USGA MEN'S STATE TEAM
2014 USGA Men's State Team Championship: Storylines September 25, 2014 By Dan Scofield and Scott Lipsky, USGA

Reigning U.S. Mid-Am champ Scott Harvey will represent North Carolina at the Men's State Team Championship. (USGA/Chris Keane)

They’re All Here: For the third consecutive time, and seventh time in the 11 playings of the championship, all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have entered a team. 

11 For 11: Keith Decker, of Virginia, is the only competitor to have played in all 11 USGA Men's State Team Championships. 

Average Age of Competitors: 35.7 

Oldest Player In Field: John Sajevic, Nebraska- 58 (3/5/56) 

Youngest Player In Field: Andrew Chin, Hawaii- 15 (12/1/98) 

Father/Son Teammates In Field: John and Andrew Sajevic, Nebraska 

USGA Champions In Field (4): Michael McCoy, Iowa (2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur); Nathan Smith, Pennsylvania (2003, 2009, 2010, 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur); Tim Hogarth, California (1996 U.S. Amateur Public Links); Scott Harvey, North Carolina (2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur)

USGA Men’s State Champions In Field (4): Keith Decker, Virginia (1995); Sean Knapp, Pennsylvania (2009); Nathan Smith, Pennsylvania (2009); Bryan Norton, Kansas (2010)

USGA Runners-Up In Field (7): Bill Williamson, Ohio (2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur); Todd Mitchell, Illinois (2008 U.S. Mid-Amateur); Tim Spitz, New York (2009 U.S. Mid-Amateur); Tim Hogarth, California (2010 U.S. Mid-Amateur); Brad Nurski, Missouri (2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur); Kenny Cook, Indiana (2011 U.S. Mid-Amateur); Bryan Norton, Kansas (2003 U.S. Mid-Amateur; 2014 U.S. Senior Amateur)

Recent Championship Experience: 57 players in the field competed in at least one USGA championship in 2014, with the U.S. Mid-Amateur having the most Men’s State Team competitors in the field (34). 

2014 U.S. Open Competitors In Field (1): Will Grimmer, Ohio 

2014 U.S. Senior Open Competitors In Field (3): Tom Brandes, Washington; Michael McCoy, Iowa; Bryan Norton, Kansas 

USA Walker Cup Competitors In Field (2): Nathan Smith, Pennsylvania (2009, 2011, 2013); Todd White, South Carolina (2013)

World Amateur Team Championship Competitors In Field (3): Erick J. Morales, Puerto Rico (2004, 2012); Jeronimo Esteve, Puerto Rico (2012, 2014); Edward Figueroa, Puerto Rico (2014) 

Player Notes (By State):

Alabama:

Matt Gourgeot, 28, of Decatur, played for the University of North Alabama in 2008 when the Lions finished runner-up in the NCAA Division II Championship. The Men’s State Team ishis first USGA championship. The top-ranked mid-amateur in Alabama in 2013, Gourgeot has never had a hole-in-one, but has recorded three double eagles.

Steve Hudson, 56, of Birmingham, played for the University of Alabama and made the 36-hole cut at the  2010 U.S. Senior Open. He has been named the Alabama Golf Association Player of the Year three times.

Alaska:

Kevin Daniels, 24, of Anchorage, is a four-time Alaska Junior Amateur champion. He has aspirations of becoming a Major League Baseball umpire. He has been umpiring games since he was 12. He was an all-conference honoree during his collegiate days at American International College in Massachusetts. 

Greg Sanders, 50, of Anchorage, won the 2014 Alaska State Amateur by 18 strokes. Sanders, a 28-year Anchorage resident, is a member of the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship Committee. 

Arizona:

Trey Martin, 37, of Phoenix, was selected in the eighth round of the 1995 Major League Baseball Draft by the Montreal Expos. He pitched three seasons in the organization’s minor league system. Martin, who competed in both the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Mid-Amateur in 2013, now works as a real estate agent. He was the 2013 Arizona Golf Association Player of the Year.

Ken Tanigawa, 46, of Paradise Valley, won the 2014 Arizona Mid-Amateur Championship. The Kobe, Japan, native played golf at UCLA before embarking on a professional career. He was reinstated as an amateur in 2012. He advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur.

