by Sam Jones–
The biggest amateur tournament in the state will make its first trip to Southwest Virginia this summer in its 103rd edition. The Virginia State Golf Association’s State Amateur Championship, better known as simply the “state am” will be held at the Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech June 28th through July 2nd.
The tournament has been held as close as Roanoke on many occasions, but has not made the trek further west until now. Head PGA Professional at the Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech, John Norton, says that the idea of bringing the state am to the New River Valley has been in the works for a few years.
“We have a really good relationship with the Virginia State Golf Association. They do a lot of scholarship funding and we’ve been big supporters of that. We’ve also held their men’s and women’s team events here for consecutive years.”
The tournament hoists numerous accolades and winners including many local champions and participants. At least three players from Virginia Tech’s varsity golf team will be in the field including Joey Lane, Blacksburg native Ryan Mondy, and the defending champion Maclain Huge. However that number could rise with qualifying just starting in full swing. Virginia Tech player and Purcellville, Va. native, Ian Hildenbrand has already been named as an alternate due to a course exemption from the host course in the River Course.
One local player missing from this year’s field is Blacksburg native, and two-time champion of the event, Jake Mondy. Mondy, the other brother of participant Ryan Mondy, will be turning pro following his graduation from Auburn University, losing amateur status and thus the ability to play in this year’s tournament.
“Not playing in the state amateur this summer will definitely be different. It has been my most important and favorite tournament for quite a few years now and having it so close to home would have been really special.”
Norton says that he hopes hosting the tournament will bring a lot of excitement and participation to the course and its members.
“It’s a great event for the River Course; it’ll bring us the best players from the state of Virginia. We’re working on getting about 20 to 30 of our members to volunteer for it. We love to host national and state events.”
The state am will consist of a 36-hole stroke play section on the first two days of the tournament. This will act as a qualifier for match play and give each player seeding for the match play portion of the championship. The top 32 players from stroke-play will then compete in a single elimination bracket of match play for the following three days. Two rounds of match-play will be played each day, with the championship match consisting of 36 holes. The match score will carry over after 18 holes of play.
You can stay up to date on all qualifying information as well as live scoring throughout the tournament at the state am website.
A list of past champions and host sites dating back to 1990 can be found here.