Paul Misko, 23, of Thousand Oaks, Calif. shot a 1-under-par 70 as California recorded a solid first round Wednesday at the 2012 USGA Men’s State Team Championship. The event is being held at the par-71, 6,963-yard Galloway National GC. California, whose team is made up of Misko, 2005 SCGA Mid-Am Champ John McClure and NCGA member Andrew Biggadike, carded a team score of 2-over 144, good enough for second place when play was concluded Wednesday due to darkness. Misko's 70 was the second-best individual score of the round.
The USGA Men’s State Team Championships consists of 54 holes of stroke play, with two of the lowest three individual scores counting as the team total for the round. The team with the lowest aggregate score following the final round on Friday is the champion.
The Men’s State Team Championship is conducted biennially by the United States Golf Association. The men’s event is held in even years and the women’s competition in odd years. Each state is responsible for selecting its teams and the players must reside in that state to be eligible. All 50 teams, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, are in the 2012 field.
Misko, whose teammate McClure, 53, of Los Angeles, shot 74, played the outward nine in 2-under 33 before adding birdies on holes 11 and 15. He found the water off the tee on 16, leading to double-bogey 7. He followed that with a bogey at the 247-yard, par-3 17th, and finished by getting up and down for par from a greenside bunker at the closing hole.
“I decided to hit driver [on 16] and hit in the water,” said Misko, who lost in the round of 32 at last month’s U.S. Amateur to eventual semifinalist Brandon Hagy and fell in the first round to eventual winner T.J. Vogel at the U.S. Amateur Public Links in July. “I hit a good shot at 17, but it just didn’t work out. I feel like I am playing better when I am playing against better people or harder golf courses. Bigger events, I love them.”
Click here to view full first-round scores.