Former Golf: Darcey Takes Top Honors at $1M Hole-in-One
Charity event kicks off Chitimacha Louisiana Open activities, championship play set Thur-Sun
BROUSSARD – Patrick Darcey said he doesn’t play as much golf as he did a few years ago, but he still came up with a big shot at the right time Sunday.
Darcey hit his shot nine feet and 11 inches from the pin on the difficult 180-yard par-three eighth hole at Le Triomphe Golf Club, the best effort out of 40 golfers, and took top honors in the annual Cypress Bayou Casino & Hotel $1 Million Hole-in-One Shootout that kicked off Chitimacha Louisiana Open activities.
Darcey was the third of the 40 qualifiers to hit his shot Sunday, and his effort held up the rest of the way in earning him the $1,000 first prize. A hole-in-one would have been worth a $1 million payout, but that went unclaimed for the 26th straight year.
Bob Delahoussaye of Broussard finished second with a shot 16 feet and one inch from the pin and Mike Meadows of Lafayette was third at 24 feet, eight inches. They also won cash prizes from the Louisiana Open.
Darcey, a three-handicapper, used a 20-degree rescue club for his winning shot.
“That came out of the Tour trailer a few years ago,” Darcey said. “They told me it was Jim Furyk’s old club. It’s my favorite club in the bag when I do play.”
The native of Weeks Island and current Lafayette resident played high school golf at Catholic High in New Iberia and played one year at UL. He had won the club championship at Spanish Trail Golf Club at age 17, but realized not long afterward that a professional career wasn’t in the offing.
Darcey is a professional dog trainer – an excellent fit, since the Animal Rescue Foundation of Louisiana was the beneficiary of the opening event as one of the Louisiana Open’s charitable causes – and is owner of Kajun Chocolat Retrievers.
“I got a service dog training job while I was waiting on the tee,” said Darcey, who has held memberships at both Le Triomphe and Oakbroune.
Sixteen of the 40 players in the event hit the green or the fringe on the hole, which annually ranks as one of the most difficult on the 7,061-yard par-71 Le Triomphe layout for the Web.com Tour event.
The rest of the top 10 shots that finished inside 50 feet included David Duhon of Carencro (26’ 3”), Ben Como of Broussard (27’ 9”), Ty Martin of Broussard (27’ 11”), Matt Weber of Scott (31’ 4”), Brady Como of Broussard (37’ 3”), Greg Meche of Youngsville (44’) and Bobby Foret of Broussard (49’ 4”).
Vance Richard won the celebrity division with a shot 27 feet, one inch from the pin from the 140-yard tee and won $1,500 for the Boys and Girls Club of Acadiana. Nine celebrity golfers took part in that event sponsored by Cypress Bayou Casino & Hotel.
Ronnie Thornton was Sunday’s other top winner, winning the Louisiana Open’s Augusta Raffle for a “Golfer’s Fantasy Vacation.”
MONDAY QUALIFIERS: The 144-player professional field for the $550,000 Web.com Tour event will be completed today in a pair of Monday-qualifying events being held at Oak Wing Golf Club and Links on the Bayou in Alexandria.
A total of 257 players are entered in those two events, with the top six finishers at each course earning a spot in the field for Thursday’s start of championship play.
Among those in the field is Ryan Desormeaux of Lafayette, a member of the UL squad who earned a fully-paid spot in the qualifying by winning the Lafayette City Championship last August. Other notables in the Monday qualifying are two-time Chitimacha Louisiana Open champion and former U.S. Ryder Cup team member Brett Wetterich, 2015 Lafayette city champion Tyler Duncan and reigning State Amateur champion Grady Brame Jr.
PRO-AM OPENINGS: Following practice rounds on Monday and Tuesday, the Testoril Pro-Am and the Dillard Capital Pro-Am are set for Wednesday at 8 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. respectively. A limited number of playing spots are still available for the two pro-ams, and information on those spots is available by contacting the Louisiana Open office at (337) 593-8000.
Practice rounds are open to the public at no charge. Tickets for championship play are $10 for daily passes and are available at the gate each day.
TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE (events at Le Triomphe unless otherwise indicated)
Monday, March 20 Player practice rounds, all day
Cypress Bayou Casino & Hotel Pairings Party, 7 p.m., Cypress Bayou Casino
Tuesday, March 21 Player practice rounds, all day
“Eat Lafayette” Taste of the South Party, 7 p.m., Parc International downtown
Wednesday, March 22 Testoril Pro-Am, 8 a.m.
Dillard Capital Pro-Am, 1 p.m.
Thursday, March 23 Championship First Round, approximately 7:30 a.m.
Friday, March 24 Championship Second Round, approximately 7:30 a.m.
Field cut to low 60 and ties following second round
Saturday, March 25 Championship Third Round, time TBA
Sunday, March 26 Championship Final Round, time TBA
Trophy and check presentations, 18th green following final round