(Rick Hickman/American Press)
Last Modified: Monday, August 18, 2014 12:59 PM
WESTLAKE — It became an even better summer for Matt Nicholas here Sunday afternoon when he shot a six under par 66 to win the Westlake city golf championship at The National.
Now with two area city titles to his credit this year — he won the Lake Charles city earlier in the summer — Nicholas began the day three shots off the lead held by Ben Suarez but pulled even after four holes and took the lead for good on the fifth hole, increasing his margin to two shots at the end of nine. He was 33 going out and 33 coming in.
“It was a really fun day,” he said. “I’ve been playing well and making putts. And, I never put myself in a bad position.”
His 54 hole total was nine under par 207 (69-72-66) while Suarez placed second with 210 (67-71-72), Nick Sonnier was third at 213 (73-69-71), Jacob LeJeune fourth at 217 (72-75-70) and Lawrence David (71-70-78) and Hank Shaheen (74-74-71) fifth at 219.
There were two rain delays during the tournament for a total of 30 minutes, making the course play longer and harder. Tournament director Dave Kaspar said the event was a good start to big things he expects to come at the course.
“We had some really good players in the tournament and this is a course that will test the best player,” he said. “We had several here who can go low and Matt is one of those.”
Nicholas opened his round Sunday with a birdie and then added birdies on Nos. seven and eight. He also birdied Nos. 13, 15 and 17 and shot a bogey-free round.
He nailed his approach shots to the green the entire round with solid ball striking and on only No. 14 was there a possibility of a bogey until he drained a 25-footer for a par.
Suarez, who had led both previous days, didn’t have the best of starts as he double-bogeyed the fourth hole and bogeyed the fifth.
“I tried to get it back when I birdied No. 13 but he (Nicholas) made one too,” he said. “He played well. He never lost his rhythm.”
Besides Nicholas’ 66, there were only three other sub-par rounds Sunday, a two-under by LeJeune and one-under by both Sonnier and Hank Shaheen.
Suarez had the only even par round in the championship flight while in the president’s flight Bryant Patin, Zac Barton and Derek Hamilton shot 72s.
The only other area city tournament remaining is the Sulphur city which will take place in October, which Nicholas said he will enter. He has a chance to sweep the city tournaments in one year — something that only Neithan Allen has done before.
He’s no stranger to the Sulphur city either as he has won it twice.
Matt Nicholas 69-72-66—207
Ben Suarez 67-71-72—210
Nick Sonnier 73-69-71—213
Jacob LeJeune 72-75-70—217
Hank Shaheen 74-74-71—219
Lawrence David 71-70-78—219
Shane Fontenot 71-75-74—220
Jason Horn 69-76-77—222
Jevon Perry 73-76-74—223
D. J. Schexnider 77-71-76—224
Cliff Myers 76-74-78—228
Bill Stevens 74-75-80—229
Channing Kile 75-75-79—229
Andrew Worley 74-77-81—232
Thad Gaspard 79-72-75—226
Gage Primeaux 73-79-79—231
Byron Martin 76-77-76—229
Russell LeBlanc 74-79-75—228
Chris Vallette 78-76-76—230
Zac Barton 79-76-72—227
Blake DeReese 81-77-77—235
Derek Hamilton 75-85-72—232
Bryant Patin 78-92-72—244
Kevin Primeaux 85-87-81—253