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Golf: Bass goes out as Cajun coach with busy week

 Dan McDonald • danmcdonald@cox.net • June 25, 2008

The last official week as UL golf coach will be a busy one for Bob Bass, and most of it is being spent overseas. 

Bass, who officially retires June 30 after 18 years as Cajun head coach, is one of the coordinators of this weekend’s Palmer Cup competition being held at the Glasgow Golf Club’s Gailes Links in Glasgow, Scotland.

The competition matches the best collegiate players from the U.S. and Europe in Ryder Cup-style play over two days, and is staged by the Golf Coaches Association of America. The event has been held since 1997 and Bass has been one of the coordinators since 1998.

"We’re fortunate that we’ve been able to play on some great courses," Bass said, "and this is another good one. It’s one of the original old courses in Scotland … it’s been around since the 1700’s."

Glasgow Golf Club was founded in 1787 and is the ninth-oldest club in the world. The Gailes Links in nearby Ayrshire was inaugurated in 1892 and is only a few miles from historic Turnberry and Royal Troon. The true links course has been a British Open qualifying venue.

The event alternates between U.S. and European courses, and past host courses have included St. Andrews Old and New courses, The Honors Course, Royal Liverpool, Baltusrol, Ballybunion, Whistling Straits, Prestick Golf Club, Caves Valley and Bay Hill.

The event is named after Arnold Palmer, whom Bass has had the chance to spend time with at several of the events.

Bass has been coordinator of course setup over the past several years, and has seen a succession of quality players – Ben Curtis, Luke Donald, Charles Howell III, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, D. J. Trahan, Ryan Moore and J.B. Holmes among them – take part in the Palmer Cup. Many of the European players also attend U.S. colleges, including Jonny Caldwell of Northern Ireland at South Alabama.

"Most of them wind up playing here," Bass said, "so they know each other since they all play at a high level."

Play begins Thursday after two days of practice nd wraps up Friday. The U.S. leads 6-4-1 and won 18-6 last year at Caves Valley. The Europeans won 19-5 in 2006.

Bass won’t be heading straight back to the U.S. after the event, with a stopover in Iceland to visit two former players – recent graduate Orn Hjartarson and Ulfar Jonsson, who was on Bass’ first team in 1991.

"I’ve kept up with him, but I haven’t seen Ulfar in 16 years," Bass said. "They’ve made arrangements to meet me when I get there. It’ll be great to see them. It kind of completes a full circle since Ulfar was one of the first players I coached."


  • FIRECRACKER TIME: Dates are set for one of Hebert Municipal’s biggest annual events, the Firecracker Four-Ball scheduled for July 12-13. The tournament will have 10:45 a.m. tee times both days and is limited to the first 50 teams to enter.


    Teams will be flighted by the lowest verifiable handicaps, with unverified handicaps automatically placed in the championship flight. LGA handicaps will be honored, and the number of flights will depend on total entries.

    Entry fee is $50 plus course fees for the two days, and closest to the hole prizes will be given on all par-threes each day. Entry fees are due July 11, and more information is available at the Hebert Municipal pro shop or by calling 291-5557.


  • USGA SECTIONAL: A pair of Texans, Jade Scott of Daingerfield and Curtis Donahoe of League City, each carded seven-under-par 137 scores to pace the field at the USGA Junior Sectional Qualifier held last week at Oakbourne.


    Scott and Donahoe were the top qualifiers out of a 51-player field from four states and Mexico. Their impressive scores over the Oakbourne layout in the one-day, 36-hole event earned spots in the USGA Junior Nationals, scheduled for July 21-26 at Shoal Creek Golf Club in Shoal Creek, Ala.

    Juan Pablo Hernandez of Chapuit, Mexico (139) and Stuart Smallwood of Paris, Texas (140) are alternates into the national field. Just missing alternate status was Broussard product and just-graduated Teurlings Catholic player Bo Boudreaux, who shot a 2-under 142 over the two rounds to tie for fifth.

    Other local finishers included Eustis Corrigan III of Lafayette, tied for ninth at 145; Logan Lajack of Opelousas and Ethan Savoy of Broussard, tied for 15th at 147; Kent Broussard of Lafayette, 27th at 153; Greg Maher of Carencro, 29th at 156; Stephen Breaud of Lafayette, 33rd at 159; Austin Richard of Lafayette, 39th at 161; and Paul Greene of Lafayette, 42nd at 168.


