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Golf: Chip Shots - Dan Covers Charlie Flynn, Andrew Noto, The Robe, The Bass Open and more

Dan McDonald, The Advertiser, Aug. 15, 2019

Chip Shots

FLYNN AT U.S. AM: UL’s Charlie Flynn struggled in Monday’s opening round of the 119th U.S. Amateur Championships and couldn’t rally back in Tuesday’s second round.

The Alexandria product and rising sophomore on the Ragin’ Cajun squad carded an 81-76—157 score in the stroke-play segment of the nation’s most prestigious amateur golf event, finishing tied for 263rd in the elite 312-player field. The top 64 players advance to the match-play segment that begins Wednesday over the revered Pinehurst Resort and Country Club in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

Flynn, the second Cajun to qualify for the U.S. Amateur in as many years and the third in the last four years, had earned a spot in the field when he shot 68-70—138 in sectional qualifying at the Bayou Oaks City Park South course in New Orleans in early July. Cajun coach Theo Sliman accompanied Flynn on the trip and caddied during the two rounds.

The Cajun program has been well represented in the U.S. Amateur in the last half-decade. Former UL standout Fernando Cruz Valle participated in the 2016 national championship at Oak Hills in Detroit, and senior-to-be Jack Tolson of Lafayette — a recently-named Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar — earned a spot in last year’s national event held at Pebble Beach.

A couple of familiar names were high on the leader board after Tuesday’s second and final round of stroke play. Shreveport’s Philip Barbaree was tied for second after shooting 71-67—138 in his two rounds, while Sun Belt Conference standout Steven Fisk of Georgia Southern was tied for 10th at 71-69—140.

LGA MID-AMATEUR: Former UL All-American and Metairie resident Andrew Noto finished tied for fourth over the weekend in the Louisiana Golf Association’s 28th Mid-Amateur Championship held at Squire Creek in Choudrant.

Noto, the first round leader and in second place entering Sunday’s final round, finished at 67-71-74—212, four-under-par and four strokes behind winner Derek Busby of Ruston playing on his home course.

Four Acadiana-area players made the cut out of 14 who entered one of the premier events on the LGA’s schedule. Brett Guilllot of Broussard tied for 16th at 75-70-74—219, Clinton Shepard of Lafayette tied for 26th at 74-75-75—224, Ben Dupont of Lafayette tied for 34th at 76-78-73—227 and Billy Guilbeaux of Lafayette tied for 51st at 76-75-82—233.

Next event on the LGA’s championship schedule is the Net Amateur Championship Aug. 24-25 at English Turn, that event serving as the LGA’s only championship that utilizes handicap indexes to determine winners. Entry deadline for the Net Amateur has already passed.

Still open are the men’s Senior Four-Ball on Sept. 21-22 at Koasati Pines in Kinder with an entry deadline of Sept. 10; the women’s Senior Amateur on Sept. 19-20 also at Koasati Pines with an entry deadline of Sept. 10; and the women’s Four-Ball Oct. 8-9 at Squire Creek with an entry deadline of Oct. 1.

More information on all LGA championship events and USGA qualifying events is available online at lgagolf.org.

SUN BELT MEN: As reported here first a couple of weeks ago, the Sun Belt Conference will stage its 2020 and 2021 men’s golf tournaments at Mystic Creek Golf Club in El Dorado, Arkansas. The league office officially announced the two-year deal on Tuesday.

This year’s tournament is Sunday-Wednesday, April 26-29 and airs live on ESPN�. UL’s Ragin’ Cajuns will be among 12 teams taking part and shooting for the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA championships.

The Ken Dye-designed course opened in May 2013 and can stretch to over 7,500 yards from the tips. Golfweek’s “Best of 2019” list ranked Mystic Creek as Arkansas’ No. 1 “Course You Can Play.” The course has hosted the women’s developmental Symetra Tour El Dorado Shootout since 2015 as well as other collegiate events.

PGA JUNIOR LEAGUE ALL-STARS: A group of 10 junior players will represent the Lafayette area PGA Junior League this weekend when they take part in the PGA Gulf States Section playoffs Saturday-Sunday at the Country Club of Jackson in Jackson, Miss.