Arkansas:

Wes McNulty, 45, of White Hall, is playing in his fifth Men’s State Team. A farmer by trade, McNulty is a five-time Arkansas State Amateur Player of the Year. He played golf at the University of Arkansas.

Trey Schaap, 38, of North Little Rock, is a sports radio talk show host for Little Rock’s ESPN affiliate and the play-by-play voice of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock women’s basketball team.

California:

Jason Anthony, 31, of Fairfield, played professionally on the Canadian Tour and Golden State Tour. After regaining his amateur status, Anthony advanced to the Round of 64 in the 2013 U.S. Amateur. He was an All-Western Athletic Conference performer at Fresno State University.

Tim Hogarth, 48, of Northridge, won the 1996 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship and was the runner-up to Nathan Smith in the 2010 U.S. Mid-Amateur. Hogarth, who works in health food sales, played in the 1997 Masters as a result of his APL victory. He has won numerous titles at the state level.

DanSullivan, 47, of Pasadena, was the 2013 Southern California Golf Association Player of the Year. He advanced to the Round of 16 in both the 2013 Mid-Amateur and the 2009 U.S. Amateur Public Links. His wife, Lindsay, is the director of marketing for Fox Sports. He volunteers at The First Tee of Pasadena in his spare time.

Colorado:

Steve Irwin, 41, of Arvada, is the son of five-time USGA champion Hale Irwin. Steve, who competed in the 2011 U.S. Open, played at the University of Colorado, where Hale had a decorated football career as a defensive back.

Jon Lindstrom, 47, of Broomfield, was the 2008 Colorado Mid-Amateur of the Year and won both the Colorado Mid-Amateur Match Play and Colorado Four-Ball Championships in 2012. This is Lindstrom’s fourth time competing in the Men’s State Team. He is a vice president for Wells Fargo Insurance Services.

Connecticut:

Kevin Josephson, 24, of New Britain, has played in three USGA championships, most recently the 2013 U.S. Amateur. He played for Central Connecticut State University, earning All-Northeast Conference honors. He is on the executive committee for The Stan Trojanowski Northern Junior tournament, an annual junior golf tournament held in New England.

Delaware:

Ed Brown, 44, of Lewes, earned All-America honors as a quarterback for West Chester (Pa.) University. Brown spent 16 years as a golf course superintendent before getting into the insurance business.

Jay Whitby, 28, of Wyoming, played for Delaware in the 2009 Men's State Team. He was the 2013 Delaware Open champion and the 2006 Delaware Amateur champion.

District of Columbia:

Kevin McDonnell, 45, once rescued a man from a burning car before the vehicle exploded. He will be competing in his fourth USGA Men’s State Team Championship for the District of Columbia.

Florida:

Sam Horsfield, 17, of Davenport, won the 2013 Florida State Amateur by 11 strokes, becoming the youngest champion in 96 years. Horsfield was a semifinalist in the 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur, and also qualified for match play in the U.S. Amateur Public Links and U.S. Amateur. He was born in England, and his family moved to the United States when he was 4.

Jon Veneziano, 43, of Mount Dora, is competing in his 21st USGA championship and fourth USGA Men’s State Team Championship. He was a semifinalist in the 1988 U.S. Junior Amateur, defeating David Duval in the Round of 16.The Hartford, Conn., native has won numerous championships on the state level in New England and Florida, most recently the 2013 Florida Mid-Amateur. 

Georgia:

Cameron Hooper, 27, of Atlanta, played golf at Coastal Carolina University, where he was the teammate and roommate of PGA Tour pro Dustin Johnson. When Johnson’s original caddie could no longer work due to a back injury in the 2012 Tour Championship, Johnson called on Hooper mid-round to caddie for him. Hooper won the 2013 Georgia Mid-Amateur Championship. 

Jeff Knox, 51, of Augusta, is a member at Augusta National Golf Club who has played as a non-competitive marker at the Masters Tournament the past several years.. In April, he was paired with 2011 U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy in the third round. Knox bettered McIlroy by a shot, shooting an unofficial 2-under 70. He has competed for Georgia in the Men’s State Team on three previous occasions, and is a two-time Georgia Mid-Amateur champion.

