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McWilliams, Louisiana Want to Bring Title to Rain-Savaged Region

The following was written by David Shepard, senior staff writer for the USGA at the U.S. Men's State Team Championship. 

Robby McWilliams, like many of his fellow Louisianans, is a resilient man. On the golf course, he persevered to finally win the Louisiana Mid-Amateur this year after four runner-up finishes.

It’s the kind of intestinal fortitude that is a hallmark of the people of his state, who have endured quite a bit over the past 11 years. Two major hurricanes followed by the recent catastrophic rains that took 13 lives and flooded thousands of homes and businesses are enough to test even the heartiest of souls. .  “It is something that is on the news every night,” said McWilliams, 48, of Benton, La., a town in the northern part of the state that received heavy rain, but not the flooding that occurred in other places. “My heart goes out to them. There are friends of mine who have lost their homes. Us Louisianans,  we’re tough people.”

McWilliams seeks to channel that attitude as he represents the Pelican State for a fourth time in this week’s USGA Men’s State Team Championship at the Country Club of Birmingham. He will be joined by two New Orleans-area golfers: Patrick Christovich, 38, and Brandon Aydlett, 34, of Metairie.

GOLF MOURNS ARNOLD'S PASSING

Lafayette, Louisiana               September 26, 2016

By Carr McCalla, Executive Director

I heard the news on my way to the gym this morning…..Arnold Palmer had passed away.  I’m sure I’ll never forget the moment.  I knew he wasn’t well, anyone who had seen him recently knew that in the last year or so he simply looked older and more tired than ever before.  That said, it was still a shock, something that we hoped would never come to pass, even though we knew it was inevitable at some point in time.

Almost everyone has an ‘Arnold Palmer story.’  I was fortunate enough to meet Mr. Palmer on a couple of occasions, once at his Bay Hill Club in Orlando.  I was in Orlando for a USGA Rules of Golf meeting in 2004.  After the meeting, Tom O’Toole (who was to become USGA President in 2014-2015), and I arranged to play at Bay Hill.  About three or four holes into our round, we realized that a familiar face was playing in the group behind us……it was Arnie!  We continued our round but I’ll have to confess, I couldn’t resist the urge to watch the group behind us at every opportunity.  Arnie didn’t appear to be playing too well, but what was apparent is that he was having a wonderful time, out playing our great game with three of his friends.

When we reached the 18th tee, we had to wait for the fairway to clear before hitting our tee shots.  As we were waiting, Mr. Palmer arrived on the 17th green and made a point to come visit with us briefly.  He knew Tom and simply wanted to say hello and give us a hard time about the USGA’s penchant for setting the U.S. Open up so difficult for “all those years.”

BOB COOPER AND STAN HUMPHRIES WIN LOUISIANA GOLF ASSOCIATION SENIOR FOUR-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP

September 25, 2016 — Lake Charles, Louisiana

Like the Tour Championship at East Lake, the 2016 LGA Senior Four-Ball Championship at Lake Charles Country Club needed a playoff on Sunday to determine a winner.  Bob Cooper and Stan Humphries of Monroe started the day with a three shot lead over Bill Stevens and Doug Quienalty of Lake Charles.  Both teams teed off in the final pairing of the day at 11:30 AM.  Cooper and Humphries shot a 65 while Stevens and Quienalty fired a blistering 62, the low round of the Championship, and both teams were tied for the lead at 16-under par 128.  A sudden death playoff commenced on the par 4 15th hole (425 yards), which was statistically the toughest hole of the Championship, boasting a scoring average of 4.63.  Stevens made a 15 foot putt for par and Cooper and Humphries both missed birdie putts inside 20 feet.  The par 3 16th hole was next, and it was playing 156 yards over water to a back right hole location.  Humphries hit a 9-iron to about 8 feet, and drained to putt for birdie to win.

Cooper and Humphries both hail from Monroe, Louisiana and are members of Bayou DeSiard Country Club.  This is Cooper’s fourth LGA Championship.  He won the Senior Amateur in 2007 and 2010, and he captured the 2013 LGA Senior Four-Ball with partner Eddie Lyons of Shreveport.  This is Humphries first LGA Championship, but he is no stranger to competition, and he thrived under the pressure this weekend.  Humphries is a former NFL quarterback, having played for the Washington Redskins and San Diego Chargers from 1988-1997.  His golf game has really developed in the last five years, and he has been a mainstay in the top 20 at the LGA Mid-Amateur and Senior Amateur Championships.  This wire-to-wire victory was a true team effort.  In the first round, Humphries contributed six birdies and Cooper contributed three birdies en route to their nine-under par 63, and in Sunday’s final round, Humphries carded two birdies and Cooper had four birdies and an eagle at the par 5 7th. 

