohn, Washington 81-85-79--245; Kevin McDonnell, Washington 91-95-79--265; Richard Ledwidge, Washington 98-87-82--267

 
                   
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