Two Iowa Golf Hall of Fame members, Mike McCoy and Gene Elliott, will be joined by 2012 Iowa Amateur Champion Jon Olson, to give Iowa a strong entry in the 10th USGA Men’s State Team Championship to be played September 19-21 at Galloway National Golf Club in Galloway, NJ. More than 50 three-man teams from U.S. States and Territories are expected to compete in this biennial 54-hole Stroke Play competition. Kansas won the Championship in 2010.
The selection of the Iowa team was determined from the Iowa Golf Association’s Player of the Year point system for a two-year period, with 50% of 2011 points and 100% of the 2012 points counting toward each player’s total. Active college players are not eligible to play in the USGA State Team under NCAA rules.
Gene Elliott, 50, of West Des Moines, captured his 2nd Iowa Player of the Year crown in 2011 and has carried his great play into 2012. He is currently 3rd in this year’s points race. He recorded three wins in 2011 including his 2nd Iowa Amateur title. He also won the amateur division of the Waterloo Open and the Briarwood Amateur. Gene was one of a handful of players who qualified for both the U. S. Amateur and the U. S. Mid-Amateur in 2011. In 2012 he has recorded wins in the IGA Four-Ball (with Mike McCoy) and the Lake Creek Amateur. He also put on a strong defense of his Iowa Amateur title finishing 3rd. This will be the fourth time Elliott has represented Iowa in the U. S. State Team Championship. He also played in 1995, 1999 and 2009.
Jon Olson, 32, of Ankeny, has been a leading figure in Iowa since he received his amateur reinstatement in the fall of 2009. In 2010 Olson came within one shot of achieving an unprecedented “IGA Slam” when he won the Mid-Amateur, the Match Play and lost in a playoff to Elliott in the Iowa Amateur. He came back this year to win the Iowa Amateur in dominant fashion in late July, winning by 8 shots on the strength of an amazing final round of 64 at a very tough Spirit Hollow GC in Burlington. In 2012 Jon has also recorded a tie for 2nd in defense of his Mid-Am title and a tie for 3rd in the Iowa Masters. This will be Olson’s first appearance in the U. S. State Team event.
Mike McCoy, 49, of West Des Moines, is the most decorated amateur in the history of Iowa golf. McCoy is a 10-time Iowa Player of the Year, most recently in 2009. McCoy qualified for the team this year on a relatively limited schedule. In addition to winning the IGA Four-Ball with Elliott this spring, he romped to victory in the Iowa Masters and finished 4th in the Iowa Amateur. In 2011 in won the prestigious Coleman Invitational and, like Elliott, qualified for both the U. S. Amateur and U. S. Mid-Amateur. At the 2011 U. S. Mid-Amateur he advanced to the Round of 16 in match play. This will be the seventh time Mike has played for Iowa in this Championship, with previous appearances in 1995, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2009 and 2010.
The USGA State Team Championship was first played in 1995. Teams from the U. S. States and Territories are represented by three man teams. Two out of three scores are counted in each round to determine each team’s total. The 10th place finish posted by the 2001 team of McCoy, Scott Briggs and Mike Sawyer, at Hazeltine GC in Minnesota is the best finish by Iowa to date. The second best finish, a tie for 12th, was recorded by the 2009 team of McCoy, Elliott and Jon Brown at the CC of St. Albans near St. Louis.
Note: For more detail on the Hall of Fame careers of the Mike McCoy and Gene Elliott visit the Hall of Fame section of the IGA website by clicking here.