Chitimacha Louisiana Open -- Sunday notebook
BROUSSARD, La. -- There was one very interested spectator following eventual Chitimacha Louisiana Open champion Edward Loar throughout Sunday's final round of the $550,000 Web.com Tour event.
But Jay Loar looked almost as unflappable as his son during his run to the title.
"Edward seemed so much in control and was hitting it so solidly," Loar said. "He really had a smart game plan, and I didn't think he ever once looked rattled."
The elder Loar should know that look. He coached college golf for 13 years at SMU before retiring a year and a half ago, coaching three U.S. Amateur champions during that time. During those years, he also became a friend of long-time UL coach Bob Bass, who was out following Loar and other players during Sunday's final round.
"It looked all day like he was determined to win this," the elder Loar said. "He just wasn't going to lose this tournament. This was pretty much 30 years of hard work coming to fruition."
REALLY CLOSE: Andrew Noto had a third straight solid round, and the former UL standout was plenty happy with his final-round performance. He only wishes it was one stroke better.
Noto, the Luling product who made it into the tournament on the number as a Monday qualifier, also made the cut on the number Friday thanks to a sterling 9-iron to within two and one-half feet on his final hole. He then added rounds of 67 and 69 over the weekend to finish with an eight-under 276 total, tying him for 28th in his first-ever Web.com Tour event.
"To do something like that five of the last seven days, that hasn't been bad," Noto said of his Monday qualifier and his four rounds. "A buddy told me before we started Thursday that the Monday qualifiers are the ones that are hot and playing well, and that I needed to take that mind set into the week."
He cashed a check for $3,800 for his tie for 28th, but one stroke better in any of the four rounds would have put him into a tie for 22nd – and would have put him into the field for the Tour's next event. The top 25 from here automatically qualify for the Brasil Champions April 4-7 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Instead, he'll be in an Adams Pro Tour event in Houma next week, and plans to do some other Monday qualifiers for Web.com Tour events this year. "I'm going to stay busy," he said, "but I am going to take a couple of days off after this to decompress."
Noto was three-under on the front side Sunday before bogeying three of the first four holes after the turn on Sunday. But he rallied with 10-foot birdie putts on the par-four 17th and 18th holes for his third straight sub-70 round.
"I fought it to the end," he said. "I needed those birdies there after a rough start to the back nine. I just wanted to get two good looks on the last two holes just to see what I could do."
QUICK TRIP: Because of the odd number of players making the cut (69), one player had to go out as a single Sunday morning ahead of the 34 twosomes. That honor went to Tour rookie John Hurley of Spring, Texas, who was at two-over 215 heading into the final round.
Hurley, his caddie and their walking scorer made it around the Le Triomphe course in two hours and 55 minutes. "Under three ... I told you we could do it," his caddie yelled to Hurley when he holed his par putt on the 18th hole for a one-under 70.
"I once played a Gateway Tour tournament in a cart in a twosome in 2:15," Hurley said when asked if it was his fastest competitive round. "But walking, this is probably it."
It's been a busy week for Hurley. He got married last Saturday, drove to Lafayette Sunday night for Monday qualifying and shot 67 to get into the field. His new wife Lyndsey, a second-grade school teacher, joined him for the weekend.
He headed back to the Houston area immediately after the round, preparing for Monday's qualifier for next week's PGA Tour Shell Houston Open. He is in the field for the Web.com Tour's next outing, the Brasil Champions April 4-7 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, heading there next Sunday for the tourney and for a two-week-delayed honeymoon.
MORE QUICK TRIPS: It's not like Hurley was the only speedy group on Sunday. The first pairings – Vince Covello of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and Ron Whittaker of Little Rock, Ark., and Mark Walker of Hurst, Texas, and Scott Parel of Augusta, Ga., were close behind Hurley. Each played their final rounds iapproximately three hours and 20 minutes.
PETERSON'S PARTING SHOT: Par is normally a good score, but John Peterson admitted he saw too many of them Sunday. Fortunately for him and the crowd that surrounded the 18th green Sunday, he didn't have one at the end.
The former LSU standout and 2011 NCAA national individual champion began his final round with 11 straight pars after entering the day in eighth place, only four out of the lead after his second 65 of the Open. He was never able to make a charge, though, and was one-over for the day when he stood in the middle of the fairway on the 18th.
His 8-iron from 142 yards into a strong wind settled in only two inches from the pin, setting off howls of appreciation and an "LSU, LSU, LSU" chant from the sky boxes surrounding the green.
"I thought it went in," Peterson said. "It was that kind of reaction from everyone."
Peterson had his last hole-in-one last year in the final round of the U.S. Open, when he eventually tied for fourth and earned a spot in this year's Masters along with a return ticket to the Open this year.
He finished tied for 10th with a 10-under 273 score, shooting even-par on Sunday.
"It was hard out there with the wind," he said. "Pars were tough. It seemed like all my putts were seven or eight feet downwind, and you can't get aggressive on those or it's six feet by. It started getting away from me a little, but it was nice to finish like that and have everybody yelling 'LSU.'"
OTHER NOTABLES: In addition to Noto and Peterson, Baton Rouge native and PGA Tour veteran Heath Slocum finished with a one-over 72 and wound up tied for 45th at five-under 279. Baton Rouge resident Scott Sterling had a two-over 73 in his final round and finished at three-under 281 in his 10th Louisiana Open appearance.
Two former Louisiana Open champions made the cut, and Brett Wetterich wasn't far from making Web.com Tour history on Sunday. Wetterich, the 2003 and 2011 Open winner and the only two-time champion in tournament history, carded a six-under 65 Sunday for the day's low round and wound up in solo possession of third place at 14-under 270, three strokes back. No player in Web.com Tour history has ever won the same event three times
The other Open winner to make the cut was Paul Claxton. The 2001 champion finished with an even-par 71 score and wound up tied for 45th at five-under 279.
STATS: Le Triomphe played at a 71.333 average on Sunday, barely under the 71.542 mark from Thursday's first round. Overall, the stroke average for the tournament was 70.394 or 0.606 under par. There were 18 rounds below 70 Sunday, 26 rounds below par and 34 rounds of par and under.
The "Gator's Jaw" par-four 13th hole was Sunday's toughest, playing at a 4.377 average with only two birdies, 44 pars, 18 bogeys and five double-bogeys. The two birdies was the lowest on any hole Sunday, and the 13th finished as the toughest hole for the entire tournament with a 4.308 average. That makes the 13th the toughest hole so far this season on the Web.com Tour, beating the 3.289 average on the par-three sixth hole at Panama Golf Club during the earlier Panama Claro Championship.
The par-four ninth hole was Sunday's second toughest at 4.333 followed by the 10th (4.261), the 18th (4.246) and the 14th (4.217). For the tournament, the 14th was second-toughest at 4.300.
The easiest hole Sunday was the par-five first with a 4.507 average and with one eagle, 34 birdies, 32 pars and only two bogeys. That was followed by the par-five fifth (4.797) and the par-four 16th (3.826). For the tournament, the fifth (4.556) played easiest on the course.
Ashley Hall had the day's long drive with a 341-yarder on the 15th hole, while Wetterich and Steve LeBrun each hit 17 greens in regulation.