USGA MEN'S STATE TEAM
Iowa First-Round Leader At Men's State Team September 29, 2014 By Scott Lipsky, USGA

Brandon Aydlett, of Louisiana, matched the day's low round with a 4-under 68. (USGA/Chris Keane)

FRENCH LICK, Ind. – A 2-under-par 70 from 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Michael McCoy was complemented by a 1-under 71 performance from teammate Gene Elliott on Tuesday to give Iowa a two-stroke lead over Florida, Virginia and Louisiana following the first round of the 2014 USGA Men’s State Team Championship at the par-72, 6,891-yard Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort. 

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.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.

Iowa, which finished second in 2012, posted a first-round score of 3-under 141. Elliott is the only member of the 2012 squad who is competing this year.

J.D. [Anderson] is a really good player and Mike is probably the best mid-amateur in the country, so if I can make some birdies and contribute, I think we should be a pretty strong team. I’m just trying to hold up my part, said Elliott, who birdied the first two holes of his round and was 3 under through seven before making four bogeys on the next eight holes. It’s kind of a nerve-wracking golf course. You’re not sure where to hit it at times. You’ve got to hit it where you’re looking or it’s going to be a long day. A big number can snap up at any time on this golf course, it’s a little scary.

McCoy, competing in his seventh Men’s State Team, had an up-and-down round, carding five birdies to three bogeys. He was 1 over on his round before closing with three birdies in his last seven holes.

I hit a couple of good iron shots and hit it pretty straight, and that’s big out here, said McCoy, the low amateur at this year’s U.S. Senior Open. You have to be in play [here]. If you hit it out of the fairway, you’re going to have a bad stance, because there’s such severe slope.

Anderson, who represented Iowa in the 2005 Men’s State Team, shot a non-counting 77.

Brandon Aydlett, of Louisiana fired a 4-under 32 on his inward nine en route to a 4-under 68, matching Virginia’s Justin Young for the low score of the day among individuals. After an uneven start to his round, Aydlett, found a variety of ways to score coming in. He made a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 10 and then hit a pair of stellar iron shots on Nos. 12 and 13. He knocked his approach to the  par-4 12th to 4 feet before nearly holing his tee shot on the par-3 13th. He made a 15-foot putt for birdie on No. 15 and two-putted the par-5 18th hole for his seventh birdie of the round.

I think I started getting a little more comfortable with the lines on the back nine, with the course being as narrow as it is, said Aydlett, of Metairie, who competed in his first USGA championship earlier this month at the U.S. Mid-Amateur. I was able to keep it in the fairway and give myself some scoring opportunities. I just hung in there and felt like I was driving the ball well. I knew I could be a little more aggressive with my putts and could break out [on the inward nine].

Aydlett’s 68 propelled Louisiana to a team score of 1-under 143, with John Talley’s 3-over 75 as the second counting score. Patrick Christovich, who reached the quarterfinals of the 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur, posted a non-scoring 79.

A late rally buoyed Young, who began his round on the inward nine. Playing in his first USGA championship, he made three straight birdies on Nos. 6-8, and along with Scott Shingler’s 75, Virginia shot 143. Virgina won the inaugural Men’s State Team in 1995. Florida also matched  Louisiana and Virginia, thanks to a 2-under 70 from 17-year-old Sam Horsfield. While the Sunshine State has never claimed a MST title, it has finished runner-up twice, most recently in 2010. Fellow 17-year-old Gabriel Lench added a 1-over 73 Florida.

Horsfield, a semifinalist in the 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur, went out in 2-under 34, and shot even par on the inward nine despite a pair of three-putt bogeys. He put an exclamation point on his round with a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 18.

I just didn’t make as many putts on the back nine as I did on the front nine, but overall I played good and I’m happy with my round, said Horsfield. [The course] doesn’t reward long players. Where the bunkers are placed, you have to either hit it short of them or take on some long carries.

Missouri, Tennessee and Texas are tied for fifth after shooting even-par 144.

West Virginia’s Sam O’Dell, a dentist who played collegiate golf at Marshall University, was the third player to post a sub-70 score, firing a 3-under 69 that included five birdies. His score helped  West Virginia to a share of eighth place at 1-over 145.

Defending champion New York, which arrived at French Lick with three different players from 2012, is in a tie for 15th at 148, with Sam Bernstein and Jim Scorse each posting rounds of 2-over 74.

Host state Indiana, looking to improve on its high finish of a tie for third in 1997, finished tied for 19th, posting a score of 5-over 149. Kenny Cook, the 2011 U.S. Mid-Amateur runner-up, led the way for the Hoosier State with a 2-over 74.

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

FRENCH LICK, N.J. – Results from Tuesday’s first 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. Iowa - 141  (-3)

Michael McCoy 70
Gene Elliott 71
J.D. Anderson 77

T2. Florida - 143  (-1)

Sam Horsfield 70
Gabriel Lench 73
Jon Veneziano 80

T2. Louisiana - 143  (-1)

Brandon Aydlett 68
John Talley 75
Patrick Christovich 79

T2. Virginia - 143  (-1)

Justin Young 68
Scott Shingler 75
Keith Decker 79

T5. Missouri - 144  (Even)

Richard Berkmeyer 71
Brad Nurski 73
Phil Caravia 79

T5. Tennessee - 144  (Even)

Craig Smith 72
Todd Burgan 72
Matt Cooper 79

T5. Texas - 144  (Even)

