LAFAYETTE, LA (August 6, 2005) -- Darell Benoit of Belle Chasse birdied three of his last five holes on Saturday en route to a two-shot victory in the 16th annual Louisiana Golf Association Senior Amateur Championship. Benoit’s final round of one-under par 71 put him at one-under 215 for the championship. Finishing in a tie for second, two strokes back, were Brusly’s Scott Haynie and Baton Rouge’s Jim Adams who finished the championship at one-over 217.
Benoit, who was playing in the final group of the day, started one shot back of the second round leader, Adams. After a birdie at the par-4 sixth hole, he made consecutive bogeys at No. 7 and 8 to make the turn in one-over 37. Adams also started his day by shooting a 37 on the outward nine after bogeys at No. 2 and 7 followed by a birdie at the par-5 ninth. Haynie shot an even-par 36 on the outward nine to make the turn one back of Benoit and two back of Adams.
After making bogey at the par-4 tenth, Benoit went on to make three clutch birdies (No. 14, 16, and 18) down the stretch to clinch his first Senior Amateur Championship title. His two under par-34 on the back nine included a two-putt birdie from 50 feet on the closing hole.
Haynie tried to mount a charge on the back nine with birdies on No. 10 and 12, but a missed opportunity on No. 18 left him just short of Benoit. He did, however, record the round of the day with a two-under par 70. Adams made eight pars and a bogey (No. 16) on the inward nine to close out his day with a 74.
Playing in the final group with Benoit and Adams was a two-time winner of this event (2002 and 2004), Frank Brame of Alexandria. Brame was unable to make any birdies on Saturday to counter his six bogeys and finished the championship in a tie for seventh at six-over par 222.
Rounding out the top ten for the championship were: Jimmy Thomas of Lafayette (220); Todd Lusk of Baton Rouge and Dennis Hurley of Marrero (221); Robert Shelton of Lafayette, Van Stewart of Shreveport, and Frank Brame of Alexandria (222); and Gayle Sanchez of Baton Rouge (223).
Saturday’s play took place under ideal conditions with plenty of sunshine and a light breeze to which kept the typical heat that is experienced this time of year modest. The Bluffs on Thompson Creek, an Arnold Palmer design located just east of St. Francisville, is hosting this year’s event. The Bluffs, which is always rated as one of the best layouts in the state, has gotten wonderful reviews from this field of the best Senior players in Louisiana as many have indicated it is in the best condition in which they have seen the course. The course played to a par of 72 on Thursday at approximately 6,600 yards.
For complete results, click on the tournament link above (amateurgolf.com membership required).