Former Golf: Making the Turn – Bass & Trevino Discuss 1997 Shot Heard Around the Sun Belt Conference
Dan McDonald, The Advertiser, Oct. 29, 2014
It’s been over 17 years, but the images are still clear in the minds of Matt Trevino and Bob Bass.
Both remember the shot, the one that gave UL the 1977 Sun Belt Conference title.
“It’s still one of the most memorable golf moments I’ve ever had,” said Trevino, who is one of this weekend UL Lettermen Club Hall of Fame inductees Saturday during Homecoming activities. “One of my fondest memories.”
“Just for him to be playing that day made a big impression on me,” said Bass, the coach of that squad and later named the coach of the Sun Belt’s All-Time Team in the league’s first 25 years. “Much less for him to save the tournament for us.”
It may not be the best shot in Cajun golf history, but it’s likely the biggest clutch shot … especially considering the backstory that led up to that Wednesday afternoon at The Club at Cimarron in Mission Texas.
The Cajuns were in a four-way fight with South Alabama, Arkansas State and Arkansas-Little Rock for team honors on the final day of the three-day event that became the closest race in league history. They’d held a five-stroke team lead entering a final round, but rain and windy conditions made that final 18 holes an adventure. The weather seemed to conspire against Trevino, who had been fighting the flu since the team’s trip to South Texas.
“He was deathly sick, running 104 fever,” Bass said. “He didn’t even tell me until we were on the road … he didn’t give me a choice. The whole tournament, he’d play, go back to the room and go to bed.”
That worked in the first two days when Trevino shot back-to-back 69 scores on the par-72 Cimarron course, and with consistent play from fellow eventual all-conference honorees Brett Overman and Greg Sonnier, the Cajuns were in position for their first league crown since 1993.
Golf fortunes being what they are, the final round became a shootout, and eventually UL and USA were tied for the lead with two groups left to play the ninth hole (the teams started on the back nine in that final round, so the par-four 384-yard ninth was the wrapup hole).
That was when Overman, like Trevino a junior, snaked in a 60-foot putt for birdie to give UL a one-stroke lead with Trevino – the team’s most consistent player all season – on the tee.
“Matt had always been a draw hitter,” Bass said. “That was the shot he hit with his tee ball, and the lake was to the left and the wind was blowing right to left toward the water.”
That last Cajun tee ball for the tournament was somewhere between a draw and a hook and carried into the lake. South Alabama’s final player was safely in the fairway, and the resultant one-stroke penalty meant that Trevino had to get up-and-down from 120 yards for a par that would have assured no worse than a playoff for the team title. A bogey would have meant a likely runner-up finish.
“We knew where we stood on the last tee,” Trevino said. “After I hit in the water, on the way down off the tee he (Bass) was with me and it was like a mini-pep talk. He said if anybody on the team can make a two with a wedge in their hands, it’s you.”
With USA on the green in two and 25 feet away, Trevino’s wedge came to rest 10 feet from the cup, with a tricky ridge and a good-sized left-to-right break to save par.
“On the way to the green, it was the same thing,” Trevino said. “Wouldn’t want anybody else putting htis putt for a conference championship.”
The USA player putted first, just missing the long birdie and tapping in for par. That left only Trevino with a winning putt.
“I’d putted pretty well all week,” Trevino said. “I just kept the hands tight and gave it enough room to the left.”
“He went up there and just drained it right in the middle,” Bass said. “One of the best finishes I ever saw in college golf. We had a lot of super finishes, but to make the par after putting it in the water, with all the heat on you, all you could say was wow.”
“I just remember all the jumping up and down,” Trevino said of his teammates pouring onto the green when his putt went in. “We’d had a couple of good breaks on that green all day, so it was kind of fitting.”
College golf being what it is, unlike most other collegiate sports, there wasn’t a throng of spectators on hand. Mostly, it was teams and family members circling the final green. More people saw the heroics of Trevino’s fellow Hall of Fame honorees this weekend – basketball’s Michael Allen, baseball’s Steven Feehan and softball’s Jill Robertson – during their careers.
But there have been few single moments in Cajun lore that have been so clutch.
Trevino hasn’t been back to Cimarron since, even though he’s been a PGA teaching professional in Texas for years. He said he’ll go back there one of these years, drop a ball and recollect.
For now, he remembers the moment, and the ride home.
“After being gone that long, those trips are typically long and draining,” he said. “Even being all the way down there, coming home was an easy ride. We were in no hurry.”
