LAFAYETTE, LA. (August 7, 2023) – The Louisiana Golf Association (LGA) today announced pairings and starting times for the first two rounds of the 31st Louisiana Mid-Amateur Championship presented by Francis Ford Coppola Wines at Oakbourne Country Club. 156 of the best amateur golfers in Louisiana (21 years of age and older) will comprise the field that will compete over 54 holes of stroke play, August 11-13, with the low 60 scorers and ties making the cut to the final 18 holes of competition.
The LGA announced its plan to cancel qualifiers for this championship, and exempt players were granted one month to register starting March 1. Once registration opened to all LGA members (handicap index of 8.0 or less), a full field of 156 players was reached in less than a week. The LGA accepted 30 players on the waitlist and then closed entries. “Even though we canceled qualifiers, the strength of field for this championship is impressive and one of the deepest we’ve had in years,” said LGA Executive Director Logan Ray. “The positive response for this championship is a testament to Oakbourne’s reputation, and our members are excited to test their skills against this wonderful golf course. We sincerely appreciate Oakbourne’s support, and we know this will be a memorable Mid-Amateur.”
Oakbourne Country Club, established in 1955, was designed by Dick Wilson. It is a tree lined, shot-makers course, with a rich championship history. Characterized by its many mature oak trees and beautiful penalty areas, it has a well-maintained look throughout. The course is rated annually as one of the best in the state, and was home to two former PGA Champions, Lionel and Jay Hebert. To date, they stand as the only two brothers to win a PGA Championship. In total, Lionel won on the PGA Tour 5 times and Jay won 7 times. One of these wins for each of the duo came at the Cajun Classic, a PGA Tour tournament hosted by Oakbourne from 1958 to 1968. If you are a patron or a player this week, be sure and check out the Hebert Room in the Oakbourne clubhouse. Inside you will find memorabilia and other items chronicling the Hebert brothers’ life in golf.
Oakbourne Country Club has been a tremendous supporter of amateur golf and the LGA in its storied history. This is the second time it will host the Louisiana Mid-Amateur, having also hosted in 2009. That year, Matt Nicholas of Lake Charles won with a score of 5-under par 211. Nicholas will tee it up again this year, hoping to rekindle the magic from his performance fourteen years ago. Oakbourne has hosted the Louisiana Amateur Championship seven times (2018, 2011, 2004, 1998, 1989, 1981, 1959) and the Louisiana Senior Amateur Championship three times (2021, 2016, 2006).
Defending Champion Greg Berthelot of Baton Rouge will be the odds-on favorite to repeat. He won the 2022 Championship by six strokes at Koasati Pines at Coushatta. He knows Oakbourne well, having won the 2011 Louisiana Amateur there. Berthelot finished tied for 7th last month in the 104th Louisiana Amateur Championship at Southern Trace Country Club. Five-time Louisiana Mid-Amateur Champion (2021, 2013, 2012, 2011) Patrick Christovich of New Orleans is sure to be in contention come Sunday. He’s also finished runner-up in this championship three times. 2018 Champion Hank Shaheen of Dequincy is another former champion in the field. His victory was at Le Triomphe Golf & Country Club in Broussard, and he’s hoping a return to Acadiana will bode well for another trophy.
Other former champions in the field include seven-time winner Tommy Brennan of Covington (2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 1997, 1996, 1995) and 1993 Champion Grady Brame of Hammond.
Nine of the top-10 finishers from a year ago are back, including: Josh Fullilove of Larose, Jonathan Jeter of New Orleans, Kelsey Angelle of Youngsville, Andrew Noto of Metairie, and Chuck Spears of Alexandria.
Christian and Clayton Brown from Plaquemine are the youngest players in the field at 22 years old. A.J. James, 70, of Laplace is the eldest competitor this year.
Oakbourne Country Club will play to a par 72 at approximately 6,800 yards. Superintendent Jason Barras and his crew have the golf course in immaculate condition. The recent irrigation improvements have helped tremendously during the August heat. The greens are pure and putting true. It should provide a stern but fair test this week.
On Thursday night, Fracis Ford Coppola wines will host a happy hour from 6-7 PM for players and guests. That will be followed by a player dinner and Distinguished Service Award reception for Scott Brame.
You can follow live scoring here: 31st Louisiana Mid-Amateur Championship Presented by Francis Ford Coppola Wines Event :: Results (golfgenius.com)