Aaron Hickman 71
Colby Harwell 73
Zach Atkinson 81

T8. California - 145  (+1)

Jason Anthony 70
Tim Hogarth 75
Dan Sullivan 78

T8. Connecticut - 145  (+1)

David Pastore 70
Peter Ballo 75
Kevin Josephson 76

T8. Illinois - 145  (+1)

Kyle Nathan 71
Todd Mitchell 74
Blake Johnson 79

T8. West Virginia - 145  (+1)

Sam O'Dell 69
Trent Roush 76
Philip Reale II 78

12. Delaware - 146  (+2)

Chris Anderson 72
Jay Whitby 74
Ed Brown 83

T13. Colorado - 147  (+3)

Jon Lindstrom 73
Steve Irwin 74
Nick Nosewicz 79

T13. Mississippi - 147  (+3)

Eddie Brescher III 70
Alan Ellis 77
Brandon Laird 78

T15. New York - 148  (+4)

Sam Bernstein 74
Jim Scorse 74
Tim Spitz 77

T15. Pennsylvania - 148  (+4)

Nathan Smith 72
Sean Knapp 76
Arnie Cutrell 77

T15. Rhode Island - 148  (+4)

Bobby Leopold 73
Brad Valois 75
Charlie Blanchard 79

T15. Washington - 148  (+4)

Tom Brandes 71
Mike Haack 77
Erik Hanson 78

T19. Alabama - 149  (+5)

Matt Gourgeot 72
Matt Johnson 77
Steve Hudson 80

T19. Indiana - 149  (+5)

Kenny Cook 74
Sean Rowen 75
Brett Widner 77

T19. Nevada - 149  (+5)

Josh Baskins 73
Kenny Ebalo 76
Jeremy May 77

T19. New Mexico - 149  (+5)

Nick Geyer 73
Ben Albin 76
Justin Knauber 79

T19. South Carolina - 149  (+5)

Todd White 72
Rick Cloninger 77
Lee Palms 78

T24. Georgia - 150  (+6)

Cameron Hooper 75
David Noll Jr. 75
Jeff Knox 76

T24. Maine - 150  (+6)

Andrew Slattery 74
Ricky Jones 76
Matt Greenleaf 88

T26. Arizona - 151  (+7)

R.J. Wood 74
Ken Tanigawa 77
Trey Martin 77

T26. Minnesota - 151  (+7)

Jesse Bull 74
Troy Johnson 77
Trent Peterson 80

T26. New Jersey - 151  (+7)

Trevor Randolph 74
Steven Zychowski 77
Michael Stamberger 79

T26. North Carolina - 151  (+7)

Bo Andrews 75
Matthew Crenshaw 76
Scott Harvey 77

T26. Ohio - 151  (+7)

Jeffrey Scohy 73
Bill Williamson 78
Will Grimmer 79

T26. Oregon - 151  (+7)

Hans Reimers 75
Jesse Heinly 76
Justin Kadin 77

T32. Idaho - 152  (+8)

Graysen Huff 75
Darren Kuhn 77
Josh Nunamaker 84

T32. Massachusetts - 152  (+8)

Doug Clapp 75
Matt Parziale 77
Herbie Aikens 81

T32. Nebraska - 152  (+8)

John Sajevic 74
Andrew Sajevic 78
Ryan Nietfeldt 78

T32. Puerto Rico - 152  (+8)

Edward Figueroa 75
Erick J. Morales 77
Jeronimo Esteve 78

T36. Kansas - 154  (+10)

Doug Albers 76
Zac Burton 78
Bryan Norton 78

T36. Kentucky - 154  (+10)

Denver Haddix 75
Tom Campbell 79
Kyle Leach 81

T36. Michigan - 154  (+10)

Tom Werkmeister 74
Nathan Clark 80
Andrew Chapman 82

T36. Vermont - 154  (+10)

Bryan Smith 77
Garren Poirier 77
Eric Lajeunesse 85

T40. District of Columbia - 155  (+11)

Endel Liias 75
Mark Vedete 80
Kevin McDonnell 82

T40. Hawaii - 155  (+11)

Andrew Chin 76
Brent Grant 79
Tyler Ota 80

T40. Maryland - 155  (+11)

Joseph Rice IV 76
Mark Cusic 79
Patrick McCormick 79

T43. New Hampshire - 156  (+12)

Craig Steckowych 76
Michael Martel 80
Ryan Kohler 81

T43. North Dakota - 156  (+12)

Rick Kuhn 77
Greg Melhus 79
Duane Wages III 81

T43. Wisconsin - 156  (+12)

Josh Udelhofen 76
Tom Halla 80
Matt Behm 82

T46. Oklahoma - 157  (+13)

Heath Myers 75
Kirk Wright 82
Jon Valuck 85

T46. Wyoming - 157  (+13)

John Hornbeck 77
Todd Griffin 80
Mark Isakson 81

T48. Montana - 158  (+14)

Brian Beach 77
Jimbob Coleman 81
Ross Bartell 82

T48. South Dakota - 158  (+14)

Matthew Johnson 77
Scott Nowak 81
Jeff Meyerink 83

T48. Utah - 158  (+14)

Darrin Overson 78
Jon Wright 80
Dan Horner 82

51. Arkansas - 159  (+15)

Drew Greenwood 78
Wes McNulty 81
Trey Schaap 87

52. Alaska - 163  (+19)

Greg Sanders 78
David Hamilton 85
Kevin Daniels 87