LAFAYETTE — A member of the Weber clan has won the Lafayette City Golf Championship six times since 2000 and eight times overall, but that family’s ranks are depleted this year.
Five-time city champion Todd Weber is sidelined with recent surgery, leaving family honor for this weekend’s tournament in the hands of 2011 champion Ted Weber and defending champion and two-time winner Thad Weber.
That doesn’t mean there won’t be a wide-open shootout for top honors when the field opens play at 9 a.m. Saturday at The Wetlands in the opening round of the 36-hole tournament. Sunday’s final round is set for Hebert Municipal in an event that annually rotates among the city’s three municipal courses.
Each of the past three men’s winners and five of the past six champions return to the field, including 2012 winner Mick Huffman, 2008 champion James “T-Boy” Hamilton and 2007 champion David Duhon. Duhon and Todd Weber each finished one stroke back of winner Thad Weber in last year’s event.
“I don’t know if we’ll match the finish we had last year,” said Wetlands head PGA professional David Gary, one of the organizers and host pros for the event. “But with this many good players, we could easily have a lot of guys in the hunt coming down the stretch Sunday.”
Thad Weber held a two-stroke lead over brother Todd Weber and a three-stroke advantage over Duhon coming to Sunday’s 18th hole last year. Weber played the difficult 472-yard par-four closing hole at Les Vieux Chenes like a par-five and two-putted for bogey. That was just enough to win when Todd Weber’s potential tying chip came up two inches short and Duhon ran in an improbable 30-foot birdie putt through 6 feet of fringe.
“It was a shootout all the way,” said Duhon after that final group all finished within one shot in the closest finish in over a decade.
The tournament is one of a limited number of competitive medal-play events in the area and dating to 1928.
The event is hosted by the pros at the city’s municipal layouts and has been held every year since 2000 with the exception of a rained-out 2009 edition.
The previous winners’ list is a Who’s Who of golf in the Acadiana area and includes 1960 PGA Championship and two-time U.S. Ryder Cup Team member Jay Hebert. Sunday’s final round is at the course named after Lafayette natives Jay and Lionel Hebert, the only brothers ever to win the PGA title.
The tournament also crowns winners in ladies and seniors (age 62 and over) divisions as well as a men’s open division for players who do not compete for overall championship honors.
Last year’s ladies champion Amanda Rothrock is not back to defend against a field led by 2012 winner Lauren Aillet. John Broussard, who took last year’s seniors title by a four-stroke margin, returns to defend that title.