Berkmeyer, teammates represent Missouri in USGA’s Mens State Team Championship
By: Warren Mayes
Wildwood’s Skip Berkmeyer and two other Missouri amateur golfers will test their games against the best golfers from 50 states, plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia in the 54-hole competition this week.
The first round of the USGA’s Mens State Team Championship starts Wednesday (Sept. 19) and ends with the final 18 holes on Friday. The event will be held at the Galloway National Golf Club, right outside Atlantic City, N.J. It is the first USGA event staged at Galloway.
The course will be set up at 6,932 to 6,963 yards and will play to a par of 35-36-71. Eighteen holes of stroke play are scheduled for each day with the two lowest of the three individual scores counting as the team’s score for the round. The team with the lowest aggregate score through 54 holes is the champion.
Last year, Bryan Norton, 51, of Mission Hills, Kan., carded a 3-under-par 68 in the final round to lift Kansas to a four-stroke victory over Rhode Island, Florida and North Carolina at Mayacama Golf Club in Santa Rosa, Calif. Norton, the 2003 U.S. Mid-Amateur runnerup, was aided by a pair of 74s from 41-year-old Charlie Stevens of Wichita and Tyler Shelton of Fairway, as Kansas posted a 54-hole team total of 423 (three under) in the biennial competition. The lowest two scores from each three-man team counted in the team scoring each day. Kansas had started the final round sharing the 36-hole lead with Georgia, which shot a 10-over 152 in the final round and finished tied for ninth.
Each state/regional golf association is responsible for selecting its three-man team.
This year the players representing team Missouri are: Nick Wilson, of Rocheport, who had a fabulous summer by winning the 2012 Missouri Amateur Championship in June at Dalhousie Golf Club in Cape Girardeau, along with winning the Missouri Open at The Club at Old Hawthorne in Columbia and then teamed up with Jace Long to win the 2012 Four Ball Championship at Silo Ridge in Bolivar. Wilson also finished as the runnerup in the 2012 Missouri Stroke Play Championship.
The second member of the team is Brad Nurski, of St Joseph. Nurski won the 2012 Missouri Stroke Play Championship (72 holes) held at Jefferson City Country Club in July by shooting an exceptional 11-under par to win by 11 strokes. Nurski also qualified for the sectional round of the 2012 U.S. Open, and made it to the round of 16 in the 2012 Missouri Amateur Championship.
The third member of the Missouri Team this year is an old veteran when it comes to USGA Championships. Berkmeyer will be competing is his 26th USGA Championship when he tees it up next week in New Jersey.
Berkmeyer had another solid season by winning the Phil Cotton Invitational in Columbia back in early June. He then followed that up with a runnerup performance at the 2012 Missouri Amateur Championship losing to Wilson 2&1 in the 36-hole final. Berkmeyer also was the runnerup in the 2012 Metropolitan Amateur Championship. At the recent USGA Mid-Amateur Championship in Chicago, Berkmeyer qualified for match play and won his first match before bowing out in the round of 32.
This is a very strong Missouri team that is heading out east to bring back the Championship trophy to Missouri.
“This is one of the strongest Missouri team’s to compete in this Championship and I really like our chances if all three guys play to their skill level,” said Scott Hovis, the executive director of Missouri Golf Association.