Patient play along with a dash of scrambling turned into a winning combination for Triston Elston at Santa Maria golf course Sunday.
Elston overtook first-round leader Greg Berthelot on the final three holes, and turned in a two-day total of 4-under par 140 to win the Baton Rouge Open.
Elston birdied the 16th hole to tie Berthelot at 4-under, and made par at the final two holes. Berthelot three-putted the par-5 18th from 15 feet, and finished a stroke behind Elston, a recent Catholic High graduate.
Peyton McCulloch had chances to work his round under par, but shot 72 to finish third at 2-under. Brandt Garon also fired a 72 and was fourth at 1-over.
“I just wanted to play solid and give it my best shot,” Elston said. “I was expecting to do the same thing I did yesterday — just be patient.”
For Berthelot, it was a round that featured solid play from tee to green, but very few putts dropped. He sank an eight-footer for birdie at No. 3, but missed birdie putts inside of 12 feet at 4, 6 and 7.
On the par-5 15th, Berthelot knocked a wedge to two feet, and had a chance to extend his lead to two strokes after Elston’s birdie try stopped on the lip of the cup. Instead, Berthelot’s putt lipped out, and he settled for par.
At 16, he missed a 12-footer for birdie before Elston sank his. At the par-3 17th, after Elston put his tee shot eight feet from the pin, Berthelot dropped his in just inches inside of Elston’s ball.
After watching Elston’s putt miss low, Berthelot missed high, and the pair headed to the 18th still tied at 4-under.
“It’s just golf,” said Berthelot, a former Centenary golfer who won the LGA state amateur in 2011. “The putt on 15, it was dead center and it just lipped out. You can’t do anything about it. Just a bad break.
“I played well. I just didn’t make any putts.”
Elston hit 15 greens on the day but started out missing the first. His blast from the rear sand trap stayed in the fringe, but he rolled in a 30-foot par putt.
He also made a sand save at the par-3 5th, and pitched over a mound to six feet at No. 12. Just like on the first hole, he drained the putt for his par save.
McCulloch had his chances for a strong start, but lipped out two birdie putts and had another come up short on his first three holes.
“I didn’t make any putts,” McCulloch said. “I had 12 straight pars on the first 12 holes, and you can’t do that with these guys. You can’t do that and expect to win.”
Final results from the Baton Rouge Open at Santa Maria golf course.
Triston Elston, 70-70 140
Greg Berthelot, 68-73 141
Peyton McCulloch, 70-72 142
Brandt Garon, 73-72 145
David Levingston, 75-71 146
Corey Artieta, 72-74 146
Michael Sotile, 71-75 146
Scott Haynie, 72-76 148
David Knight, 73-76 149
Kelsey Angelle, 72-79 151
Craig Rose, 74-78 152
Shawn Kjar, 75-80 155
Davis Chapman, 75-81 156
Daniel Schroeder, 72-85 157
Jesse Eusay, 75-85 160