Three of New York’s finest amateur golfers, captained by the Metropolitan Golf Association’s Brian Mahoney, were recently selected to represent the New York State team in the USGA’s 10th Men’s State Team Championships to be played at Galloway National Golf Club in Galloway, N.J., from Sept. 19-21.
Mahoney, who’s in his 12th year with the MGA and is currently the director of rules & competitions, selected reigning MGA Player of the Year Mike Miller of Brewster, N.Y., two-time MGA Player of the Year Joe Saladino of Huntington, N.Y., and former SMU men’s golf team standout Max Buckley of Rye, N.Y. to lead the Empire State team next month.
“We are fortunate to have so many great amateurs to choose from in our state, and I think this year’s team will be one of the strongest at the championship,” Mahoney said.
The Men’s State Team Championships began in 1995, which marked the USGA’s centennial anniversary. It has been a biannual event ever since and involves representation from every state by three non-college amateur players. Eighteen holes of stroke play will be held for three days, with the two lowest of the three individual scores counting toward the team’s overall score. The team with the lowest aggregate score through 54-holes will be crowned the champions.
New York has never won the event but Mahoney seems determined about changing that, choosing players with major firepower and the uncanny ability to go low.
“In addition to being outstanding players, Joe, Mike and Max also display the highest standards of sportsmanship every time they compete,” Mahoney said. “I am looking forward to the championship and I know the players are, too.”
Buckley, who made his second consecutive trip to the U.S. Amateur earlier this month, has already tallied several top-10s this year, including runner-up in the Westchester Open and T2 at the Ike Championship.
Miller, who is currently No. 49 in the World Golf Amateur Rankings, is also returning from the U.S. Amateur, where he qualified for match play for the second consecutive year. The 2011 Met Amateur champion currently leads the MGA Player of the Year standings, and has added a Westchester Amateur championship this summer to his glowing list of accomplishments.
Nipping at Miller’s heals in the MGA POY race is Saladino, who’s currently in third place. Saladino is once again having a stellar season, with a win at the Travis Memorial, T2 at the Ike, runner-up at the Mittelmark Invitational, and third place finish in the Long Island Open.
This is the first time a USGA event is being held at Galloway National Golf Club. The scenic Tom Fazio designed par-71 of 6,963 yards will provide a difficult test for players, with challenging hazards and complex greens.