David Noll Jr., 42, of Dalton, has tied orange ribbons to his golf hat since 2003, when his father died just before the U.S. Mid-Amateur. The orange signifies his father’s love for the University of Tennessee. Noll is a six-time Georgia State Golf Association Player of the Year who won the Tommy Barnes Award (state’s overall top player, male or female) in 2008.

Hawaii:

Andrew Chin, 15, of Honolulu, is the youngest competitor in the Men’s State Team. He was born in Singapore and holds Canadian citizenship.

Tyler Ota, 20, of Alea, made a hole-in-one on a par 4 at Ala Wai Golf Course in April. Ota, who is ambidextrous, is competing in his first USGA championship.

Idaho:

Darren Kuhn, 47, of Pocatello, didn’t play golf until he was 20 years old and didn’t have his first formal lesson until he was 32. Kuhn started a wholesale bread delivery business after high school. The company, Idaho Bread, is in its 29th year of operation. He won the Idaho Golf Association’s Tournament of Champions in 2012.

Illinois:

Todd Mitchell, 36, of Bloomington, was runner-up to Steve Wilson in the 2008 U.S. Mid-Amateur and is representing Illinois for the fourth time in the Men’s State Team. Mitchell was an all-Missouri Valley Conference shortstop at Illinois State, and was  chosen in the 14th round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the New York Yankees. He played two seasons in the minor leagues before retiring and getting into the insurance business.

Indiana:

Brett Widner, 34, of Avon, won the 2013 and 2014 Indiana Mid-Amateur Championships. Born and raised in Wabash, Ind., he played collegiately at Franklin College, where he was the 2004 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Most Valuable Golfer.
Sean Rowen, 40, of Greenwood, won Indiana’s Tournament of Champions in 2012 and 2014, both times edging out Indiana teammate Kenny Cook, and finished fourth in the 2014 Indiana State Amateur. He won the 2011 Indiana Mid-Amateur Championship. He played at the University of Iowa and led the Hawkeyes in scoring average in the 1994-95 season.

Kenny Cook, 34, of Noblesville, was the runner-up in the 2011 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship. He met his wife, Lisa, at Ball State University, where they both played collegiately. Kenny and Lisa have competed in several U.S. Mid-Amateur and U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateurs, including 2014 when the events were held the same week in early September. Cook also competed for Indiana at the 2012 Men’s State Team, the same year in which he was named the Indiana Golf Association’s Player of the Year. 

Iowa:

Gene Elliott, 52, of West Des Moines, was the stroke-play medalist in the 1999 U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links, and reached the quarterfinals of the 2006 U.S. Mid-Amateur. A 2012 Iowa Golf Hall of Fame inductee, he won the 2011 Iowa Amateur with his son, Sam, serving as his caddie.

Michael McCoy, 51, of West Des Moines, won the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur, becoming the second-oldest winner in the championship’s history. He was the low amateur in the 2014 U.S. Senior Open, finishing in a tie for 26th. An 11-time Iowa Golf Association Player of the Year, McCoy is a member of the Iowa Golf Association Hall of Fame. His son, Nate, is a professional golfer who spent 2014 competing in PGA Tour Canada events.

Kansas:

Zac Burton, 36, of Manhattan, played quarterback at Kansas State University for legendary coach Bill Snyder, graduating in 2000. He won the 2014 Kansas Public Links Championship and lost in a sudden-death playoff at the Kansas Mid-Amateur. He also represented Kansas in the 2012 Men’s State Team Championship. 

Bryan Norton, 55, of Overland Park, was the runner-up in the 2014 U.S. Senior Amateur, and was runner-up in the 2003 U.S. Mid-Amateur to Pennsylvania team member Nathan Smith. The 2014 Kansas Amateur champion was part of the 2010 Kansas squad that won the Men’s State Team Championship, finishing as the low individual in the championship at Mayacama Golf Club in Santa Rosa, Calif. A reinstated amateur, he has competed in four U.S. Opens. 

Kentucky:

Tom Campbell, 44, of Lexington, won the 2014 Kentucky State Amateur Championship, edging Men’s State Team teammate Denver Haddix Jr. by one stroke in June. He spent four years as the head men’s golf coach at Centre College in Danville, Ky., where he was also an assistant coach for the women’s basketball team, before accepting the position of head women’s basketball coach at Sewanee (Tenn.) College, where he will begin his first season this fall. 