  • BOUDREAUX SIGNS: Prior to his finish at the USGA Junior Sectional, Bo Boudreaux signed a national letter of intent to play golf at Nicholls State.


    Boudreaux, the son of Liz and Robert Boudreaux, helped lead Teurlings Catholic to a runner-up finish in the Class 4A state championships last month, after the Rebels claimed the Class 3A state crown in 2007. He most recently won the Arrowhead Junior Tour’s Contraband Bayou Junior Classic in Lake Charles.


  • WETLANDS JUNIORS: Logan Lajack of Opelousas and Anna Heim of Lafayette found success on the home turf with victories last week in The Wetlands Junior Classic, part of the Arrowhead Junior Golf Tour schedule.


    Lajack won the overall boys title and Heim won the overall girls crown in the event, both taking their second win on this year’s AJGT tour. Ironically, both won on the same weekend at the Koasati Pines event in Kinder in April.

    Lajack carded a 2-under-70 in the final round and finished at one-under 143 for the tournament, posting six birdies and an eagle for the tournament and shooting two-under over the final nine holes. That helped him rally and finish ahead of first-round leader Eustis Corrigan III (69-78-147) of Lafayette, who had four birdies in a 34-35-69 opening round. Scott Backstrom (76-75-151) of Erath was part of a trio tied for third at 151, while Greg Maher of Carencro finished sixth at 153 including a three-over 75 in the final round, Jacob Broussard of Lafayette finished seventh with a final-round 76 and Lafayette’s Kent Broussard finished eighth after an opening-round 77.

    Heim carded one birdie in the opening round on the way to a three-over 75 and nailed down the win with a front-nine 39 in the final round. She finished just in front of Crowley’s Ali Lucas, who made four final-round birdies and shot 37-39-76 to move into second place. Sidney Martien of Lafayette finished third in the girls’ 15-19 division.

    Lafayette’s Lauren Aillet took second place in the girls 12-14 age division, shaving three strokes off her Saturday score in the final round, while Benjamin Como of Broussard finished eighth in the boys 12-14 division.

    The Arrowhead Tour is at Tamahka Trails in Marksville July 12-13 for that course’s Junior Classic. The 36-hole event is open to juniors ages 12-19, and registration deadline is next Monday, June 30. The tour also has a July 15-16 stop at The Island in Plaquemine. Information on both events is available online at www.arrowheadjgt.com or by calling (850) 243-6333.


  • PGA TOURNEY: Le Triomphe director of golf and head professional David Church took part in last week’s PGA Professional National Championships played at the Grand Traverse Resort in Acme, Mich. Church missed the cut with a 79-76-155 score after Friday’s second round, with the top 70 advancing to the weekend out of the original 312-player field.


    Church earned a slot in the field through a high finish at last summer’s PGA Gulf States Section Professional Championship.

    The event, aimed at club professionals, is open to pros that have not played more than 10 professional events on any tour over the previous year. It offered a $550,000 purse – $1.5 million including the sectional purses – and the top 20 earned slots in the 90th PGA Championship Aug. 4-10 at Oakland Hills.


  • LGA INFO: The Louisiana Golf Association will hold a Rules of Golf seminar on Tuesday, July 1, at Oakbourne, the last in a series of such seminars conducted around the state. The 7 p.m. seminar is open to the public and is free to all members of LGA Member Clubs. Non-LGA members may attend for a $20 charge, and all participants will receive a 2008-09 Rules of Golf booklet compliments of the LGA.


    LGA executive director Carr McCalla will conduct the seminar, and more information is available online at www.lgagolf.org or by calling the LGA office at 265-3938.

    The deadline has passed for entries for the LGA’s Mid-Amateur Championship, scheduled Aug. 1-3 at Ellendale Country Club in Houma, but entries remain open for the other four events remaining on this year’s schedule. Next up is the Junior Amateur set July 9-11 at Santa Maria in Baton Rouge, with registrations due July 1 for that event.

    Entries are also open for the State Four-Ball on July 19-20 at Carter Plantation in Springfield (entry deadline July 7), the State Senior Amateur on Aug. 14-16 at Farm d’Allie (deadline Aug. 5) and the State Senior Four-Ball on Sept. 20-21 at Lake Charles Country Club (deadline Sept. 9). Information on all events is available online at www.lgagolf.org.