SPEAKING OF HOMECOMING: Last-minute entries are still being accepted for the Bill Bass Open, UL’s annual Homecoming tournament that serves as a fundraiser for the Ragin’ Cajun golf team and the Bill Bass Endowed Scholarship.
The four-person scramble tournament is this Friday, one day before UL’s Homecoming game against South Alabama, at Les Vieux Chenes. It will again have 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. shotgun starts to allow all golfers and Cajun fans the opportunity to participate, and playing spots for both teams and individuals are available for both shotguns.
Handicaps will again be used to allow an equal opportunity for all teams. Entry fee is $125 for individuals or $500 for teams, with lunch included between the flights. Online entries are now closed, so players and teams looking for spots may call 857-8754 to enter.
LSMGA TOURNEY: The Lafayette Senior Men’s Golf Association held its monthly tournament Sunday at Les Vieux Chenes, and the team of Mel Patin, Harris Theriot and Fred Aultman claimed top honors with a minus-3 score.
A total of 10 three-man teams took part in the event, with Glen Baudoin, Lawson Rouly and Troy Delahoussaye finishing second at minus-7, Keith Benoit, Tommy LeBlanc and Mitch Gaspard third at minus-8, and the team of Ernie Carbo, Don Judice and Carl Mastro and the team of Earl Guidry, Doug Rouly and Frank Comeaux tying for fourth at minus-11.
Tommy LeBlanc at No. 2 and Mitch Gaspard at No. 12 took closest to the hole honors, Gaspard hitting to within 20 inches.
USSSA HALLOWEEN: Lafayette’s Harrison John posted the first sub-80 round of his career and eventually claimed third-place honors in the senior division of the USSSA Junior Golf Tour’s Mizuno Halloween Classic held last week at the Atchafalaya course in Patterson.
John carded an 88-79–167 score to finish third behind Charlie Flynn of Alexandria and Karlei Hemmler of Groves, Texas, who was bidding to become the first girl to win an all-boys field in a USSSA junior event. It was the third straight senior-division win for Flynn, who shot two-under in the final round and finished with a 147 score.
RELATED NOTE: The USSSA Junior Golf Tour returns to action next Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 8-9 in the Mizuno Swanner Memorial event at LaTour Golf Club in Mathews.
The tournament is open to boys and girls ages 9-18 in three age groups, with the boys age 12-14 and 15-18 and the girls 12-14 and 15-18 groups playing 18 holes daily and the boys and girls 9-11 playing nine holes daily.
Entry fee is $160 for the two older groups and $90 for the age 9-11 group, all players must be registered with the USSSA. Entries will be accepted until next Wednesday, and more information on the event and the USSSA Tour are available from Robert Boudreaux at 278-8431 or at Robert.Boudreaux@usssa.com.
HELP IN HAITI: Father Glenn Meaux’s mission in Haiti has been the beneficiary of golf proceeds from Acadiana in the past, but a new tournament format will allow more to become involved and help some of the Western Hemisphere’s most impoverished.
Father Meaux’s inaugural golf classic is set for Monday, Nov. 17, at Oakbourne, with the four-person shamble beginning at noon. Entry fee is $250 per player or $900 per team and includes food and drink on the course and after play.
All proceeds benefit the Kobonal Haiti Mission as part of Cross Catholic Outreach, a relief organization working in dozens of developing countries. Fr. Meaux’s mission in Haiti is one that helps provide material aid and attempts to break a poverty cycle in one of the world’s poorest countries.
Sponsorships are also available ranging from $250 for tee box and range sponsors to $10,000 for an Eagle Sponsorship. More information on the event is available at Oakbourne or by calling Veria Samaroo at Cross Catholic Outreach at 800-914-2420 or at VSamaroo@CrossCatholic.org.
ACES: Marie Prados of Opelousas used a 6-iron and a Pinnacle ball to hole out on the 108-yard sixth hole at Hebert Municipal on Oct. 21. Prados, a 22-handicapper playing for 14 years, was in a group with Penny Stanford, Cheryl Neu and Laura LeBlanc for her ace.
Alex Declouet used a pitching wedge for a hole-in-one at the 141-yard seventh hole at Les Vieux Chenes on Sunday. Declouet was playing in a group with Robert Laseter and James Walker.
(“Making the Turn” appears each Wednesday in the Daily Advertiser. Clubs, courses and individuals with information about local golf events may email Dan McDonald, editorial director at Golfballs.com, at email@example.com, FAX to (337) 857-8763 or call (337) 857-8754 and leave a message with phone number.)