Denver Haddix Jr., 34, of Lexington, won the 2014 Kentucky State Match Play Championship and reached the quarterfinals of last month’s U.S. Mid-Amateur. Upon graduating from Morehead (Ky.) State University, Haddix became a teaching professional, where one of his students was  current PGA Tour player Josh Teater, a former college teammate. Last November, Haddix  was diagnosed with sudden sensorineural hearing loss, which resulted in 85 percent hearing loss in his left ear.

Kyle Leach, 28, of Louisville, played collegiately at Bellarmine University (NCAA Division II). In 2008, he advanced to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, defeating future PGA Tour pros Scott Langley and Rickie Fowler in match play. While at Bellarmine, he was a four-time All-Midwest Region honoree by the Golf Coaches Association of America.

Louisiana:

Patrick Christovich, 36, of New Orleans, reached the quarterfinals of the 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur. He won four consecutive Louisiana Mid-Amateur titles (2010-13) and won the 2012 Louisiana State Amateur. He represented Louisiana in the 2010 and 2012 Men’s State Team Championships.

Maine:

Ricky Jones, 42, of Thomaston, is a nine-time Maine State Player of the Year. He has won the Maine Amateur three times (2003, 2004, 2013) and the Maine Mid-Amateur six times (2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2010, 2013). This is his sixth Men’s State Team and 17th USGA championship.

Maryland:

Patrick McCormick, 24, of Baltimore, played at Loyola (Md.) University and won the 2014 Maryland Open in a five-hole playoff over 2014 U.S. Amateur semifinalist Denny McCarthy. McCormick was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 15 and uses an insulin pump to control his blood-sugar levels.

Joseph Rice IV, 25, of Dunkirk, is competing in his first Men’s State Team Championship after qualifying for both the 2014 U.S. Amateur and U.S. Mid-Amateur, where he fell just short in a 9-for-3 playoff for the final match-play spots. The former University of Maryland standout also qualified for the 2012 U.S. Amateur.

Massachusetts:

Herbie Aikens, 32, of Kingston, has competed in nine USGA championships, including the 2012 Men’s State Team. He reached the Round of 16 in the 2011 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. The 2014 Massachusetts Public Links champion owns his own electrical business, which he started at the age of 20.

Doug Clapp, 47, of Walpole, is representing Massachusetts for a third time. Clapp was a second-team Division III All-American at Amherst College in 1989. He has competed in 14 USGA championships, including the 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur, and works as an attorney for the firm Holland & Knight, LLP.

Matt Parziale, 27, of Brockton, is a firefighter for the Brockton Fire Department. A reinstated amateur, Parziale qualified for the  2006 U.S. Amateur and 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur. He tied for second in the 2014 Massachusetts Open, losing in a four-man playoff.

Michigan:

Tom Werkmeister, 46, of Kentwood, was a semifinalist in the 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur, falling to Brad Nurski in 19 holes. The three-time Michigan Player of the Year and 2013 Michigan State Open champion is a member of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame. By his own count, he has bowled eight perfect 300 games.

Minnesota:

Jesse Bull, 39, of Hopkins, was a member of the University of North Dakota men’s hockey team that won the 1997 NCAA Division I national championship. He is the reigning Minnesota State Amateur champion.

Mississippi:

Eddie Brescher, 29, of Hattiesburg, is an assistant coach for the University of Southern Mississippi men’s golf team. He won the 2013 and 2014 Mississippi Open Championships and played at the University of Southeastern Louisiana. He is representing Mississippi for the second time.  

Missouri:

Richard Berkmeyer, 40, of Wildwood, has played in eight U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships, earning medalist honors twice. Berkmeyer, who owns a trophy business, is a three-time Missouri State Amateur champion. His mother, Barbara, was the 2002 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur runner-up.

Brad Nurski, 35, of St. Joseph, was the runner-up in the 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur to Scott Harvey. The left-hander has had great success at the state level, capturing the 2010 Missouri Amateur as well as the 2011 and 2013 Missouri Mid-Amateur titles. He is a conductor/switchman for BNSF Railway. He is representing Missouri for a third consecutive time in the Men’s State Team Championship.

