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Consistency leads Bergeron to Players championship

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / September 9, 1998

LAPLACE – Consistency.

It is what just about every golfer searches for in their game.

Brett Bergeron, a junior golfer from LaPlace, found it this summer.

Bergeron, who plays on the Riverside golf team in the spring, consistently placed in the top five in the events he entered on both the New Orleans Golf Association and Professional Golf Association junior tours. The onegoal he was missing out on in the Gulf States tour was a first place finish.

He achieved that goal in the last event of the summer, the Gulf States PGA Junior Golf Tour Players Championship held at The Oaks in Pass Christian, Miss., Aug. 11 and 12. Bergeron shot a 153 to win by one stroke in the boys14-15-years-old category.

Bergeron shot an 80 on the first day of the tournament. He wasdisappointed with the score but realized as the scores were coming in that if he shot low the second day he would be in contention. Bergeron didjust that, making nine straight pars on the front nine. He had two bogeysand a birdie on the back nine for a one-over par 73.

Playing four groups ahead of the first day leader who had shot a 71, Bergeron had to wait to see if his score would hold up. It would as theleader shot a 44 on the front nine and came up a shot short.

“I knew it was going to be fairly difficult,” Bergeron said of his first Gulf States Players championship. “I knew I had to be consistent.”Consistency described his game over the summer. He had a third placefinish at the Ray Hoskins Invitational held at Columbus Country Club in Columbus, Miss. June 9 and 10. Less than three weeks later, Bergeron againfinished third at the Magnolia Classic at Timberton Golf Course in Hattiesburg. This after placing fourth at the Acadiana Classic at SquirrelRun Country Club in New Iberia.

Bergeron showed the same consistency on the NOGA Junior Tour. At thetour’s stop at Belle Terre Country Club July 27, Bergeron placed first with a one over par 73. One of the highlights of his career came during thetournament as he holed out his third shot from 40 yards out on the par four eighth. A week later, playing in the Junior Championships at EnglishTurn, what he said was his favorite course, Bergeron shot a two over par 74 to finish third.

For the summer, he would have just one round over 80. He would also shoothis best round, a 68, at his home course, Riverlands, earlier in the summer.

“I was really pleased,” Bergeron said of his play.

Bergeron started playing with his father, David, when he was about 5 years old. He learned the game from his dad and also took some lessonsfrom the pros at Riverlands where he is a member.

Bergeron said he practices every day during the summer and twice a week and on weekends during the school year. He works on his short game aboutan hour to an hour and a half a day and said he is best inside a 100 yards although he would like to get longer off the tee and with his long irons.

The work has paid off as Bergeron helped Riverside’s gold team to the district title this spring. Bergeron and teammate Michael Schoen tied forthe lead in the individual competition and went to a five-hole playoff where Schoen won by a stroke.

“We are always playing together in practice,” Bergeron said of Schoen.

“We both wanted to win but I didn’t mind losing to him.”Bergeron would go on to place fourth at the regionals held at Belle Terre and finished in the top 11 at state to help the Rebels to a top five finish.

“We should be a good team,” Bergeron said of this year’s version of the Rebels golf squad that includes himself, Schoen and Leisl Hasbrouck, another top junior golfer. “We should be able to compete at state. Our goalis to make it into the top three.”Bergeron has two upcoming events, a match play tournament at Riverlands and the club’s Men’s Club Championship. He said he would like to play onthe PGA Tour one day, perhaps with his idol Fred Couples. But he realizesthat is in the future and that he wants to go to college first.

Bergeron, a four handicapper, takes the same approach of taking it one step at a time on the golf course.

“I take it one shot a time,” Bergeron said. “I try to stay within myself. Ifsomething bad happens, I forget about it and go on.”

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