LAFAYETTE — David Duhon fought an inconsistent putter and inconsistent winds Saturday at The Wetlands, and still finds himself in solid position to make a run at a second Lafayette City Golf Championships title.
Duhon was the only championship flight player to break par in Saturday’s opening round of the 36-hole city title event, posting a 1-under 71, and takes a two-stroke lead into Sunday’s final 18 holes to be played at Hebert Municipal — a course he’s very familiar with.
“I’m feeling good going back to Muni,” Duhon said after a roller-coaster round that included an eagle, four birdies and five bogeys. “It was tough out there today on the back. The course was tipped out (playing at its full 7,300-yards) and when the wind kicked up it was brutal.”
The afternoon winds had an effect on the field, with only one player in the 19-man championship flight improving his front-nine score on the back nine. Duhon, the 2007 city champion, had to pitch in for eagle on the par-4 fifth hole to break par.
Duhon had one of three strong rounds that provided three of the first-day leaders. Lauren Aillet had the day’s only bogey-free round and posted a two-under 70 to take a commanding lead in the ladies division, while John Broussard took a big step toward a second straight senior division title with a one-under 71 that has him five shots ahead of the over-age-62 field.
Donnie Chauvin’s 74 was good enough to lead open division players who are not competing in the championship flight and are playing The Wetlands at 6,250 yards.
Play in the annual tournament wraps up Sunday with the final 18 holes at the Hebert layout, with play beginning at 9 a.m.
Aillet, who won the city women’s title in 2012 and did not compete last year while playing collegiately at UNO, posted 16 pars on her home course.
“My short game did that,” Aillet said. “I’ve been working on chipping and putting a lot. I didn’t play a lot in the spring, but I told myself I was going to play a lot and work on my game this summer. After today, I’m definitely looking forward to tomorrow.”
Broussard opened up his lead in the seniors division with birdies at the par-3 16th and par-4 17th, capping a four-birdie, three-bogey round.
Duhon leads 2011 city champion Ted Weber (73) by two strokes and Denny Guilbeaux (74) by three, with the trio of Brad Landry, Buddy Schilling and Patrick Babineaux one more stroke back at 3-over 75. The threesome at 76 includes two former city champions, James ‘T-Boy’ Hamilton (2008) and Mick Huffman (2012).
Duhon had a three-putt bogey on the first hole but came back with a 15-foot birdie putt on the fourth before holing out from 103 yards with a 60-degree wedge on the fifth. He added a two-putt birdie on the par-5 14th and hit a wedge to two feet for birdie on the par-4 15th, making up for several missed putts that led to the five bogeys including one on the 16th.
“The putter was definitely my demise,” said Duhon, who also played the final round at Hebert Municipal in 2007 when he won his first city title. “I had all kinds of trouble making those four-footers for pars. I had some good looks on 17 and 18 and wound up with two-putts. But I definitely feel good about tomorrow.”