Each even-numbered year, state golf associations are asked to choose three of their top male amateur golfers (who do not play collegiate golf) to represent their state in the USGA Men’s State Team Championship. This year the prestigious event will be held September 28-30 at Country Club of Birmingham in Birmingham, Alabama. Based on the Kentucky Golf Association’s Bushnell Amateur Rankings, three terrific amateur golfers will be representing the Commonwealth of Kentucky! Denver Haddix, Jr. of Lexington, Andy Roberts of Owensboro and Joe Deraney of Lexington will be teeing it up against teams from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
“It’s an honor to be selected to represent Kentucky in the 2016 USGA Men’s State Team. I am looking forward to the event, as well as spending time with two close friends, Andy and Joe. We believe we have a great opportunity to finish well in the event and hopefully make Kentucky proud,” said Haddix. This is his second appearance in the State Team Championship. He competed at the 2014 Championship in French Lick, Indiana. He is the reigning Kentucky Golf Association Player of the Year (in 2014 and 2015), the 2016 Kentucky Match Play Champion, Runner-Up at the Clark’s Pump-n-Shop Marathon Kentucky Amateur and posted a top 20 finish in the Kentucky Open – to name just a few of his accolades.
Roberts won this year’s Clark’s Pump-n-Shop Marathon Kentucky Amateur in impressive fashion, finished second in the Kentucky Match Play, posted a top-15 finish in the Kentucky Open and participated in the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball earlier this year (advancing to match play) – in addition to many other notable rounds of golf this season. This will be his third appearance in the State Team Championship, having participated in 2009 and 2010. “I am honored to get to represent Kentucky and look forward to competing with Denver and Joe in an effort to bring the title back home with us,” said Roberts.
While this may be Deraney’s first time competing in the State Team Championship, he brings plenty of talent and experience to the team. “I’m also looking forward to the competing at a great golf course with two very good players to help show the country how good Kentucky golf is right now,” said Deraney. He tied for Seventh in the Kentucky Open, tied for Runner-Up in the Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Marathon Kentucky Amateur and posted two huge amateur golf victories in the Timuquana Cup in Florida and Lupton Memorial in Tennessee this year. Roberts and Deraney also finished Tied for Third in the 2015 Kentucky Mid-Amateur Championship.
This year, the team has also designated a non-playing Captain in Steve Humphrey of Lexington. The highly-skilled senior golfer has posted many KGA victories this season in addition to great showings at the Amateur and Open. He is the reigning KGA Tom Musselman Player of the Year (for ages 55-64) and was Runner-Up in the 2016 Kentucky Senior Open. “The three of us talked about how much of a benefit having a team captain would be for this event, and we are extremely excited Steve has been chosen. We all get along with him very well; he’s a great player and he knows the game. We feel like his input and advice on the golf course will be a huge advantage for us this year,” said Haddix.
We wish the very best to all four gentlemen, and we are so excited to follow their progress on the National stage next month! We know our Commonwealth will be extremely well represented in class and talent!