Montana:

Brian Beach, 24, of Missoula, won the Championship Flight of the Golf Channel Amateur Tour in 2012. He fired a 63 during the 2013 Montana Open on his way to a runner-up finish.

Nebraska:

Ryan Nietfeldt, 38, of Elkhorn, serves on the board of directors for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Nebraska. Nietfeldt was named the Nebraska Amateur Golfer of the Year in 2002, 2003 and 2013, and is representing Nebraska for the fourth time in the Men’s State Team Championship. He has competed in nine USGA championships, reaching the Round of 16 in the 2002 U.S. Mid-Amateur. 

Andrew Sajevic, 24, of Fremont, is a three-time Nebraska Amateur champion (2010, 2011, 2013). He played at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and the University of North Carolina. He was named the Nebraska Amateur Golfer of the Year in 2010 and 2013 and earned All-Atlantic 10 honors twice while playing for UNC-Charlotte. He is competing in the Men’s State Team Championship with his father, John.

John Sajevic, 58, of Fremont, is competing for Nebraska in the USGA Men’s State Team Championship for the ninth time. He is a two-time Nebraska Amateur Golfer of the Year (1989, 1996) and won the first two Nebraska Senior Amateur Golfer of the Year Awards in 2012 and 2013. He was inducted into the Nebraska Golf Hall of Fame in 2006.

Nevada:

Josh Baskins, 23, of Reno, is a volunteer assistant coach for the University of Nevada men’s golf team. He last played for the Wolfpack during the 2013-14 season and was named a Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-American Scholar. He reached the Round of 16 in the 2014 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.

Kenny Ebalo, 31, of Las Vegas, manages PGA Tour player Ryan Moore, a three-time USGA champion. Ebalo, who is competing in his fourth USGA championship and first Men’s State Team Championship, also has caddied for U.S. Open champions Gary Player and Lee Janzen. He is the reigning Nevada State Mid-Amateur champion and reached the Round of 32 at last month’s U.S. Mid-Amateur.

Jeremy May, 38, of North Las Vegas, was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2013. The Men’s State Team Championship is his first USGA championship.

New Hampshire:

Ryan Kohler, 30, of Chesterfield, picked up the game after graduating from Keene State in 2007. He ordered 4,000 range balls from eBay and spent the entire winter of 2007 hitting golf balls into his parents’ field from a hole he dug in the snow. The following spring, he broke par for the first time. He competed for New Hampshire in the 2012 Men’s State Team.

Craig Steckowych, 55, of Greenland, is a two-time New Hampshire State Amateur champion (1990, 1998) and New Hampshire Mid-Amateur champion (1991, 2003). Steckowych, a three-time New Hampshire Player of the Year, is competing in his fifth Men’s State Team and has played in 11 USGA championships, including the 2009 U.S. Senior Open.

New Jersey:

Trevor Randolph, 41, of Franklin Lakes, competed for Rice University from 1992-96 and was among the first to qualify for the 2015 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Amateur with partner and fellow Congressional C.C. member Keith Unikel. He won the 2013 New Jersey Mid-Amateur and qualified for match play at the 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur.

New Mexico:

Nick Geyer, 27, of Albuquerque, played at the University of New Mexico before becoming the senior director of rules and competition for the Sun Country Golf Association, which encompasses New Mexico and portions of west Texas. The left-hander advanced to the Round of 32 at the 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur.

New York:

Sam Bernstein, 22, of New York City, played golf at Yale University, earning Ivy League Player of the Year honors in 2013 and Rookie of the Year honors in 2011. He founded the Harlem’s Children Zone Golf Program, which helps inner-city students learn the game. Bernstein competed in the 2013 U.S. Amateur at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., and on Aug. 13, was among the first three teams to qualify for the inaugural 2015 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship with partner Gregory Shuman.

Tim Spitz, 40, of Pittsford, was the runner-up in the 2009 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, losing in the championship match to Pennsylvania team member Nathan Smith. Spitz, who played at Furman University, won the 2012 New York State Mid-Amateur, defeating New York teammate Jim Scorse in the championship match. He has qualified for the 2015 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship with Scorse, and he played for New York in the 2010 Men’s State Team Championship.

North Carolina:

Bo Andrews, 24, of Raleigh, shot a course-record 7-under-par 63 at Charles River Country Club during the second round of stroke-play qualifying in the 2013 U.S. Amateur. Andrews graduated in May from Georgia Tech, where he earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors in 2012. He has reached match play in the last two U.S. Amateurs. 

