BATON ROUGE, LA (June 11, 2006) -- Jason Kuperman of Shreveport rolled in a six-foot birdie putt on the final hole to win the 87th Louisiana Golf Association Amateur Championship. Kuperman, a member of the University of New Orleans golf team, carded a bogey-free round of six-under par 66 and finished the tournament at 13-under par to claim his first LGA title.
Kuperman came to the final hole of the tournament at 12-under par with a one-stroke lead over Covington’s Tommy Brennan, the leader after the first three rounds. Both players hit their tee shots down the middle of the fairway and Brennan played his shot first to 20 feet from the flagstick. Kuperman then knocked his shot inside of Brennan’s to set up the exciting finish. Brennan, now four times a runner-up in this event, was able to convert his birdie putt for a share of the lead, but Kuperman made his putt for a three and the championship.
At the start of the final round, Brennan held a three-shot lead over Kuperman, but after the first nine holes, his lead was trimmed to just one. Kuperman made birdies on No. 3, 7, and 9 to make the turn at three-under 33 and Brennan had two birdies (No. 3 and 5) against one bogey (No. 4) to turn at one-under. Brennan increased his lead to two shots after a birdie at No. 12, but Kuperman answered with a birdie of his own at the par-4 No. 12. A Brennan bogey at No. 13 and another Kuperman birdie at No. 14 gave Kuperman a one-shot lead with four holes to play. Brennan drew even one more time with a birdie at No. 15, but gave it back with a bogey at No. 16. Both players made par at No. 17 to set up the finish at the closing hole.
Finishing the championship at nine-under par and alone in third place was Larry Daigle of Port Allen. Daigle made three birdies on the front nine (No. 2, 5, and 9) against one bogey to shoot two-under par on his opening nine. He then added birdies at No. 11, 15, and 18 to finish his day with a five-under par 67.
Andrew Loupe, the 2005 LGA Junior Amateur Champion and Country Club of Louisiana member, carded the low round of the day and tied Brennan for the low round of the tournament with an eight-under par 64 on Sunday. Loupe, who finished in a tie for fourth at eight-under par, made the turn in three-under par 33 after birdies at No. 1, 2, 5, 6, and 8 (bogeys at No. 3 and 9). He then started his back nine off with a birdie at No. 10, an eagle at No. 11, and a birdie at No. 12. Loupe bogeyed both par-3s on the back but used birdies on No. 15, 16, and 18 to come in at five-under 31. In all, Loupe made 10 birdies and an eagle on the day. Loupe will try to defend his title at the LGA Junior Amateur next month at Bayou DeSiard Country Club in Monroe.
Chris Wells of Baton Rouge and a member of the LSU golf team, played in the final group with Kuperman and Brennan and also finished in a tie for fourth at eight-under par. Wells, who started the day at six-under par, got off to a steady start with an even-par 36 on the front nine. Wells made four-birdies on his final nine holes (No. 12, 15, 16, and 18) against two bogeys. He finished the day at two-under par 70.
Rounding out the top-10 for the 2006 championship were: Robby McWilliams, Bossier City (-3, fifth place); Trey Coker, Leesville (-2, tie-seventh place); Gayle Sanchez, Baton Rouge (-2, tie-seventh place); Morgan Landry, Lafayette (-2, tie-seventh place); Kristopher Novak, Baton Rouge (-2, tie-seventh place).
The Country Club of Louisiana, the host to the 2006 event, played to a par of 72 at approximately 7,100 yards for the championship.
“CCL’s course superintendent, Stan Hickerson, has the course in wonderful shape. We’re so fortunate that our top clubs across the state are willing to ‘give back to the game’ by hosting our Championships. We are indebted to CCL, its leadership and membership for allowing us to conduct our Amateur Championship at their facility,” said LGA Executive Director Carr McCalla. “CCL always has been one of our more popular venues and this year is no exception.”
The field was cut to the low 60 scorers and ties after Friday’s round. This year’s cut came at seven-over par 151 with 69 players striking it well enough to stay around for the final 36 holes on Saturday and Sunday. The top 40 finishers in the event will be exempt into the field for the 2007 LGA Amateur Championship at the TPC of Louisiana in Avondale.
For complete results, click on the tournament link above.