Focus and brains highlight Bergeron’s golf game

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 17, 2005

There’s an old adage that the game of golf is 90 percent mental, 10 percent physical.

Undoubtedly, golf is a thinking man’s sport, arguably more so than any other athletic endeavor. While a wealth of talent is needed, what separates a good golfer from a great one is intelligence and the ability to focus.

Focus and intelligence are two attributes possessed by Southeastern Louisiana University junior golfer Brett Bergeron, one of Louisiana’s top amateurs, who is preparing for the 2005-06 season after a one-year hiatus from the team.

Bergeron, a native of LaPlace, displayed those attributes by admirably balancing his athletics and studies during the 2003-04 season, when his team-low spring stroke average of 73.67 and a 4.0 grade point average in Finance resulted in slew of postseason accolades for the Riverside Academy alumnus. He was named first-team all-Southland Conference, second-team all-Louisiana and Southland Conference Men’s Golf Student-Athlete of the Year.

In the spring of 2004, Bergeron established himself as one of the league’s top players. Much of the same was expected for the 2004-05 season. But Bergeron had other ideas.

Knowing that he planned to pursue his master’s degree following completion of his undergraduate studies in May of 2006, Bergeron knew he was planning to be at Southeastern for five years. He wanted to spend his fifth and final year on the links, honing his game for a possible opportunity to join the professional ranks. In order to ensure he had two years of eligibility left, Bergeron sat out the 2004-05 campaign as a redshirt.

While Bergeron took some time away from the Lions, he did not abandon his game. His work paid off as Bergeron has turned several top-notch finishes against top-notch competition in local amateur tournaments this summer.

Bergeron carded a final-round 69 on the way to a third place finish at the New Orleans Amateur. In early June, at the Louisiana Amateur tournament, Bergeron shot two-over-par over 72 holes to finish in fourth place. Later in the month, Bergeron advanced to the quarterfinals of the prestigious Cotton States Invitational in Monroe. Bergeron’s quarterfinal defeat came at the hands of the eventual champion – Andrew Dresser of Texas Tech. His success in the amateur ranks has fueled Bergeron’s confidence heading into Southeastern’s 2005-06 campaign, which opens Sept. 16 and 17 in Mobile, Ala. at the Jaguar Intercollegiate.

“Although I obviously wanted to win, I was very pleased with my play at those tournaments,” Bergeron commented. “Playing well during the summer has allowed me to come into this season with more confidence. I don’t see any reason why I can’t do my part to help our team have a successful season.”

If the Lions are to be successful in the upcoming season, Bergeron’s play will need to be top-notch. Southeastern head coach Tim Baldwin believes Bergeron is destined for great things in the coming season.

“Brett is a consistent ball striker who continues to make progress in his game,” Baldwin said. “Anytime you have a student-athlete of Brett’s caliber, you expect him to exhibit leadership. We think Brett will assume that leadership role and have a great season for us.”

Bergeron is showing those leadership skills by putting the team’s goals over his own. While he wants to continue to lower his stroke average he considers his team’s progress more important.

“Our goal is to advance to the NCAA Regional. When I was a sophomore, we just missed it,” Bergeron said. “We finished 58th in the nation and the team ranked 56th received an at-large bid. We can erase any doubt by winning the Southland Conference Tournament.”

Upon receiving his MBA, Bergeron plans to work as a financial planner. Before he joins the work force, however, he plans on giving his dream a chance.

“After I finish at Southeastern, I’m going to go to Q School and try to qualify for the PGA Tour,” Bergeron stated. “If I can play well in the qualifiers, hopefully I can get on Tour. Once you’re up there, you never know what could happen. The hardest part is just getting there.”

If previous performances are any indication, Bergeron can do anything he puts his mind to.