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Missouri team ready to begin play in the USGA State Team Championship

The three-man Missouri team will begin competition Tuesday (Sept. 30) in the USGA’s Men’s State Team Championship.

For the third consecutive time, and seventh time in the 11 playings of the championship, all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have entered a team. The average age of the competitors is 35.7 years.

New York won the event in 2012.

The event runs through Thurdsay at French Lick, Ind.  Opened in 2009, the par 72 Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort is a jewel. The course is one of the rising stars in the game, having already hosted two Big Ten Championships and a PGA National Professional Championship, with the Senior PGA Championship slated for 2015.

From the back tees, the course can play as long as 8,102 yards, making it a formidable test for any player, and one that is likely to stand the test of time.

The USGA Men’s State Team Championship consists of 54 holes of stroke play, with teams of three players representing all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. The aggregate of the lowest two scores from each round will determine each team’s total score.

Missouri is represented by Skip Berkmeyer, of Wildwood; Brad Nurski, of St. Joseph; and Phil Caravia, of St. Louis. All three are talented players.

Berkmeyer, 40, has played in eight U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships, earning medalist honors twice. Berkmeyer, who owns a trophy business in West County, is a three-time Missouri State Amateur champion.

Nurski, 35,  was the runner-up in the 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur to Scott Harvey. The left-hander has had great success at the state level, capturing the 2010 Missouri Amateur as well as the 2011 and 2013 Missouri Mid-Amateur titles. He is a conductor/switchman for BNSF Railway. He is representing Missouri for a third consecutive time in the Men’s State Team Championship.

Caravia, 36, plays out of St. Louis. He is a financial advisor with Edward Jones in Swansea, Ill. He is a native of Belleville, Ill. Earlier this summer, he won the prestigious Old Warson Cup at Old Warson Country Club. The win was the third in past three years for Caravia.

Caravia will tee off at 12:49 p.m. Tuesday and at 7:59 a.m. on Wednesday on the 10th hole. His playing partners are Erik Hanson, of Kirkland, Wash., and Charlie Blanchard, of North Providence, R.I.

Nurski will tee off at 12:58 p.m.Tuesday and  at 8:08 a.m.on Wednesday on the 10th hole. His playing partners are Mike Haack, of Bellevue, Wash., and Brad Valois, of Warwick, R.I.

Berkmeyer tees off at 1:07 p.m. Tuesday and  at 8:17 a.m. Wednesday on the 10th hole. His playing partners are Tom Brandes, of Bellevue, Wash., and Bobby Leopold, of Coventry, R.I.

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