Brandon Aydlett of Metairie fired a final round two-under par 70 on Sunday at Oakbourne Country Club in Lafayette to win the 99th LGA Amateur Championship by four strokes over Matt Weber of Scott. Aydlett shot rounds of 70-67-75-70 to finish at six-under par 282 for the Championship. Aydlett made three birdies on his front nine on Sunday (holes #2, #3, and #6), and the only blemish on his scorecard was a bogey at the signature par 3 9th hole. Aydlett bounced back after the bogey and played steady golf the remainder of the round, making nine consecutive pars to finish and secure the victory. Aydlett, a former golfer at LSU, won the LGA Mid-Amateur in 2015 at TPC Louisiana and now adds the prestigious LGA Amateur Championship trophy to his impressive resume. Aydlett said of this victory, “The Mid-Amateur was great to win, but this Championship is special and historic. It means a lot because it is the one that I have been pursuing and wanted for years.” Jack Tolson of Opelousas finished in third place and was the only other competitor to finish with a 72-hole score in red numbers (one-under par 287 for the Championship).
Aydlett and Weber started the day tied for first at four-under par 212 for the Championship. When they stepped on the tee box at the par 3 9th hole (140 yards) on Sunday, Aydlett was three-under par for the day and had amassed a one-stroke lead. Weber had just made back-to-back birdies on the par 5 7th hole and the par 4 8th hole and was gaining momentum. On Sunday, the tee shot at the 9th hole was all carry over a water hazard, and the hole location was cut in the front right portion of the green, which slopes back to front. Weber calmly hit his tee shot to within 15 feet, while Aydlett hit his ball into the water hazard. Aydlett went to the dropping zone located 83 yards from the center of the green and hit an incredible shot within six feet of the hole, but he left himself a lightning fast downhill putt for bogey. Weber missed his birdie putt on hole #9 and tapped in for par. Aydlett showcased nerves of steel and sank his bogey putt to curtail some of the momentum that Weber had been building.
Weber stumbled at the par 4 10th hole, making a bogey, while Aydlett made a par. On the following hole, the par 5 11th, Weber bounced back with a birdie and evened the score. Both competitors parred holes #12 and #13. Hole #14 was the turning point of the final round as Weber surrendered the lead after making a bogey and Aydlett held steady with another par. They both made par at the par 3 15th hole. Aydlett showcased great poise down the stretch, making par after an errant tee shot into the right rough on the par 4 16th. Weber bogeyed his final three holes on the day, and Aydlett cruised to a four-shot victory.
Rounding out the top 10 are: 4.) 2011 LGA Amateur Champion Greg Berthelot of Baton Rouge (290), T5.) Brent Struthers of Baton Rouge (294), David Griffin of Saint Gabriel (294), Nicholas Arcement of Thibodaux (294), and T8.) Dante Caldera of Greenwell Springs (295), 1972 LGA Amateur Champion Robert Shelton of Lafayette (295), and Ryan Alford of Shreveport (295).
Play was suspended at 8:15 AM on Sunday due to a dangerous situation (lightning) and resumed two hours later. The final group of the day teed off at 12:21 PM and finished at 4:40 PM, eclipsing their recommended 4 hour and 30-minute pace of play time by 11 minutes.
The Oakbourne Country Club course played to a par 72 at approximately 6,831 yards on Sunday. Superintendent Jason Barras and his crew worked tirelessly all week to get the course ready and in Championship condition. It drew rave reviews from the top amateur competitors in the state. The tree-lined shot makers course was designed by Dick Wilson in 1955, and this year marked the seventh time in history that the club has hosted the LGA Amateur Championship (also in 1959 and 1981, 1989, 1998, 2004, and 2011). Oakbourne boasts some of the best putting surfaces in the state, and the greens were rolling at just over a 12 on the stimpmeter. The course set up on Championship Sunday provided a stern but fair test.
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The 100th LGA Amateur Championship will be conducted at the Baton Rouge Country Club, July 18-21, 2019. The top 40 finishers from this year’s Championship are exempt from qualifying next year.