Louisiana Amateur: Berthelot remains in lead

Lafayette, Louisiana (June 11, 2011) -- The Oakbourne Country Club track fought back on Saturday as the low scores of the first two days weren’t quite as prevalent on Saturday. In fact, no one broke 70 on Saturday as the race for the 92nd Louisiana Golf Association Amateur Championship tightened up considerably. Birdies didn’t come quite so easily for the field as the pressure of Amateur Championship weekend and Oakbourne’s lightning quick greens made putting strokes a bit less efficient.

Second round leader Greg Berthelot of Baton Rouge birdied his last hole of the day to finish with a two-over par 74 Saturday and still leads through 54 holes. His four-shot bulge after Friday’s round however, has shrunk to just one stroke with 18 holes left. Brent Struthers of Baton Rouge fired a one-under par 71 and heads into Sunday one shot in arrears of Berthelot. Patrick Christovich of New Orleans shot even par 72 and sits three shots back. First-round leader Andrew Noto of Luling shot a one-under par 71 despite a quadruple bogey seven on the par three ninth hole, shooting four-under 32 on the back to stand four shots back.

Berthelot stumbled early, bogeying #1, birdying #2, then bogeying #6, #8, and #9 to shoot three-over 39 on the front. Struthers birdied the 3rd hole, then survived a double bogey five on the 127-yard 4th to shoot 37 on his outward nine and clip two shots off the Berthelot lead. Berthelot birdies on #10 and #11 and a Struthers eagle three on the short par five 11th kept Berthelot two shots clear. Bogeys on the next two holes, #12 and #13, by Berthelot brought them even with Struthers finally grabbing the lead with an eight-footer for birdie on the par three 17th. The Berthelot birdie on #18 would have done Houdini proud, his drive rattling around in the trees right of the drive zone. A nine-iron to about 25 feet and a side-winding putt that fell in, coupled with a Struthers bogey, allowed him to leap-frog into the lead again at eight-under 208.

Christovich finished the day three shots back after a four bogey (#1, #4, #11, and #16), four birdie (#7, #10, #12, and #17) even par round. He stands at five-under par 211 through 54 holes. Noto played a great round on Saturday, save for his seven on the par three ninth. Birdies on #10, #12, #14, and #17 brought him in with a one-under 71. He stands at four-under par 212.

Rounding out the top ten though 54 holes are: 5. Robby Going of Lake Charles (74/215), T6. Clinton Shepard of West Monroe (73/217), T6. Tim Dahlberg of Mandeville (76/217), T8. Kelsey Angelle of Arnaudville (71/218), T8. Grady Brame of Hammond (72/218), T8. John Talley of St. Martinville (72/218), and T8. Dustin Petit of Luling (74/218).

Under par rounds on Saturday were turned in by Mick Huffman of Maurice (70), Struthers (71), Noto (71), Cody Santone of Bossier City (71), Kelsey Angelle of Arnaudville (71), and Blake Kelley of Mandeville (71). The shot of the day was hit by James Fuselier of LaPlace, who made an eagle two on the difficult 450-yard 18th, holing out from 168 yards with a seven iron to finish off his round of three-over 75.

Oakbourne Country Club in Lafayette is hosting the LGA’s marquee event for the sixth time (1959, 1981, 1989, 1998, 2004, and 2011). The course played to a par of 72 at just over 6,800 yards on Saturday and continues to draw accolades from this field of the top amateur players in Louisiana. The weather on Saturday was again hot but the skies remained clear most of the day.

Final round play on Sunday will begin at 7:30 AM off #1 tee with the leaders, Berthelot, Struthers, and Christovich, scheduled to go off at 10:12 AM.

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