Young golfer already champ

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 23, 2001


LAPLACE – Brett Bergeron, a junior at Riverside Academy, has spent his 17 years in LaPlace, but the world is taking notice of him. This past weekend, he won the Men’s Metropolitan Amateur Golf Championship, played at Eastover in New Orleans, by four strokes. In fact, he was the youngest winner ever. Naturally, quite a few colleges have expressed an interest in Bergeron’s athletic ability, including LSU, Tulane, and other Louisiana universities. But his academic skills are hardly less impressive. He is a member of Riverside Academy’s Beta Club, an honor society, and has a grade point average of better than 3.8. In addition, Bergeron works 30 hours a month at Riverland Country Club, where he is able to combine work, play, and practice in a way that has contributed to his outstanding athletic performance. “My dad used to bring me out to Riverland, ever since I was real young,” Bergeron said. He recalled how his father had cut golf clubs down to size for him when he was small, and had taught him how to swing. Bergeron expects to go to a college with a competitive golf team, but a good academic program is equally important to him. “My parents pushed me to play the best golf I could, but they want me to focus on academics first.” His favorite class in high school is Spanish. “It’s neat to learn another language.” But asked about a major, he replied, “Right now, I’m leaning towards engineering.” His recent victory is understandably his proudest moment. “The tournament was the biggest win of my career,” he noted, adding that he is proud his father was there, as caddy. Bergeron does not let his early success go to his head, though. “Some people make it too big a deal – down the road it won’t really matter that you won that state championship. I know a lot of people who are caught up in athletics, but they need to look at the whole picture and focus on academics.” Pro golf, he recognizes, is a tough career. “I”m going to work on my golf while in college,” he said, “but I want to go to college to get a good degree.”