The local all-star team includes Luke Baudoin, Dax Reaux, Drew Dronet and Christopher Cain representing The Wetlands, Ben Blanco, Hayden Amy and Noah Chauvin representing Le Triomphe, and Thomas Oubre, Tripp Bellard and Riggs Ryan representing Oakbourne. A total of 12 teams from Louisiana and Mississippi will compete, and the winner will advance to the regional playoffs scheduled in Mississippi in September.

The local league recently completed its regular season competition, with team representing The Wetlands taking the overall title and going undefeated with a 6-0 record in its dual matches. Le Triomphe finished second and two teams representing Oakbourne finished third and fourth in the full-season competition, which led up to the selection of the “All-Star” team that will represent the league in this weekend’s sectionals.

VIEUX CHENES SENIORS: The team of Bill Parrott, Ron Reitz, C.J. Girouard, Tim Gravette and Glenn Morales recorded an 11-under-par 61 score to take top honors Thursday at the twice-delayed second July event for the Vieux Chenes Senior Men’s Golf Association at Les Vieux Chenes.

The event had been moved back two weeks ago due to greens aeration at the course, and the previous week was cancelled due to rain and wet conditions.

A total of 27 players took part, with the team of Don Everett, Bob Barrileau, Don Judice, Byron Dugas and Johnny Bourque also shooting 61 and finishing second on a scorecard playoff. Mike Menard, Pete Trowbridge, Rickey Bodoin and Richard Cormier finished third at 62 and Gary Colomb, Butch Babin, Doug Bourque, Walter Jackson and Tom Suhrhoff finished fourth at 66.

Johnny Bourque took closest to the hole honors at the 17th hole. The next event for the group is set for Thursday, Aug. 22 at Les Vieux Chenes, with sign-in from 7-7:30 a.m. and a shotgun start at 8 a.m. The group is open to all senior players, and information is available at Les Vieux Chenes at (337) 837-1159.

“THE ROBE” NEARING: UL supporters and local sports fans have only a few more days to sign on as sponsors and supporters for “The Robe,” the Aug. 23 tournament at Les Vieux Chenes in honor of the late Ragin’ Cajun baseball coach Tony Robichaux.

All of the 72 team and 288 individual playing spots are filled for “The Robe,” but there are still two primary ways for individuals and businesses to participate and support the event that benefits the family of the late coach, who passed away July 3 at age 57.

The easiest method is a tee box sponsorship with personalized tee signs at $100 each. The standard tee signs will each include a unique “Robeism” that expresses one of the long-time coach’s canons and witticisms.

The other primary way to get involved is through the silent auction, which will be held throughout tournament day and will include UL items and memorabilia donated by former Cajun athletic standouts and other prominent pro athletes. The auction is open to all, not just tournament participants, and is not limited to athletic items.

Information on the tee box sponsorships and the auction, including those who would like to donate auction items, is available from Mike Strentz at (337) 356-5869 or at mikestrentz@gmail.com; Travis Guidry at (337) 258-8801 or at guidrygolfer@yahoo.com; Ken Meyers at (337) 257-7777 or at ken-meyers@att.net, or Todd Robertson at (337) 371-9084 or at trobertson@lafayettela.gov.

BASEBALL RELATED: On a similar note, UL baseball’s annual fund-raiser golf tournament is now scheduled for Oct. 7 at Oakbourne. Details will be announced soon.

BILL BASS OPEN: It’s never too early to save the date for the annual Bill Bass Open, UL’s Homecoming golf tournament scheduled for  Nov. 1 at Les Vieux Chenes. The four-person scramble event is one day in advance of the Ragin’ Cajuns’ Homecoming football contest against Texas State on Nov. 2 at Cajun Field.

The 1 p.m. tournament is open to all golfers, not just Cajun fans, but it does have a distinct UL flair with several special features unique to the Bill Bass Open. Players may make up their own four-person teams or may enter as individuals to be placed on a team. RCAF members will get a $25 price break on the $150 individual and $600 team entry fees.

Entry blanks will be mailed out to past tournament participants and to UL football season ticket holders and will also be available at all area courses.

“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 danmcdonald@cox.net, FAX to (337) 857-8763 or call (337) 857-8754 and leave a message with phone number.

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