BROUSSARD — Eric Ricard will begin his bid for a second consecutive title in the Louisiana Golf Association Amateur Championship that gets underway Thursday at Le Triomphe Golf & Country Club.
The 95th edition of the state amateur is a 72-hole stroke play event that will continue through Sunday.
The 144-man field will begin teeing off at 7:30 a.m. Thursday from the first and 10th tees at the home course of the Web.com Tour’s Chitimacha Louisiana Open.
The 19-year-old Ricard, a Shreveport native, was a freshman on the LSU golf team this past season. He attempted to earn a spot in the U.S. Open field Monday, but came up short in a sectional qualifier in Houston.
Ricard, the medalist at the U.S. Open local qualifier at Carter Plantation last month, will try to repeat in the state amateur after defeating 2012 champ Patrick Christovich by three strokes in last year’s rain-shortened tournament at Southern Trace Country Club in Shreveport.
Ricard will have to defeat a deep and competitive field if he wants to become the first player to repeat as state amateur champion since Buddy Short won in 1969 and ’70.
Twelve of the top 20 finishers from last year’s tournament return — including John Talley of St. Martinville, who was fifth, and former LSU golfer Brandon Aydlett of Metairie, who finished eighth.
Myles Lewis, another LSU golfer who played at Jesuit, tied for ninth a year ago and is among a solid group of collegiate performers entered in the tournament.
Louisiana Tech’s Travis Wilmore, the 2008 LGA Junior Amateur champion, tied for 17th last year along with Louisiana-Lafayette’s Ross Davis, a Baton Rouge native and former Episcopal High School player.
Tech’s Chuck Spears, who tied for 20th last year, was the 2010 and 2011 LGA junior champion, while Southeastern Louisiana’s Grady Brame Jr. tied for 25th last June.
In addition to Ricard, other former champions scheduled to play are Hammond’s Grady Brame (2002), Baton Rouge’s Scott Haynie (1993) and Lafayette’s Robert Shelton (1972).