The year-long chase to be named player of the year will culminate this weekend when BREC stages its Players Championship at Zachary’s Beaver Creek golf course.
Local amateur golfers have had the opportunity to accumulate points toward the honor by playing in as many as 11 BREC tournaments. The top 40 point scorers will have a shot to win the Players Championship with action beginning in the 36-hole tournament at 7:30 a.m.
In addition to the point total that golfers bring into the tournament, players will add their point total to the weekend’s earnings. The highest point scorer won’t necessarily win the Players Championship, but he will have earned the title of BREC player of the year.
The scoring system for this year has been altered to give more players a chance at winning player of the year honors. In previous years, points were awarded for the final two-day standings. This year, points will be awarded for standings after the first round, and also for final standings.
Blaine A. Patin won last year’s tournament, his second Players Championship win in three years and also player of the year. Patin held an insurmountable lead in the player of the year standings before the tournament, but made it a moot point with a two-day total of 6-under 138.
As many as 12 players are within range of scoring enough points to overtake Dante Caldera at the top of the 2014 standings. Caldera has played all 11 events including wins at the City Park Championship and the Howell Park adult/child tournament. Caldera lost a playoff to Shane Starns at the Howell Park Championship.
Other tournament winners entered include Baton Rouge Amateur champion Scott Wilfong and Baton Rouge Open titleist Wendell Akins. Webb Park winner Chuck Laudermill is also on hand.
Caldera, Wilfong, Danny Nelson, Donnie Chatelain and Laudermill were the top-five point scorers for the year. Rounding out the top 10 are Luke Gower, Russ Gaudin, Terry Ledet, Mike Drury and Akins.
Patin, who won the Dumas Memorial Championship earlier in the year, won the Louisiana Golf Association’s Mid-Amateur Championship two weeks ago at Squire Creek Country Club in Choudrant.
While his game appears to be in top form, he is in 14th in the BREC standings, and out of the running to win player of the year.
Last year, Patin took a two-stroke lead after firing a 67 to open the tournament. Phil Schmitt shot 69, and eventually caught Patin at the second round’s 14th hole, where both players stood 5 under for the tournament.
Patin took the lead right back with a birdie at 15, and closed with three pars to take a three-stroke win.