LSU Gold

Mendell Returns Home For Louisiana Classics

by Ethan W. Anderson
Mendell Returns Home For Louisiana Classics

LAFAYETTE, La. – Freshman golfer, Jay Mendell, will return to his home course at Oakbourne Country Club on Monday as LSU tees off at the Louisiana Classics in Lafayette, La. The 54-hole tournament will start with 36 holes on Monday and 18 more on Tuesday, all stroke play. 

“It’s really special,” said Mendell when asked about his opportunity. “I’m very comfortable out there, and this is a tournament I’ve looked forward to playing in since I was a kid”

Interim head coach Andrew Nelson will look to get the Tigers back on track after a short turnaround from San Diego last week. LSU finished tied-13th at the R.E. Lamkin Invitational on Tuesday. 

“This is a home event for our team and especially for Jay,” said Nelson. “Jay grew up playing here and knows the golf course and the people better than anyone else. I’m happy for him to be able to play at home and excited to see him compete in front of so many friends and family. Jay has a great advantage, but also added pressure. I’m looking forward to watching how he manages the course and the environment. This is a great opportunity for Jay and his teammates.”

The tree-lined shot maker’s course will play as a par-72 and run 6,898 yards. Both rounds will begin with an 8 a.m. shotgun start. Tuesday’s final round will be streamed on ESPN+.

LSU has won the Louisiana Classics team championship three times. (1995, 2010, 2012) LSU has had five Tigers earn individual honors at the event. The first to do so was LSU assistant coach, Andrew Loupe, in 2010. Others include; Andrew Presley (2012), Zach Wright (2013), Myles Lewis (2014), and Sam Burns (2017). 

The 14-team field includes LSU, Illinois State, Little Rock, Louisiana Tech, Michigan, Rice, Sam Houston, South Alabama, SMU, Texas A&M, TCU, Texas State, Wake Forest, and host school Louisiana-Lafayette. 

All active LSU golfers will be playing in Lafayette this week. LSU’s starting five include Connor Gaunt, Jay Mendell, Drew Doyle, Lance Yates, and Alex Price. Others competing as individuals include; Luke Haskew, Leo Johansson, Noah McWilliams, and Holden Webb. 

“Having the whole team in Lafayette is special, ” said Nelson. “Everyone gets to travel and play. Everyone gets to enjoy an event and all that comes with a few days on the road together. We have a special and fun group, I’m happy they all get to be here and play this week.”

“I hope my advice on the course helps my teammates strategize the right way and make them feel as comfortable as possible out there,” added Mendell. “It’s really special to have so much support here that wants to see LSU succeed.”

Gaunt and Mendell will be making their 8th start for LSU in as many events this year. Gaunt leads the Tigers with a 70.28 scoring average and Mendell follows with a 71.19. Price and Doyle boast a 71.40 and a 71.50 average, respectively. Yates will make his 7th start with a 72.56 scoring average. 

Oakbourne was the home course of two LSU legends, Lionel and Jay Hebert. Jay played on the LSU golf team that won the 1947 national championship. Lionel did not play on the golf team while attending LSU, but picked up the sport professionally afterwards. The two still stand as the only brothers to both win a PGA Championship. Each brother earned a win on the PGA Tour at the Cajun Classic, an event hosted by Oakbourne from 1958 to 1968. 

Tiger fans can follow all the action with live scoring on and look for updates on all LSU men’s golf social media platforms. ESPN+ will broadcast Tuesday’s final round.