WESTLAKE, LA (July 17, 2016) -- John Justus of Baton
Rouge and Donny Schmitt of Baton Rouge won the 2016
Louisiana Four-Ball Championship at The National Golf
Club of Louisiana in dramatic fashion. Justus and
Schmitt shot bookend 65's to finish the Championship at
14-under par 130, and were tied for first with two other
teams Zak Barton (Sulphur) / Blake Dereese (Westlake)
and Jason Kuperman (Shreveport) / Taylor Netherton
(Shreveport) after 36-holes. An exciting sudden death
playoff commenced, and Justus and Schmitt rose to the
occasion to take home the title of best Amateur Four-
Ball team in Louisiana.
The first playoff hole was the par-4 18th, and all
three teams made par. Justus had a chance to win the
playoff on No. 18, but he missed a 15-foot birdie putt
by a few inches. The playoff continued to the par-5
17th, which was playing 494 yards on Sunday. Justus
was out for redemption after missing the chance to end
the playoff earlier. His partner hit his tee shot into the
hazard to the right of the fairway, so Justus knew the
pressure was on him to close it out. Justus hit a
beautiful tee shot down the middle of the fairway and
followed it up with a hybrid to reach the green in two,
leaving himself a 25-foot downhill putt.
His putt on the 17th was longer than the one he
had just missed on No. 18, but he drained it for an
incredible eagle to secure the victory. Kuperman and
Netherton both had good looks at birdie on the 17th,
but Justus did not allow those to come to fruition.
Justus and Schmitt worked hard to get to the
playoff on Sunday. They started their round in the
penultimate group, and they both made consecutive
pars on the par-5 first hole and the par 3 2nd hole.
Justus made a birdie at the par-4 3rd hole, and Schmitt
added two straight pars on holes 4 and 5. Both players
made birdie at the par-4 6th hole, and Schmitt added
another birdie at the par-4 7th hole.
Their lone bogey of the day came on the next hole,
the par-5 8th where Schmitt made a six. Justus
responded nicely with a birdie at the par-4 9th, and the
duo from Baton Rouge made the turn at 3-under par 33.
Justus kept the stellar play going to start the back nine,
making a par on the 10th hole and a birdie on the par-5
11th hole. They each made par on the next three holes,
and Justus added another birdie on the par-3 15th hole.
Schmitt made a birdie on the par-4 16th hole, and
they both made birdies on the par-5 17th. Each player
made a par on the 18th, bringing their back nine total
to 32 and 65 for the day, good enough to force the
playoff that they would win.
All three playoff teams played brilliantly on Sunday
to put themselves in a position to win in extra holes.
Barton and Dereese played with Justus and Schmitt in
the final round and went shot-for-shot with the
champions, shooting bookend 65's as well. Barton and
Dereese are both members at The National GC of
Louisiana, and had the advantage playing on their home
track. However, a rules infraction may have very well
cost them the championship.
Both partners hit a wrong ball on the par-4 11th
hole and incurred a two-stroke penalty. Their final round
65 would have been a 63 and good enough for a two-
The 10th hole was the site of another rules
infraction that shaped the outcome of the top-5
finishers. Ben Thibeaux and Robert Shelton, both of
Lafayette shot a final round 63, the second lowest round
of the tournament, and jumped up the leaderboard to
finish at 11-under par 133. Their 63 included a two-
stroke penalty for being late to the tee (#10), so it
would have been an eleven-under par 61. They finished
tied for 5th with 2014 LGA Four-Ball Champions Darrell
Lakvold of Baton Rouge and Blaine Patin of Greenwell
Thibeaux and Shelton won the scorecard playoff for
the 5th place prize with a last nine holes played total of
29. Alex Burt of Ruston and Clinton Shepard of Baton
Rouge finished at 13-under par 131 to take fourth
place. The top-5 finishers all received prizes in the form
of gift certificates redeemable in the golf shop at The
National Golf Club of Louisiana.
The weather was hot again on Sunday in southwest
Louisiana, with temperatures in the low to mid-90s and
a Heat Index just over 100. There was a slight breeze
and a few clouds throughout the day to help cool off
LGA 4-Ball competitors. The National Golf Club of
Louisiana played to a par 72 at approximately 6,800
View results for Louisiana Four-Ball Golf Championship