Most of the top seeds took care of business during the first day of play at the Baton Rouge Amateur championship, but, as always, there were surprises.
Cole Arseneault, the 62nd seed and one of the last players to make it into the field, upset two higher seeded players to advance to the round of 16.
Also knocked out of contention were a pair of recent Baton Rouge Amateur champions, No. 16 Paul Castro and No. 15 Chad Braud. Castro and Braud each dropped their first-round matches.
A final round of match play begins at 7 a.m. Sunday. The remaining eight golfers play an 18-hole stroke play final starting at 1 p.m.
Arseneault scored the biggest upset of the morning round with a 1 up win over third-seeded Todd Elkins in a match that took 19 holes to decide.
Elkins was 3-up through 12 holes, but Arseneault won holes 13 and 14 to pull close. Needing to win the par-5 18th to keep the match going, Arseneault made eagle to do just that.
“I was down one on 18, and (Elkins) laid up,” said Arseneault, a 16-year-old who also competes on the Arrowhead Junior Golf Tour. “I went for it with a 6-iron, and hit it to five feet for the eagle.”
The players went back to the first hole, where Arseneault won the match with a par.
“I hit my second shot to about 15 feet, and he came up short,” Arseneault said. “He two-putted, and I made par to win the hole.”
Jeremy Gautreaux, seeded 49th, defeated 2010 champion Castro 5 and 3. Gautreaux won three of the first five holes, but Castro took holes 7 and 8, and made the turn down a hole. On the back, Gautreaux took holes 11, 12, and 13 before closing out the match by winning 15.
Braud, the 2011 winner, was 2-up through 12 holes against Dane Lambert. The tourney’s 50th seed, Lambert fought back, winning three straight holes to go 1-up. He finished off the 2 and 1 win by taking the 17th hole.
Fifth-seeded Shane Starns bogeyed three holes and fell behind No. 60 Duane Graham by four after five holes. Birdies for Graham at 11 and 14 helped him take a 5 and 4 win.
Sixth-seeded Peyton McCulloch advanced to the third round after defeating Travis Arseneault 5 and 4 in the morning and five-time champion Gayle Sanchez 3 and 2. In the back-and-forth match with Sanchez, there were no holes halved until No. 8.
Each player finished the front nine having won four holes, but McCulloch took charge on the back nine. He chipped in for birdie to take 10 and won 11 with a par. He maintained the 2-up lead and eventually won 16 to close out the match.
“It was tough. He‘s a good player,” McCulloch said. “(Sanchez) gave it everything he had, and made me fight to the end. I’m just glad we had to play 36 holes. If it had been in the morning, he might have gotten me.”
Mike Drury, the 11th seed, won by scores of 6 and 5 and 4 and 3 over Wes Clark and Blake Watts, but the matches were tougher than the scores might indicate.
“I didn’t play bad, but I had rough starts,” Drury said. “I was two down after three holes in both matches. I kind of righted the ship after that in both matches and got it back together.”
A veteran of 12 city amateur tournaments, Drury has advanced to the final eight twice.
“Its very hard to do,” Drury said. “When you get to the final eight after 36 holes on Saturday and another 18 on Sunday morning, its very tough. Its hard to stay in it that long.”
BATON ROUGE AMATEUR RESULTS
Saturday at Santa Maria Golf Course
Scott Haynie def. Danny Vidrine 5 and 4
Doug Firmin def. Kevin Landry 1 up
Jeremy Gautreaux def. Paul Castro 5 and 3
Matt Decell def. Adam Zayor 8 and 6
Danny Nelson def. Pat Milton 5 and 4
Robbie White def. Can Le 2 up
Aaron Randolf def. Benjamin Piland 3 and 2
Chad Blanchard def. Josh Gonzalez 2 up
Chuck Laudermill def. Greg Rowland 9 and 8
Trampus Butler def. Terry Ledet 3 and 2
Chris Perez def. Blaine C. Patin 4 and 3
Brek Balentine def. Russ Gaudin 4 and 3
Duane Graham def. Shane Starns 5 and 4
Seth Holley def. Jason Arms 1 up
David Knight def. Jason Miller 9 and 8
Daniel Schroeder def. Blake Eisler 4 and 3
Blaine A. Patin def. Crosby Lyman 4 and 3
Donnie Chatelain def. Peter Mata 2 up
Dane Lambert def. Chad Braud 2 and 1
Eric Hoffmann def. Austin Cope 4 and 2
Scott Wilfong def. Parker Johnson 5 and 4
Stephen Maciasz def. Chris Leonard 2 and 1
Luke Gower def. Corey Artieta 1 up
Randy Goff def. Jordan Hollingsworth 1 up
Cole Arseneault def. Todd Elkins 1 up
Lenny Comeaux def. Lyle Peak 5 and 4
Garrett Westbrook def. Matthew Gray 2 and 1
Peyton McCulloch def. Travis Arseneault 5 and 4
Gayle Sanchez def. Scott Sorrell 5 and 3
Mike Drury def. Wes Clark 6 and 5
Blake Watts def. Ryan Schulz 4 and 3
Scott Haynie def. Doug Firmin 5 and 4
Jeremy Gautreaux def. Matt Decell 4 and 3
Danny Nelson def. Robbie White 2 up
Chad Blanchard def. Aaron Randolf 3 and 2
Trampus Butler def. Chuck Laudermill 3 and 2
Brek Balentine def. Chris Perez 6 and 5
Duane Graham def. Jason Arms 2 and 1
Daniel Schroeder def. David Knight 1 up
Blaine A. Patin def. Donnie Chatelain 2 and 1
Eric Hoffmann def. Dane Lambert 3 and 2
Scott Wilfong def. Stephen Maciasz 5 and 4
Randy Goff def. Luke Gower 3 and 1
Cole Arseneault def. Lenny Comeaux 2 up
Dennis Brown def. Garrett Westbrook 2 and 1
Peyton McCulloch def. Gayle Sanchez 3 and 1
Mike Drury def. Blake Watts 4 and 3