Scott Harvey, 36, of Greensboro, won the 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, defeating Brad Nurski, who is competing for Missouri, in the 36-hole championship match. His father, Bill, played in 23 USGA championships, including 15 U.S. Amateurs. He has won the last three Carolinas Golf Association Player of the Year Awards (2011-13), and is competing for North Carolina in his fourth Men’s State Team.

North Dakota:

Rick Kuhn, 44, of Mandan, was the 2007 and 2010 North Dakota Player of the Year and has won the state’s stroke-play championship three times, most recently in 2014. He will be representing North Dakota for the fourth time in the Men’s State Team.

Greg Melhus, 38, of Fargo, will be competing for North Dakota for the fourth time in the Men’s State Team. He also competed for Minnesota in 2012. He was named the North Dakota Associated Press Athlete of the Year in 2000. He played golf for the University of North Dakota.

Ohio:

Will Grimmer, 17, of Cincinnati, was the youngest competitor in the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2.  A senior at Mariemont High School, Grimmer was the 2013 Ohio Division II state runner-up. He reached the quarterfinals of the 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur and also competed in the U.S. Amateur in August. He carded an 11-under-par 59 at Pinehurst No. 1 in the 2013 North & South Junior Amateur. Grimmer is verbally committed to enroll at Ohio State University next fall.

Jeffrey Scohy, 37, of Bellbrook, spent seven years on active duty as a U.S. Air Force acquisitions officer, rising to the rank of captain. Scohy now serves in the Air Force Reserves as a major, and has made several trips to Iraq on temporary duty. The Columbus native is a three-time winner of the Armed Forces Golf Championship. This will be his third time representing Ohio in the Men’s State Team Championship (2010, 2012), and he has competed in 10 USGA championships.

Bill Williamson, 37, of Cincinnati, was the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur runner-up, losing to Michael McCoy, a member of the Iowa team, in the championship match. Two of his three career holes-in-one came on back-to-back days at Golden Ocala Golf Club while playing for the University of Akron. He won the 2009 Ohio Mid-Amateur Championship. An attorney, Williamson has completed four half-marathons.

Oklahoma:

Heath Myers, 30, of Kingfisher, is the brother-in-law of PGA Tour player Charles Howell III. He represented Oklahoma in the 2010 Men’s State Team. 

Kirk Wright, 53, of Oklahoma City, is a battalion chief for the Oklahoma City Fire Department and was on duty during the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing in 1995. Wright won the 2013 Oklahoma State Senior Amateur and won the 50-and-older competition of the 2012 United States Police and Fire Golf Championship.

Oregon:

Jesse Heinly, 22, of Bend, began his collegiate career at Concordia University before transferring to Xavier University in Ohio after the 2011-12 season. Heinly reached the Round of 32 in the 2014 U.S. Amateur, falling to eventual runner-up Corey Conners. 

Pennsylvania:

Sean Knapp, 52, of Oakmont, has competed in more than 40 USGA championships. He lost to eventual-champion Tiger Woods in the Round of 16 in the 1995 U.S. Amateur and was paired with Tom Watson in the third round of the 2012 U.S. Senior Open. He has won numerous championships at the state level and is a three-time Pennsylvania Golf Association Player of the Year. In 2009, he helped Pennsylvania win the Men’s State Team Championship with four-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Nathan Smith. Knapp was best man at Smith’s wedding.

Nathan Smith, 36, of Pittsburgh, is a record four-time champion of the U.S. Mid-Amateur champion (2003, 2009, 2010, 2012), and has represented the USA on three Walker Cup Teams (2009, 2011, 2013). Smith clinched the deciding point in the 2013 Match. He has competed in the Masters four times. The investment advisor advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2014 U.S. Amateur and helped Pennsylvania claim the 2009 Men’s State Team Championship with 2014 teammate Sean Knapp.

Puerto Rico:

Jeronimo Esteve, 33, of Guaynabo, is a cancer survivor, having been diagnosed with lymphoma in 2011, the same day he won his club championship. Esteve, who played at Dartmouth, won the 2014 Puerto Rico Golf Association Championship to earn a spot in the 2015 Puerto Rico Open, a PGA Tour event. Esteve has twice represented Puerto Rico in the World Amateur Team Championship (2012, 2014). 

