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U.S. Women's State Team tees off Tuesday

The United States Women's State Team Championship begins Tuesday and will finish Thursday. Here is a breakdown of the event:

WHO CAN ENTER: All states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico may enter teams of three players. The only golfers ineligible to participate are those currently on a college team, per NCAA rules.

ALMOST-FULL FIELD: A total of 51 teams have entered the 2011 USGA Women’s State Team Championship, which ties the record number of team entries in 2007. Only New Hampshire has not entered a team for 2011.

SCHEDULE OF PLAY: Eighteen holes of stroke play are scheduled for Oct. 4-6 (Tuesday-Thursday) with two of the lowest 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. If there is a tie after the final round, the score from the team’s non-scoring player is used to break the deadlock. If the score remains tied, the second-round score from the non-scoring player is used.

HOME GAME: Two-time champion Georgia will look to win its third Women’s State Team title, but its first on home soil. The team is comprised of 2009 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur runner-up Laura Coble of Augusta, and teenagers Rachel Dai of Suwanee and Amira Alexander of Alpharetta. Coble played on the winning Georgia teams in 2005 and 2009.

ONE FOR NINE: Susan Marchese of Nebraska will become the only golfer to have competed in all nine USGA Women’s State Team Championships. Seven-time USGA champion Carol Semple Thompson of Pennsylvania, who had competed in the first eight Women’s State Teams, will be serving as a non-playing captain in 2011. Current USGA Women’s Committee Chairman Martha Lang of Alabama had also played in the first eight, but will not be representing her state in 2011.

USGA CHAMPS IN FIELD A total of six USGA champions will be competing. They are:

Virginia Grimes, Mississippi (1998 U.S. Mid-Amateur)Mina Hardin, Texas (2011 Senior Women’s Amateur)Joan Higgins, California (2008 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur)Martha Leach, Kentucky (2010 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur)Anna Schultz, Texas (2007 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur)Meghan Stasi, Florida (2006, 2007 and 2010 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur)

CURTIS CUP PLAYERS: A total of four players in the field have represented the USA on past Curtis Cup Teams:

Robin Burke, Texas (1998)Virginia Grimes, Mississippi (1998, 2000, 2006)Noreen Mohler, Pennsylvania (1978, Capt. 2010)Meghan Stasi, Florida (2008)

PAST USGA WOMEN’S STATE TEAM CHAMPS: Five players in the field have competing on winning USGA Women’s Teams:

Laura Coble, Georgia (2005, 2009)Virginia Grimes, Mississippi (1997 for Alabama)Leigh Klasse, Minnesota (2001)Thuashini Selvaratnam, Arizona (2007)Lynn Thompson, Ohio (2003)

ADMISSION: Admission is free of charge and spectators are encouraged to attend.

ARCHITECT: An Arthur Hills design, the Palmetto Course opened in 1985 and is generally considered by the membership to be the most difficult of the six courses at The Landings. It challenges the players with deep bunkering and elevated greens designed with a multitude of contours.

COURSE LAYOUT: Greens will be 10.5 to 11 feet on the USGA Stimpmeter. There will be no intermediate cut of rough. The primary rough will be cut at 1.75 inches.

COURSE/SLOPE RATING: The USGA Course Rating for the championship will be 75.5 and the USGA Slope Rating will be 139.

2009 CHAMPION: Behind the play of recent University of Mississippi star Dori Carter, teenager Mariah Stackhouse and veteran mid-amateur Laura Coble, Georgia claimed its second USGA Women’s State Team Championship with a nine-stroke win over Alabama at Sycamore Hills Country Club in Fort Wayne, Ind. Carter closed with a 3-under-par 69 and Stackhouse added a 70 for Georgia, which also won the title in 2005 at Berkeley Hall in Bluffton, S.C. For more details, please visit: www.stateteam.org/2009/womens/news/ThursdayFinal.html.

HISTORY: This is the 9th USGA Women’s State Team Championship and the first USGA Championship to be conducted at The Landings. The competition, as well as the Men’s State Team Championship, grew out of the Association’s centennial celebration in 1995. USGA officials believed that a new championship, one in which each state could be represented by amateur, non-college golfers, was an appropriate way to cap the USGA’s year-long birthday celebration. The competition proved to be such a success that the Association decided to continue conducting the championship biennially.

The format was fashioned after the biennial World Amateur Team Championship, which involves three-person teams in a 3-count-2 stroke-play format. State associations were given a variety of options in which to select its team members. The inaugural Women’s State Team Championship drew teams from 43 states. The District of Columbia started competing in 2001. A record 51 teams participated in 2007 at The Club at Carlton Woods. That number was matched in 2011.

In 2010, the USGA decided to alternate years for the Men’s and Women’s State Team Championship, with the men playing in even-numbered years and the women in odd years.

ABOUT THE U.S. Women's State Team

The USGA State Team Championships grew out of the Association's Centennial Celebration in 1995, and have been held on an every-other- year basis since. 52 men’s teams (including teams from Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia) compete for the trophy named in honor of former USGA President James Hand. Fifty women’s teams compete for the trophy named for past USGA President Judy Bell.

State golf associations select three of their top non-college amateurs to represent them in this biennial team championship. The top two scores of the three players count toward the team total for each of the three days.

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