USGA WOMEN'S STATE TEAM
5 Things To Watch: Round 3 September 28, 2017 | SANTA FE, N.M. By David Chmiel, USGA

If Ina Kim and New York hold on, New York would join Pennsylvania and Minnesota as the only states to win both State Team championships. (USGA/Steven Gibbons)

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The rain-shortened Round 2 of the 12th and final USGA Women’s State Team Championship at The Club at Las Campanas in Santa Fe, N.M., was completed on Thursday morning, setting the stage for the third and final round. This is only the second USGA championship in New Mexico, joining the 1999 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links at Santa Ana Golf Club in Santa Ana Pueblo.

The Women’s State Team is a 54-hole stroke-play event, with three-player teams playing 18 holes of stroke play on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The top two scores count toward the team score with a 36-hole cut to the low 21 teams, including ties. Any individual whose team missed the cut but is within five strokes of the individual lead, also gets to play in the final round.

Here are five things to watch in Round 3.

New York, New York: If Ina Kim, Marianna Monaco and LeeAnn Lewis can hold on for the win, the Empire State will join Pennsylvania and Minnesota as the only states to have won the Men’s State Team and Women’s State Team titles. The New York men won in 2012 at Galloway National Country Club in New Jersey.

Low-Pressure Front: The conditions were raw and rainy with temperatures hovering in the 50s, but the Florida team got hot at just the right time in Round 2. Tara Joy-Connelly and Meghan Stasi managed to successfully navigate the stormy weather, each at 2 under par, until they had to endure a 48-minute weather delay. Joy-Connelly made it through the round without giving up any strokes to par, but Stasi bogeyed the last two holes to finish even-par 72. Florida finished the day tied for second, deadlocked with Tennessee, which rode Ashley Gilliam’s 67 – the low round of the championship – to within one stroke of the lead.

This is the Desert?: Competitors with early Round 2 starting times managed to play through mostly benign rain showers that, aside from slowing down the putting greens, had little impact on their games. But the heavy afternoon rains, and nearly hour-long delay pushed the soggy round back until play was suspended for darkness at 6:22 p.m. MDT. According to the National Weather Service, there is a 90 percent chance of thunderstorms on Thursday, which are expected to drop another half-inch of rain on Santa Fe.

Put Me in Coach: Players who went from not having their Round 1 scores included in the team total to getting in on the Round 2 action were: Indiana’s Kayla Katterhenry (77-73, team is tied for fourth place); Ohio’s Lynn Thompson (87-73, team is in 17th place); California’s Lynne Cowan (86-74, team finished in 30th place), and Idaho’s Karen Darrington (96-82, team finished in 40th place), and Washington, D.C.'s Maggie Brady (93-89, team finished in tie for 34th place).  

A Melancholy Moment: Tara Fleming, who was a member of the winning 2013 New Jersey team, is thrilled that her team made the cut, but is wistful about playing in the championship’s final round.

“I remember being asked to play in my first State Team and honestly not knowing much about the competition,” she said. “The chemistry the team from New Jersey had was amazing – like lightning in a bottle. I will never forget that week and the close friendships I have maintained with Alice Chen (the 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball co-champion) and Cindy Ha. We root for each other all the time.

“The thing I enjoyed most about the championship was the opportunity to meet the new and upcoming talent. These young ladies are so good and confident. This championship gave mature players like me the opportunity to mentor and provide guidance as these young ladies move along their paths with golf and life in general. I will really miss that. I will miss adding more kids to my family. Spending time with Alice, Cindy, Ami Gianchandani, Kelly Sim and Noelle Maertz will be my fondest memories. But I hope we will create more memories to come!”

David Chmiel is the manager of members content for the USGA. Email him at dchmiel@usga.org.

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