The Baton Rouge Open has moved away from its traditional location at Santa Maria Golf Course, a switch that will highlight the Beaver Creek course in Zachary at this weekend’s tournament.
The tournament has been staged at Santa Maria since 2000 with the exception of 2005. Beaver Creek hosted that year’s event while Santa Maria underwent a multi-million dollar renovation. Turnout for this year’s tournament has still been strong.
Sixty golfers will tee off beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. The 36-hole tournament will not be flighted but will include a senior division for golfers over 50 years old. Senior golfers will also compete for the overall title.
Former Centenary golfer Greg Berthelot, who won the LGA state amateur in 2011, is among the favorites. Berthelot was second at last year’s Baton Rouge Open, a tournament he led after shooting a first-round 68.
Berthelot battled his putter in the second round and missed short birdie attempts on three of his final four holes. Former Catholic High golfer Triston Elston, now at Louisiana-Lafayette, overcame Berthelot on the final holes to win with a two-day total of 4-under 140.
Elston, who is not in this year’s field, birdied 16 and then parred the last two holes to earn the win.
Nicholls State golfer Peyton McCulloch shot 70-72 and was third at 2-under. It was the third time in as many years that he placed third. He is returning.
Also competing will be Dante Caldera, who won BREC’s 2014 Players Tournament at Beaver Creek. Caldera shot 72-68 to win that tournament, a win that also earned him honors as BREC’s player of the year.
This will be the fourth BREC tournament in 2016 for Caldera, who has also played in tournaments on the Adams Pro tour since 2014.
In the 2016 race for BREC player of the year points, five of the current top 10 will seek to add to their totals. Points leader Danny Nelson will be on hand, along with David Millet, Scott Wilfong, Chuck Danna and Crosby Lyman.
Nelson has a pair of wins in two-player events to his credit. He teamed with Jeremy Gautreaux to win the Howell Park Spring event and then with Phil Schmidt for top honors at the City Park 27.
Wilfong is the 2014 Baton Rouge Amateur champion. He birdied the final hole at Santa Maria to edge Scott Haynie and McCulloch for the title.
Also competing is 2009 BRO winner Garrett Westbrook, who won that year with a two-day score of 3-under 141.