The CSGA team of Brian Ahern, Matt Smith and Jeff Hatten will tee it up on Wednesday in the USGA State Team Championship at Galloway National Golf Club in Galloway, New Jersey. The championship brings together three players from all fifty states plus Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. in a 54 hole stoke play event where the team score is the best two of three individual scores each day.
Ahern, from West Hartford and Wampanoag Country Club, won the 2012 CSGA Mid-Amateur Championship played at Hop Meadow Country Club. He also won the 2010 Mid-Amateur, and the 1999 CSGA State Amateur Championship. He represented Connecticut in the USGA State Team Championship in 1999.
Smith, the current points leader in the CSGA’s Player of the Year standings, hails from Thompson and plays out of Quinnatisset Country Club. He won the 2012 CSGA State Amateur Championship played at Race Brook. The 2012 University of Hartford graduate was also runner-up in the 2011 State Amateur.
Hatten, from Farmington and Farmington Country Club, was the low amateur and 4th overall finisher in the 2012 CSGA State Open played at Wee Burn Country Club. He also finished 4th in the 2011 Ivy League Championship which was played at Galloway National. A former first-team All-Ivy selection, Hatten graduated from Yale in 2012.
“Galloway National is just a great golf course,” said Ahern, “and USGA events are really special. We’re all excited to play in this championship and represent Connecticut and the CSGA.”
The Connecticut team is paired with Ohio and Oregon in the first two rounds, and has been assigned the last tee times of the day on Wednesday, with Hatten starting at 1:48pm, Ahern at 1:57, and Smith at 2:06. With wind and weather conditions likely to affect play on the difficult bayside course, Connecticut’s players put a positive spin on their first day starting times.
“Normally, you might not want the last tee time of the day,” said Smith, “but out here it might work to our advantage. The storms that came through in Tuesday’s practice round are supposed to linger into Wednesday. Hopefully by the time we’re out there conditions will have improved. We may have less wind late in the day as we’re finishing up.”
At 6,956 yards, the par 71 Galloway National Golf Club will provide a challenging test for the 156 players representing 52 golf associations. Known for its undulating greens and expansive bunkering, Galloway National borders Reeds Bay and is often subject to strong winds. A spectacular layout, it has been ranked among Golf Digest’s top 100 modern courses.