Matt Nicholas hits a chip shot on No. 15 Friday. (Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Friday, June 22, 2012 11:14 PMOn a day that started with not one but two golfers hitting the same telephone pole with opening tee shots, it took until the very end for red scores to finally be posted.
Three of the final foursome shot 2-under-par 70s Friday and are tied for the lead after the opening round of the 35th annual IBERIABANK City Championship at Mallard Cove.
However, the trio got there in quite different ways.
Matt Nichols was steady most of the day, Scott Folds ran hot and cold, and Robby Going left his mark with a dramatic finish.
The trio were three shots ahead of the rest of the field, which was piled up behind starting at 73.
Going, who lost last year in a playoff, eagled the final hole to propel himself into a tie for the lead.
“I’m very fortunate to be where I am,” said Going, who sank a 35-foot putt to make eagle.
“I had that thing going so fast, like Mac 3. I just wanted it to hit the hole to slow down. Very lucky it went in.”
Going, who fought back from a triple bogey on the fifth hole, gave credit to Folds for the round.
“Scotty was playing so well, he really set the bar high for us,” Going said. “I wasn’t trying to keep up but trying to hang on.”
However, Folds, after blistering the front nine in 4-under 32, hit the wall down the stretch. He bogeyed his final two holes.
“I totally ran out of gas,” said Folds. “I didn’t have a lot of expectations or make any real plans for this.”
Folds, who was making his first start in the event and his first appearance in 15 years at Mallard Cove, does now.
“I think I can hold it together for two days.”
Meanwhile, the rest of the field struggled.
“I thought the course played very hard,” said Jason Horn, the 2009 champ who was one of eight players tied for fourth at 73.
Also in that huddle of contenders was Shane Fontenot, who will be a senior at Barbe High in the fall.
Fontenot, a member of the Bucs’ Class 5A state championship team and who finished tied for fourth in the state individually, managed a solid round of two birdies, a bogey and a double bogey.
“This was great to play against these guys,” Fontenot said. “I am excited about my chances. I hope to be able to maybe win. I am glad to be right in the mix.”
Two-time defending champ Jacob Lejeune leads a group of four more players four shots back at 74. He was not pleased with the way he hit the ball, but happy to be close to the lead.
“I just didn’t hit the ball good at all,” Lejeune said. “I hit it into some tough spots.”
As for not blowing up, he said, “I just pulled it out of my (butt).”
Lejeune finished with four bogies and two birdies. Now he is looking forward to the rest of the weekend.
“As long as I don’t make any really bad holes, then I have a chance,” Lejeune said. “I am in a good position to maybe win this.”
First tee time for today is set at 7 a.m. with the leaders beginning their rounds about an hour later.
“It looks like this could be a fun weekend,” Folds said.
Only if you miss the telephone pole with that first shot.
7 a.m. — Wayne Sweeney, Max Morris, Logan Hayes.
7:08 a.m. — Devon Fontenot, Chris Hood, Chris Vallette.
7:16 a.m. — Kevin McArthur, Donnie Abshire, Todd Boudreaux.
7:24 a.m. — Bill Stevens, Michael Fontenot, Byron Martin.
7:32 a.m. — Zac Barton, Billy Gabbert, Chris Gentry.
7:48 a.m. — Mac Blanchard, Blake Derouen, Sutton Farmer.
7:56 a.m. — Nathan Allen, Jacob Going, Scott Sweeney.
8:04 a.m. — Kyle Collins, Blake Dereese, Shane Fontenot, John Morrissey.
8:12 a.m. — Robby Going, Scott Folds, Matt Nicholas, Jason Horn.
8:28 a.m. — Shane Heinen, Billy Spees, Scott Hall.
8:36 a.m. — Gabe Coleman, Logan Williams, James Karam.
8:44 a.m. — Brian Ortego, Sean Garrido, Jud Cain.
8:52 a.m. — Ellis Hawkins, Austin O’Quinn, Bill Perkins.
9 a.m. — Bryant Patin, Channing Kile, Austin Hinton, Andy Rider.
9:16 a.m. — Kevin Primeaux, David Duzan, Val East.
9:24 a.m. — Jacob Hathaway, Brian Michel, David Huber.
9:32 a.m. — John Garrett, Leonard Murphy, Robert Simpson.
9:40 a.m. — Brad Durio, Rusty Montiville, Terry Fontenot.
9:48 a.m. — Leroy Dereese, Elmer Roach, David Martin, Jamie East.
10:04 a.m. — Dwight Gerst, Mike Abshire, Jimmy Guidry.
10:12 a.m. — Todd Broussard, Ricky Norwood, Bryan McCullough.
10:20 a.m. — Wil Fruge, Collin Castille, Brandon Guillory.
10:28 a.m. — Tyler Williams, Bryan Ballard, David Flanagan.
10:36 a.m. — Scott Smith, Chance Brown, Mason James, Nick Guillory
10:52 a.m. — Preston Mallett, David Culpepper, John Tilton.
11 a.m. — Pap Williams, Mike Richardson, Sandy Woods.
11:08 a.m. — Kevin Broussard, Brian Benoit, Mark Bolton.
11:16 a.m. — Gage Primeaux, Matt Peek, Pat Comeaux.
11:24 a.m. — John Bel, Chad Smith, Dan Breaux, Walt Dulany.
11:40 a.m. — Lindell Lambright, Dennis Hartnett, Winston Janese.
11:48 a.m. — Allen Mitchell, Tim Town, Dexter Naylor.
11:56 a.m. — Brian Leeth, Randell Williams, Wilford Carter.
12:04 p.m. — Andrew Hebert, Chris Fontenot, Bob Crooks.
12:12 p.m. — Charlie Buller, Bill Weise, Chris Buller, Vic Montgomery.
12:28 p.m. — Connor Thompson, Richard Bertrand, Matt Coniglio.
12:36 p.m. — Jonathon Courville, Dana Harless, John Ieyoub.
12:44 p.m. — Mike Rousseau, Ron Piatt, Glen Priola.
12:52 p.m., Kirk Martin, Bobby Little, Sam Morris.
1 p.m. — Kirk Soileau, Robert Carrier, Joe Underwood, Jeff Harper.
1:16 p.m. — Huey Hebert, Carl Cole, Tony Colletta.
1:24 p.m. — Mike Yocham, Brent Soileau, Mark Wilburn.
1:32 p.m. — Harry Henry, Robert Hubbard, Chris Barnes.
1:40 p.m. — Kevin Lambright, Peter Augustine, Doyle Carter.
1:48 p.m. — Dooley Prince, Mike Fontenot, Gary Woods, Julius Courville.