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Former Golf: Thad Weber wins City Golf title – Edges Brother Todd and David Duhon by one stroke

Dan McDonald, Daily Advertiser, August 26, 2013

Thad Weber held a two-stroke lead over brother Todd Weber and a three-stroke advantage over David Duhon as the threesome stood on the 18th tee at Les Vieux Chenes Sunday.

With that edge, Thad Weber knew if he played it safe, the Lafayette City Championship was his for a second time.

“I knew I had that lead, so I played it just like a par-five,” Thad said of the difficult 472-yard 18th hole. “I knew that they would have to hit two great shots to birdie.”

Thad did just that, two-putting for a bogey five, and it was a good thing for him that he had that lead. Brother Todd was two inches short of chipping in for birdie on the 18th, and Duhon rolled in an improbable 30-foot putt from six feet off the green for his birdie.

It wasn’t enough, though, as Thad held on for a one-stroke win over that twosome. His one-under 71 on Sunday followed an even-par 72 at The Wetlands in Saturday’s opening round, with nobody in that final threesome carding over a 73 for either day.

“It was a shootout all the way,” said Duhon, the 2007 city champion.

Todd Weber, the five-time city champ, held a one-stroke lead entering Sunday’s final round, but the three kept swapping a share of the lead for most of the round. Thad finally took the lead for good when he hit his approach within four feet on the par-four 13th for his third birdie of the round.

Todd also birdied there, but bogeys on the seventh, ninth and 10th holes left him a couple of strokes back, while Duhon bogeyed the par-four 14th, and then missed a six-foot par putt on the 17th hole to fall three back.

“I played well … yesterday was a roller coaster, but today was probably the best I’ve hit it in a while,” Thad Weber said. “I got a new Callaway driver and I was smoking it. To hit it sometimes as far as David did, I’m driving better than I ever have, because he can really hit it.”

Thad Weber’s one-stroke win was one of several close finishes in the two-day City Championships. Joey Cuccio carded a 155 to edge three players by one stroke to win the Open Division, and Amanda Rothrock held on down the stretch to win the Women’s Division by one stroke over two-time runner-up Dawn Romero Watson. John Broussard’s 150 was good enough for a four-stroke win in the Senior Division.

Rothrock held a five-stroke lead with four holes to play before finishing bogey-double bogey-par-bogey while Romero parred all four holes.

“I started off with a triple,” said Rothrock, a Baton Rouge resident who had a three-stroke lead over eventual third-place finisher Sue Roberts entering the final round. “It was that kind of day. I either had pars or double-bogeys or worse. Not knowing the course, I went for it a couple of times and got in trouble.”

Rothrock finished second in the 2011 event, while Watson was runner-up in a playoff last year when Lauren Aillet claimed the title.

Thad Weber won his first city crown in 1998, creating a span of 15 years between titles, and persistent back problems limited his tournament participation in the last decade.

“I almost quit,” he said. “It was excruciating to play, but I started doing the stretches and gradually it got better.”

Most figured the winner was coming out of that final threesome, all of whom played on the Hebert Municipal team that finished as runner-up in the Louisiana Golf Association Club Team Championship earlier this year.

Duhon birdied three of the first eight holes and turned at two-under 34 and with a share of the lead with Thad Weber. Despite bogeys at the fifth, seventh, ninth and 10th holes, Todd Weber’s birdies at the par-five 8th and at the 13th kept him close, but a missed five-foot birdie putt on the 15th ended up being costly. Duhon’s bogey at the 17th was the same.

“When I made that putt at 18,” Duhon said, “the first thing I thought about was 17. I played good all day, just had a couple of bad swings coming in.”

“I had a couple of chances, but he (Thad) made some putts,” Todd Weber said. “I’ve played with him a lot in my life, and that’s the most putts I’ve ever seen him make.”

Thad Weber’s win gives the Weber family eight city titles over the past 23 years, with Todd’s five wins coming in a 14-year span – one year short of Thad’s 15-year-divided wins.

“I was pretty much in control of my game all day,” Thad Weber said. “Even with the rain (there was a 45-minute delay for rain and lightning mid-round Sunday), I didn’t put myself in positions where I was in trouble.”