While most of the national golf attention will be focused on the PGA Championship this weekend, a group of local golfers will have a chance to make their own mark as they vie for BREC Golfer of the Year honors.
The fifth local golfer of the year will be named following The BREC Players Championship, which will be staged Saturday and Sunday at Beaver Creek Golf Course in Zachary.
Play begins at 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday for the 36-hole event.
The Players Championship is the last in a series of 10 tournaments BREC stages every year.
An exclusive event, only the top 40 golfers from the previous nine tournaments qualify for the season-ender.
One of those qualified is Adam Zayor, an LSU graduate who finished second in three BREC tournaments – Mardi Gras Mania, the Howell Park championship, and the Plainsman four-ball tournament.
Zayor is second in overall points after advancing to the third round of the Baton Rouge Amateur two weeks ago. Zayor trails defending Golfer of the Year Donny Schmitt by 77 points.
“I definitely would like to win,” said 26-year-old Zayor, whose point total is high enough that he could win golfer of the year without winning the tournament.
The winner of the tournament will score approximately 340 points, a number that gives a half dozen golfers a shot at the overall title. After Schmitt and Zayor, Russ Gaudin, Can Le, Boyd Kernan and Blaine Patin round out the top six.
“The BREC league gives you a chance to play against high-quality golfers in competition,” Zayor said. “It’s a lot different than just playing with your buddies on the weekend. You really have to control your mind and your emotions, and that’s what these tournaments train you to do.”
Schmitt had a two-day total of 3-under par 141 to win last year’s Players Championship. Schmitt carded seven birdies to offset four bogies while cruising to a five-shot win. In doing so, he became the first person to win The BREC Players Championship and the Golfer of the Year award in the same year.
Patin, who teamed with Darrel Lakvold to win the Mardi Gras Mania tournament, was tied for the lead entering last year’s second round before faltering.
Other 2011 tournament winners in the field include Chad Braud, who won the Baton Rouge Amateur two weeks ago, Baton Rouge Open champion Brett Baker, City Park champion Russ Gaudin, Dumas Memorial winner Hunter Smith, and Webb Park champion Henry Pointer.
“Playing in these tournaments forces you to be a better golfer, which is awesome,” Zayor said.. “Being in a system where you get points for every tournament you play in, it adds that much more pressure. It’s fun.”