ROBERT TRENT JONES GOLF TRAIL DONATES $28,730 TO BENEFIT LOUISIANA FLOOD VICTIMS

Golfers playing Alabama's Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail over Labor Day Weekend helped raise $28,730 to assist Louisiana flood victims. The funds were donated to the American Red Cross South Louisiana Flood Relief.

"Louisiana golfers have played the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail since it opened nearly 25 years ago and now Louisiana needs our help," said John Cannon, president of the RTJ Golf Trail. “We are pleased to donate this to Louisiana during their time of crisis," said Cannon.

From Saturday, Sept. 3, through Monday, Sept. 5, the RTJ Golf Trail donated $10 from every round of golf with a green and cart fees paid. Additional financial contributions were also collected over the three-day weekend, amounting to the nearly $29,000 donation.

BATON ROUGE COUNTRY CLUB CELEBRATES ITS CENTENNIAL YEAR

Some of the information in this article is credited to the research and writing of Arthur G. Bedeian, a LSU Professor and member of Baton Rouge Country Club. He published in 2007, "A History of the Baton Rouge Country Club."  Many thanks go out to Mr. Bedeian for his written history of the club and current LGA President, Lew Ward, who lent us a copy of Mr. Bedeian's book.

Lafayette, Louisiana                               September 15, 2016

Friday, August 26th, marked the 100th anniversary for one of the Louisiana Golf Association (LGA) founding member clubs, Baton Rouge Country Club (BRCC).  The club has withstood the test of time adapting to changes in population, economics, and sprawl of the Baton Rouge area. It has remained on the same plot of land since its founding in 1916.

The first inklings of Baton Rouge Country Club's founding began a year before when the Baton Rouge Country Club Realty Company formed to purchase approximately 58 acres of land.  The first golf course layout on the property was a 9 hole design by Bernard "Scotty" Sinclair Robson.  Robson was brought in as golf professional and course designer from Hamilton CC (currently Bartlett CC) in Olean, NY.  He was of Scottish descent and much like many golf course architects of the late 1800s and early 1900s, he also acted as a "professional," "club maker," and golf course architect.  

Twelve years later, in 1928 the club opened its second nine (9) to make the golf course a complete 18-hole facility. The members had commissioned Tom Bendelow, another course architect of Scottish descent.  Bendelow is better known for his layouts, such as all three courses at Medinah Country Club (Chicago, IL), Dallas Country Club,  and East Lake Golf Club (Atlanta, GA).  One side note while Bendelow was helping design and build the second nine at BRCC, he designed and built Historic City Park Golf Course, also in Baton Rouge.  According to research of Professor Bedeian, with the opening of the second nine (9) at Baton Rouge Country Club; it was the only full length golf (18) hole course outside of New Orleans or Shreveport in the state. During the 1937-38 period the club rerouted the holes on the course to match the master plan of Bendelow's original design. With the changes, it brought the golf course to up to 6,400 yards in length.

LOUISIANA USGA STATE TEAM MEMBERS ANNOUNCED

Lafayette, LA (August 29, 2016) - The Louisiana Golf Association (LGA) has announced its selections to represent the state of Louisiana at the 2016 USGA Men’s State Team Championship to be conducted at The Country Club of Birmingham in Birmingham, Alabama, September 28-30.  Brandon Aydlett, 34, of Metairie, Patrick Christovich, 38, of New Orleans, and Robby McWilliams, 48, of Benton will compete for the Bayou State, and they are sure to represent us well on the national stage.

Aydlett and Christovich were both members of the 2014 Louisiana team that finished tied for 5th place on the Pete Dye course at the French Lick Resort.   Aydlett earned the championship’s individual medalist honors with a 54-hole total of 3-under par 213.  All three members of this year’s team are playing excellent golf heading into the Championship, and they are familiar with the Country Club of Birmingham.  This bodes well for another top 5 finish, but they have their sights set on the Championship, which would be the first in Louisiana state history. 

*UPDATE* 2016 LGA Senior Amateur Championship Rescheduled

August 19, 2016     Lafayette, LA 

Due to the recent flooding, the 2016 LGA Senior Amateur will not be played in August.  The Championship has been re-scheduled for October 20-22, 2016, and it will remain at Oakbourne Country Club in Lafayette.  Although the golf course has taken on a tremendous amount of water, we are confident that it will be in Championship condition and ready to host the Senior Amateur at that time.  Also, re-scheduling this Championship will allow more time for those who were impacted by the flooding to be there for friends, family, and their communities during the recovery process.  

Registration is currently available, and the entry deadline will now be extended until Tuesday, October 11 at 5:00 PM CST.

(e.g. State Amateur, GHIN, championship login)



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