SANTA ROSA, Calif. (Sept 14, 2010) –
Georgia and Kansas, two teams which
have been past bridesmaids but never
brides in the USGA Men’s State Team
Championship, share the 36-hole lead at
3-under-par 281 going into Thursday’s
final round at Mayacama Golf Club.
Georgia, the runner-up in 2007 to host
Texas, received a course-record 65 from
38-year-old David Noll Jr. of Dothan and
a 74 from Adam Cooper, 26, of
Columbus on the 6,726-yard, par-71
Jack Nicklaus design on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Kansas played steady golf for
a second consecutive day, getting a 1-
under 70 from Charlie Stevens, 41, of
Wichita and an even-par 71 from 51-
year-old Bryan Norton of Mission Hills in
the three-count-two format. Tyler
Shelton had a non-scoring 76.
Georgia and Kansas are five strokes clear
of Rhode Island, North Carolina and
Washington, which shared the first-round
lead with Kansas, fell off with a 6-over
150 on Wednesday for a 36-hole total of
Defending champion Pennsylvania sits six
strokes back at 3-over 287, while host
California is eight behind at 289.
In the race for individual medalist
honors, Noll (74-65–139), has a one-
shot lead over Norton. First-round co-
leader Mike Ballo is two shots back after
a 74, sharing third position with Stevens
and Illinois’ Todd Mitchell (70).
For the second consecutive day, fog
suspended play, this time for 45 minutes
early in the morning. Because of that
delay, six golfers representing three
states had failed to complete their
second round when darkness stopped
play for the day at 7:37 p.m. PDT.
The continuation of round two and the
start of the final round will commence at
6:50 a.m. PDT.
Noll, competing in his fifth consecutive
Men’s State Team and a member of that
2007 runner-up squad, has steadied his
game since posting a 6-over 42 over the
outward nine on Tuesday. Since then, he
is nine under par.
An early bogey at the 11th hole – his
second of the round – didn’t affect Noll.
He quickly rebounded with a birdie at No.
12, then knocked his 7-iron approach
from 195 yards at the par-5 15th to 35
feet. He rolled in the long eagle putt
from the fringe and quickly apologized to
his fellow competitors for his sudden
surge of good fortune.
“That was a little ridiculous,” Noll said of
the eagle. “But it went in and it goes
down as a 3.”
Birdies on Nos. 2, 6 and 7 on the
outward nine gave Noll the competitive
course record, one shot off the 18-hole
championship mark held by three golfers.
Even the potential of being given a pace-
of-play warning didn’t seem to affect
“We were told … that we needed to
hurry,” said Noll of the information the
group received from USGA officials. “We
sprinted the last four holes. Golf almost
becomes secondary at that point, but …
if [the USGA] tells you to move, they
make the Rules and we’re going to have
to do what they say.”
Georgia, bidding to join Minnesota and
Pennsylvania with State Team titles in
both the men’s and women’s
competitions, would have held the
outright lead going into the final round,
but a three-putt bogey at the par-5 ninth
by Cooper cost Georgia a precious
stroke. Doug Hanzel of Savannah, who
had a first-round 68, struggled to a non-
“It’s a long way between now and this
time tomorrow,” said Noll, who watched
his team lip out two putts at No. 18 in
2007 at The Club at Carlton Woods in
suburban Houston to lose by one stroke
to Texas. “We’ve got to play our best
golf [on Thursday]. That’s all we can do.”
Kansas knows all about close calls. A
year ago at the Country Club of St.
Albans in suburban St. Louis, the team
bolted out to a nice lead, thanks to a 64
by Jon Troutman. A poor second round in
inclement conditions cost Kansas dearly,
despite a strong final round that left the
team three strokes behind Pennsylvania.
Despite having only Norton returning,
Kansas came to Mayacama with some
confidence. A good practice round on
Monday left Norton, the 2003 U.S. Mid-
Amateur runner-up, feeling good about
the team’s chances.
“When you see your friends do well [last
year], you start thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, I
never thought we could win.’ But now I
think we can. We have good players in
Kansas. And even with a different team
this year, I knew if we came and played
well, we had a chance to be there in the
Norton, who shot a first-round 69,
scrambled his way to a 71. He knocked
his second shot into the pond at the par-
5 18th and still managed to make a par.
A birdie at the par-4 eighth, his 17th
hole of the day, kept him from going into
“I had one of those days where it could
have been a poor score,” said Norton,
grateful that Stevens rallied from a two-
over start to shoot in red figures. “I had
to focus because I was making a lot of
tough par saves. I was really proud of
myself that I got something out of it
because it really could have gotten away
from me in the middle of the round.”