Erick J. Morales, 31, of Sabana Seca, won the 2009 and 2011 Caribbean Amateur Championships. Morales played at Rutgers University and represented Puerto Rico in the 2004 and 2014 World Amateur Team Championships and the 2010 Men’s State Team. He competed in the PGA Tour’s Puerto Rico Open in 2010 and 2014. 

Rhode Island:

Charlie Blanchard, 49, of North Providence, is the head men’s golf coach at Bryant University. He played lacrosse at Ohio Wesleyan University and professionally for the Boston Blazers. He also coached lacrosse at Bryant University. The left-hander is a seven-time Rhode Island Golf Association Player of the Year, having won numerous state championships. He reached the U.S. Mid-Amateur Round of 16 in 2012, defeating his Rhode Island teammate and fellow southpaw, Brad Valois, in the Round of 32. 

Bobby Leopold, 29, of Coventry, has advanced to the Round of 16 in the U.S. Amateur on two occasions, most recently in 2012. Leopold, a two-time Rhode Island Golf Association Player of the Year, won his state’s amateur championship in 2009 and 2014.

Brad Valois, 27, of Warwick, earned All-America honors as a member of the University of Rhode Island golf team. He has won four Rhode Island Amateur titles and was the state’s player of the year in 2006 and 2013. Valois was the stroke-play medalist in the 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur.

South Carolina:

Rick Cloninger, 57, of Fort Mill, has represented Florida (1995), Georgia (1999, 2001) and South Carolina (2007, 2014) in the USGA Men’s State Team Championship, and has won each state’s mid-amateur championship. A former all-conference quarterback at Wofford College, Cloninger advanced to the semifinals of the 2014 U.S. Senior Amateur.He is the reigning South Carolina Senior Amateur champion. 

Lee Palms, 45, of Greenville, was the 1991 NCAA Division III Individual champion while playing for Emory University (Ga.). Palms, a two-time South Carolina Mid-Amateur champion, is an insurance executive who coaches and mentors young golfers in his spare time. Palms’ father served as president of the University of South Carolina.

Todd White, 46, of Spartanburg, represented the USA in the 2013 Walker Cup. He was inducted into the Furman University Hall of Fame in 2003, where he played collegiately, and is a four-time South Carolina Golf Association Player of the Year. The high school history teacher was a semifinalist in the 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur, and played in the 1995 U.S. Open. He is representing South Carolina for the fifth time in the Men’s State Team Championship.

South Dakota:

Jeff Meyerink, 34, of Mitchell, won the 2014 South Dakota Two-Man Championship with  Brandon Sigmund. He is a competitive billiards player who was part of a team that won the state championship.

Tennessee:

Todd Burgan, 45, of Powell, is competing in his fourth Men’s State Team Championship for Tennessee. He was the 2011 Tennessee Golf Association Player of the Year and a semifinalist in the 2010 U.S. Mid-Amateur. He works as a pharmacist.  

Matt Cooper, 35, of Memphis, is a director of marketing for Kemper Sports. Cooper played golf  at the University of Memphis from 1998-2002 and qualified for his first U.S. Mid-Amateur in September. He lost in the Round of 64 to Trevor Sauntry. His younger brother, Kyle, is a retired United States Marine who served in Iraq and was awarded a Purple Heart.

Texas:

Zach Atkinson, 32, of Colleyville, advanced to the Round of 16 in the 2003 U.S. Amateur before falling to future PGA Tour player Bill Haas. He lost in the Round of 16 in the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur to eventual champion Mike McCoy. Atkinson was a two-time All-Sun Belt Conference performer at  the University of North Texas. He also won the 2004 Texas Amateur.

Aaron Hickman, 36, of Tyler, was an All-Western Athletic Conference selection in 1999 at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. He is representing Texas for the third time in the Men’s State Team Championship, and has  competed in eight USGA championships, reaching the Round of 16 in the 2011 U.S. Mid-Amateur.

Utah:

Dan Horner, 36, of Sandy, was the 2008 Utah Golf Association Player of the Year and has won more than 50 events in the state. Horner has competed in 12 USGA championships and will be representing Utah for the fifth time in the Men’s State Team. He played golf at Rutgers University.

