For the first time in its 23-year history, the Metropolitan Amateur Golf Championship of New Orleans (The Mackel) was a scratch because of inclement weather.
Thunderstorms running from the south shore to Oak Harbor Golf Club, which abuts the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain near Slidell, forced the hand of tournament officials just after 11 a.m. on Sunday.
With the weather scuttling any further play during the 36-hole event, Jacob Bergeron was named champion of The Mackel presented by Southside Café.
Bergeron, a 17-year old home-schooler who calls Oak Harbor his home course, became the first high-school-aged player to win what many consider the preeminent amateur golf tournament in southeast Louisiana. He shot a 4-under 68 during the first 18 holes on Saturday, which was four strokes better than any other of the 80-plus competitors in the field.
“I’m a little disappointed we didn’t get to play today, but I’m glad I got the win,” Bergeron said.
Bergeron is no stranger to competitive golf. He was junior division champ at The Mackel for two years and won that category again this year as well as being named open champion. He has won numerous junior tournaments, including the Tommy Moore Memorial Allstate Sugar Bowl Junior Golf Championship, the state’s only annual national championship.
Jack Abney, 41, finished in a tie for second with an even-par 72. It was the fourth time the former Tulane standout and Slidell resident placed second in The Mackel. Matthew Jakuback also shot 72, as did super senior division winner Trenton Eversull.
Bart Dormier and Doug Cristina tied at 71 (handicapped) for the senior division title.
Madeline Gordon and Josie Headrick shot 86 to share honors in the women’s division.
Tournament director Jimmy Headrick said he was very impressed with the showing for the event and especially what Bergeron was able to accomplish.
“Jacob can go as far as he wants to go in this game,” Headrick said. “He’s been wonderfully taught, he’s totally committed. His family is all in. His love for the game, his passion — it can go as long as it wants.”