  • BOATWRIGHT INTERN: The LGA has hired Patrick Neuner of St. Louis as this year’s USGA P.J. Boatwright Intern. Neuner, a recent graduate of Notre Dame, will work in the LGA’s Lafayette office until mid-December.


    Neuner worked at the 2007 PGA Championships at Southern Hills, and will work in several areas with the LGA including championships and handicapping.

    "We’re pleased to bring Patrick on board," said LGA assistant executive director Kevin Jones. "He brings a wonderful golf and educational background to the association and we believe he will be a fantastic asset to the organization."


  • AND MORE LGA: Louisiana Golf Association executive director Carr McCalla returned last week from a week at Torrey Pines in California, where he served as a rules official for the U.S. Open.


    McCalla, who has served as a rules official for several national USGA events as well as other "majors," has a diary from his week’s activities available online at the LGA web site at www.lgagolf.org.


  • GULF STATES JUNIORS: The PGA’s Gulf States Section has revised its junior golf program for this summer, including changing the name from the Gulf States PGA Junior Tour to the Gulf States Junior Golf Association, and is in the middle of its summer tournament series.


    The group has added an age 9-under group for boys and girls and now has age groups for 9-under, 10-12, 13-15 and 16-18 for boys and girls. The summer tour has already held three tournaments and will wrap up the fourth today with the final round of the Louisiana Trusted Choice Big "I" Junior Classic at the University Club in Baton Rouge.

    Upcoming events include the Gulf States Junior PGA Championship at Copper Mill in Zachary July 1-2, the GSJGA Oak Wing Classic in Alexandria July 15-16, the GSJGA Championships at Black Bear in Delhi July 23-25 and the Mississippi River Cup matches Aug. 16-17 at Beau Chene in Mandeville.

    The fall series kicks off with the GSJGA Acadiana Invitational Sept. 6-7 at Squirrel Run. More information about the GSJGA is available online at www.gulfstates.pga.com or by calling (985) 725-2655.


  • SUMMER CLINICS: There’s still time to enroll at summer youth golf camps being held at several area courses. Among the camps still being offered:


    l The Massie Golf Academy’s Junior Golf Program through Aug. 1 at Acadian Hills has players age 8-10 starting at 8:30 a.m., 11-12 at 9:30 a.m., 13-14 at 10:30 a.m. and 15-17 at 11:30 a.m. Cost is $125 for the summer and information is available at 232-1979.

    l Farm d’Allie has two more sessions of Summer Junior Camps July 14-16 and July 28-29, the last of which comes just prior to the fifth annual Junior Invitational on July 30. Camps are open to boys and girls ages 7-17 and are limited to the first 20 to register for each session, with Class A LPGA instructor and teaching pro Allison Ramsay heading up the staff. Information and registrations are available by calling 886-2227.

    l The Dog Leg Driving Range on Albertsons Parkway in Broussard wrapped up its summer clinics earlier this week, but teaching pro Gerald Bouquet is available for other instruction. Information is available at 322-3568.


  • LAGNIAPPE: Acadian Hills continues its twilight scrambles at 5:30 p.m. today and every Wednesday and its senior swatfests from 9-10 a.m. on Thursdays. Information is available from the pro shop at 232-1979 … Le Triomphe, Oakbourne and Acadian Hills were picked as the area’s three favorite courses by readers voting in the Times of Acadiana’s recent "Best of Acadiana" poll … Next stop on the Southwest Ladies Golf Association schedule is July 8 at Ville Platte Country Club. Information is available from Joanne Bordelon at 363-3659 … The Louisiana Amateur Golf Tour returns to action Saturday at Koasati Pines in Kinder. It’s the ninth stop on the South Louisiana tour schedule, with the next one set July 12 at Farm d’Allie. Information on the tour is available from director Eric Simmons at 781-3220 or at eric@laagt.com.


    Dan McDonald’s local golf column appears each Wednesday. Clubs, courses and individuals wishing to submit items may call 857-8754, fax to 857-8763, e-mail danmcdonald@cox.net or mail to 112 Piedmont Lane, Youngsville, LA 70592. Please include a return phone number.