After a 22-year run, the USGA State Team Championships will be retired at the end of this year.
“The USGA continually evaluates its championships and the way in which they are conducted,” said Stuart Francis, USGA Championship Committee chairman. “The decision to discontinue the State Team Championships follows a thorough review and analysis, including consultation with representatives from state and regional golf associations.”
Started in 1995, the State Team Championships capped the year of tournaments by having state and regional golf associations send three-player teams for respective male and female stroke-play competitions where the best two scores for each of the three rounds played was counted toward the final tally. The men and the women played on a biannual basis with the men playing in even-numbered years and the women playing in odd-numbered years.
The Club at Las Campanas in Santa Fe, N.M., will host the final Women’s State Team Championship on Sept. 26-28, 2017. The final Men’s State Team Championship was conducted in 2016 at the Country Club of Birmingham (Ala.), where Michigan won the championship by three strokes over Arizona and North Carolina.
“The USGA expresses its gratitude to all the champions and competitors of the USGA State Team Championships, as well as the host clubs and the hundreds of volunteers who contributed their time and efforts,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director, championships and governance. “In our reviews and discussions, it became quite clear that the conditions of competition had evolved, and there were significant differences in the respective team-selection processes. After considering the matter for more than a year, the review supported increased focus toward other areas of USGA competition, both present and future, including the continued enhancement of the local and sectional qualifying experience for players across all USGA championships.”
With the addition of the U.S. Senior Women’s Open and discontinuation of the USGA State Team Championships, the USGA will conduct 14 championships in 2018.