ABITA SPRINGS, LA (June 12, 2005) -- LSU golfer and Baton Rouge resident Aaron Smith shot a three-under par 69 on Sunday to capture the 86th edition of the Louisiana Golf Association Amateur Championship at Money Hill Golf and Country Club in Abita Springs. Smith, who entered Sunday’s final round two shots behind third round leader Chris Walling, finished at five-under par 283, one of only three 72-hole scores under par. Smith was able to hold off Baker resident and 2004 Mid-Am Champion, Jeff Calloway, by making a birdie at hole #17 and making par at #18 out of the fairway bunker.
After nine holes, Smith trailed Calloway by one shot and third round leader Chris Walling (Lake Charles) by two. But an eagle at the par-5 11th and a birdie at the 13th vaulted Smith to five under for the tournament, which at the time was tied with Calloway who made three birdies in a row at #11, 12, and 13. After a bogey at the par-5 14th, Smith was able to add one more birdie (#17) and two pars to finish off the tournament, while Calloway was only able to make four pars and a bogey to close out his day. Calloway finished the tournament at four-under par 284. Walling made only two birdies (#5 and 17) against three bogeys on the day to close out the championship in third at three-under par 285.
The round of the day came from Bossier City resident Robby McWilliams who shot a tournament low, seven-under par 65, which tied the course record at Money Hill. McWilliams, who teed off an hour and forty-five minutes before the leaders, watched himself climb all the way into the top-5 with his round, which included seven birdies (#3, 4, 11, 13, 15, 17, and 18) and no bogeys. Brett Bergeron, LaPlace, who started the round in a tie for third, got off to a shaky start, but was able to play well down the stretch to finish in fourth at even-par 288. Joining McWilliams in a tie for fifth was Doug Quienalty, Lake Charles, who shot a final round of one-over 73.
Rounding out the top ten were: tie for 7th at 290, the second round leader, 14-year old Patrick Reed of Baton Rouge and Tommy Brennan of Covington; in 9th was Grady Brame of Hammond at 291; and in a tie for 10th were three Baton Rouge residents, Jeff Riemann, Will Daigle, and Brent Struthers.
The venue at Money Hill continued to receive high marks from this field of the best Amateur players in Louisiana. Always rated as one of the top courses in the state, this year’s field has raved about the condition of the course. It is playing to a par of 72 over approximately 7,100 yards for this year’s Championship. Sunday’s round was played under perfect conditions as there were sunny skies with no wind to speak of. The top-40 players from this year’s event will be exempt from qualifying for the 2006 Amateur Championship which will be held at the Country Club of Louisiana in Baton Rouge.
For complete results, click on the tournament link above (amateurgolf.com membership required).