Darrin Overson, 39, of Provo, won the 1998 Utah State Amateur Championship despite having never previously competed in match play. He is competing in his third Men’s State Team Championship. It took him 34 years to get his first hole-in-one, and has now had four in the last three years. He played at Colorado State University.

Jon Wright, 44, of Salt Lake City, is a former professional golfer who competed on what is now the Web.com Tour before regaining his amateur status in 2006. The two-time Utah State Amateur champion is a founding board member of the Utah Autism Foundation. He earned All-Western Athletic Conference honors while playing for the University of Utah.

Vermont:

Garren Poirer, 34, of Killington, started his own photography business in 2006. He grew up in a military family and lived in several locations in the United States, as well as Germany and Greece. After playing for Temple University, Poirier put down his golf clubs for four years before starting again in 2005. Poirier will be playing on his fourth USGA Men’s State Team. He is the 2012 Vermont Mid-Amateur champion.

Bryan Smith, 29, of Jay, was the runner-up in both the 2013 and 2014 Vermont Amateur. Smith is playing in his first USGA championship. A reinstated amateur, Smith was the 2009 and 2010 Vermont PGA Player of the Year. 

Virginia:

Keith Decker, 54, of Martinsville, is the only player to have competed in all 11 USGA Men’s State Team Championships. Decker helped Virginia claim the inaugural Men’s State Team title in 1995. He is a seven-time Virginia Player of the Year and three-time Virginia State Open champion. Decker earned All-America honors twice while playing golf at Elon (N.C.) College. He has set course records on at least four different courses, two with scores of 58 and 59. 

Scott Shingler, 42, of Haymarket, won the 2011 Virginia State Amateur and 2010 Virginia Mid-Amateur. He is playing in his fourth USGA Men’s State Team Championship. Shingler is a two-time Virginia State Golf Association Player of the Year. He and teammate Keith Decker won the Virginia Four-Ball Championship in 2012.

Washington:

Tom Brandes, 58, of Bellevue, did not start playing golf until the age of 35. He was the 2013 British Senior Amateur runner-up. He has competed in the U.S. Senior Open on four occasions and advanced to the Round of 16 in the 2014 U.S. Senior Amateur. 

Mike Haack, 35, of Bellevue, is competing in his third straight Men’s State Team. He won the 2010 Washington Mid-Amateur Championship, the first year it was contested, and was named Washington’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year in 2013. He played collegiately at the University of Nevada.

Erik Hanson, 49, of Kirkland, pitched for four Major League Baseball teams from 1988-98 and  was named to the 1995 American League All-Star Team as a member of the Boston Red Sox. He is competing in his sixth USGA Men’s State Team Championship. Hanson advanced to match play in consecutive U.S. Mid-Amateurs (2012-13). Hanson played college baseball at Wake Forest.

West Virginia:

Sam O’Dell, 36, of Hurricane, was a two-time Academic All-American while playing for Marshall University. O’Dell is a three-time West Virginia Mid-Amateur champion and the 2013 West Virginia Amateur champion. He works as a dentist.

Wisconsin:

Matt Behm, 35, of Janesville, was the 2006 Wisconsin State Player of the Year and will be competing in his second USGA Men’s State Team, having previously played in 2007. Behm’s parents recently adopted a girl from China who is blind. His father lost his sight when he was 16.

Tom Halla, 46, of Colgate, is a veteran USGA championship competitor. He has been paired with his son, Charlie, in the final grouping of two Wisconsin state championships, and recently took up curling.

Wyoming:

John Hornbeck, 56, of Saratoga, is a two-time Wyoming State Player of the Year, the oldest player to receive the award. He reached the Round of 32 in the 2014 U.S. Senior Amateur. This is his third time representing Wyoming in the Men’s State Team.

Mark Isakson, 57, of Sheridan, is playing in his third Men’s State Team. Isakson, who has competed in three U.S. Mid-Amateurs, made a double eagle in the 2014 Wyoming Mid-Amateur, holing his second shot from 262 yards out.

Dan Scofield is a communications intern at the USGA. Email him at dscofield@usga.org. Scott Lipsky is the manager of websites and digital platforms for the USGA. Email him at slipsky@usga.org.

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