CHAD BELANGER WINS 2017 LGA NET AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP WIRE-TO-WIRE

Kinder, Louisiana                    September 10, 2017

Chad Belanger of Zachary fired a two-under par 69 on Sunday to win the 2017 LGA Net Amateur Championship at Koasati Pines at Coushatta by four shots over Ken Alexander of Lafayette.  This was Belanger’s first time to compete in an LGA Championship, but he played like a seasoned veteran to win the tournament wire-to-wire.  Belanger was tied for the lead with Alexander after both players carded a four-under par 67 on Saturday, but Belanger distanced himself from the rest of the field with his stellar play in the final round.  He was the only player to finish under par in both rounds of competition, and his total of six-under par 136 is tied for second lowest score all time in the LGA Net Amateur.  Belanger is a member of Copper Mill Golf Club in Zachary.

Belanger got off to a steady start on Sunday, making par on his first two holes.  He stumbled at the par 3 3rd hole, making a bogey 4.  He responded with back-to-back pars, and then caught fire with three consecutive birdies on holes six through eight.  He capped off his front nine with a par at the par 5 9th hole, making the turn at two-under par for the day.  Belanger kept the momentum going on the par 4 10th hole, making an incredible eagle.  He took his foot off the gas after that however, and made a par-bogey-par-triple bogey sequence on his next four holes.  He realized he needed to have a strong finish to win, which is exactly what he was able to accomplish.  Belanger bounced back with a birdie at the par 4 15th hole, and then added another par at the par 3 16th hole.  He tacked on another birdie at the par 4 17th hole and finished his round with a par on the final hole, the par 5 18th (556 yards). 

All scores previously mentioned were net scores.  Belanger’s course handicap of 11 subtracted from his gross score of 80 brought his second-round total to two-under par 69 and six-under par for Championship.

As previously mentioned, this year’s event was held at Koasati Pines at the Coushatta Casino Resort in Kinder, Louisiana.  The golf course was in excellent condition for this championship and drew rave reviews from competitors.  The greens rolled true, and the fairways were extremely well manicured.  The rough was slightly higher and thicker than it typically is at this course, due to the amount of rain brought on by Hurricane Harvey a few weeks ago.  The thick rough was an equalizer for players, making fairways a premium.  The course played firm and fast to a par of 71 at approximately 6,500 yards. Sunday’s play was again conducted in ideal golf weather, with temperatures in the mid 70’s and a slight breeze throughout the day.  Koasati Pines at Coushatta proved to be an extremely popular venue for the LGA Net Amateur competitors, and it will host a U.S. Mid-Amateur Sectional Qualifier conducted by the LGA on Monday.

Top 5 finishers in the Overall Championship received prizes.  Rounding out the Top 5 were: 2. Alexander (67/73/140), 3. Nicholas Rainey of New Orleans (72/69/141), 4. 2014 LGA Net Amateur Champion William Duncan of Baton Rouge (70/72/142), T5. Bryan McCullough of Lake Charles (68/76/144), and T5. Perry Hudson III of Baton Rouge (69/75/144).  Belanger and Rainey were the only two competitors to card scores under par on Sunday.

The top 5 finishers in the Overall Championship were taken out of their respective flight at the conclusion of play on Sunday.  Top 3 finishers in each flight also won prizes.  Flight winners included:  Perry Hudson III of Baton Rouge (St. Andrews / 144), Dewey Thevis of Broussard (Prestwick / 148), Lance LaMotte of Baton Rouge (Troon / 153), and Rene Durflinger of Westlake (Carnoustie / 149).  If there had been a tie for the Overall Championship, there would have been a three hole, cumulative score playoff (with 1/6 of handicap) beginning on a hole determined by the Championship Committee.  All other ties, which determined prizes or recognition, were decided by matching scorecards.  The USGA method, as prescribed in Appendix I of the current Rules of Golf booklet, was utilized (i.e., last 9 holes; if still tied, last 6 holes; if still tied, last 3 holes; if still tied, 18th hole). 

The most improved golfer goes to Marc Young of Hammond who shot a 77 on Sunday, improving by 16 strokes from his first-round score.  The most interesting playing of a hole goes to Ward Lafleur of Lafayette at the par 5 9th hole (557 yards).  Lafleur lost his tee shot and was not virtually certain it was in the hazard so he went back to the tee and hit his drive right down the middle of the fairway.  He reached the green in two, and then drained the putt for a gross score of 5. 

The LGA conducts this event to provide a Championship for the higher handicap players with procedures in place that assure consistency and integrity.  The LGA utilizes the USGA Tournament Score Probability Table to adjust any handicap indexes when a player’s score exceeds normal probability.

In the Net Club Team Championship, conducted concurrently with the Net Amateur, Oakbourne Country Club of Lafayette won by finishing at nine-over par 435.  Team members included: Ken Alexander, Ward Lafleur, and Dwight Prudhomme.  In the Net Club Team Championship, team totals are comprised by combining the low three individual scores each round from four-man teams.  Impressively Oakbourne had to count all three of their teams scores each day and was still able to take home the title.

To view complete LGA Net Amateur results, click here.

Top Three Flight finishers are as follows:

Flight

Name/Hometown

Net Score

 

 

 

St. Andrews

1. Perry Hudson III / Baton Rouge

144

 

2. Ward Lafleur / Lafayette

146

 

3. Dwight Prudhomme / Lafayette

149

 

 

 

Prestwick

1. Dewey Thevis / Broussard

148

 

2. Ricky Norwood / Lake Charles

149

 

3. David Barham / Opelousas

150

 

 

 

Troon

1. Lance LaMotte / Baton Rouge

153

                

2. Eric Tamplain / LaPlace

153

 

3. Shaun Leach / Hammond

158

 

 

 

Carnoustie

1. Rene Durflinger / Westlake

149

 

2. Andy Pierce / Baton Rouge

153

 

3. Julius Courville / Lake Charles

154

Next year’s Championship will be held at Bayou Oaks at City Park South Course, August 25-26, 2018.  This will be the second year that the LGA Net Am will be conducted in August, having switched dates with the LGA Senior Amateur in May.  The LGA anticipates keeping its Net Amateur at this time of year moving forward. The new Rees Jones designed Bayou Oaks at City Park South Course hosted the 2017 LGA Mid-Amateur this past August and was a fantastic venue.  Its numerous tee boxes and large green complexes will make for an enjoyable set up, and its location near downtown New Orleans is ideal.