Louisiana Amateur: Ricard prevails
SHREVEPORT, Louis. (June 9, 2013) -- Eric Ricard of Shreveport shot a two-under par 70 in the final round Sunday at Southern Trace Country Club to win the 94th Louisiana Golf Association Amateur Championship by three strokes over defending champion Patrick Christovich of New Orleans. Ricard, a member at host club Southern Trace, began the final round with a two shot lead over Christovich who is one of the top Mid-Amateur players in the country and a strong candidate to represent the United States this year in the Walker Cup Match. Championship Sunday was set up for drama and fierce competition among the final two pairings that also included Brandon Aydlett of Metairie and John Talley of St. Martinville, who both started the day three shots off the lead at four-under par for the Championship. The 18-year-old Ricard, who will play golf for LSU this fall, did not let any of that potential drama develop, however. From the beginning, Ricard, who finished the Championship at nine-under par 207, showcased poise, composure, and excellent course management that propelled him to victory.

Ricard’s knowledge of his home track proved invaluable in his preparation for this Championship. Christovich was no stranger to Southern Trace either, the site where he won his fist LGA Championship, the 2010 Mid-Amateur. Christovich has successfully defended that title two consecutive years in a row (2011 & 2012), and as previously mentioned, was seeking to repeat as Amateur Champion this year. Both Ricard and Christovich capitalized on the par 5s in the first two rounds to put themselves into contention for the Championship, and they did so again on Sunday. Teeing off first in the final pairing at 10:21 AM, Ricard stepped up and laced his drive right down the middle of the fairway like he has done many times before on his home course. He would set the tone for the day by making a birdie on the par 5 1st hole, which was playing at 520 yards Sunday, while Christovich made par.

Ricard continued to garner momentum and separate himself from the rest of the field by making another birdie at the par 4 2nd hole. Once he had a comfortable lead, Ricard played smart, consistent golf. He made par on the 3rd and 4th holes but bogeyed the par 4 5th. After two consecutive pars, Ricard made birdie at the par 5 8th. He followed that birdie with a bogey at the par 4 9th, making the turn one-under par (35) for the day. Ricard was peerless on the homestretch, playing a bogey free back nine. He made par on every hole except the par 5 14th, which he birdied. His two-under par 70 final round was impressive, and Ricard certainly has a promising future in golf.

The low round of the day belonged to Jake Pritchard of Angie who fired five-under par 67. Other scores under par on Sunday were shot by: Taylor Netherton of Shreveport (70), Myles Lewis of New Orleans (70), Christovich (71), Brandt Garon of Baton Rouge (71), Landon Lyons of Baton Rouge (71), and Chuck Spears of Pineville (71).

Sunday’s final round was another excellent day for golf, with temperatures in the low 80’s with little breeze. There was rain delay at 1:10 PM that lasted twenty minutes then play resumed. The Southern Trace golf course dried out substantially since Thursday’s thunderstorms, and the greens were firm and rolling at an 11 on the stimpmeter. The grounds crew and staff at Southern Trace, led by Superintendent Jason McDonald, did a tremendous job getting the golf course ready for this Championship. The Arthur Hills designed Southern Trace course drew rave reviews from this field of the top amateur players in Louisiana. Southern Trace Country Club, which was established in 1988, is hosting the LGA Amateur Championship for the fourth time in its history, having also been host venue for this Championship in 1993, 1997, and 2003. The course played to a par of 72 at approximately 6,862 yards. The Championship was shortened to 54 holes due to poor weather conditions on Thursday.

Next year’s Championship will be at Le Triomphe Golf & Country Club in Broussard. That will mark the first time the Amateur Championship returns to Le Triomphe since 1996.

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