Editor’s note: Information in this article was compiled from articles written in the following publications: Daily Times Leader, Louisiana Golf Association and www.ragincajuns.com
Andrew Noto punched his ticket to the 102nd Southern Amateur next month in Orlando by taking the 36th Southern Junior Championship 15-18 year old division at Old Waverly Golf Club last week.
The 18-year-old Luling, native and Hahnville High School graduate almost blew his chances with a bogey on the 18th hole Thursday.
Luckily a strong first round on Tuesday kept Noto tied at 211 for the tournament with Franco Castro, 16, of Alpharetta, Ga.
The two advanced to a playoff on the first hole, which Noto won with a birdie.
Noto says he was uncertain about participating in the Southern Junior Championship because he had just finished the Louisiana State Amateur tournament June 8, where he finished eighth.
But after just a couple hours of sleep Sunday night, Noto and his family set out for West Point.
Noto isn’t new to the Southern Junior Championship, he finished fifth last year, but he was new to Old Waverly. He described the course as “fantastic.”
Old Waverly also got props from Southern Golf Association officials who pointed out how well kept the course appeared.
After his bogey on the last hole of regular play, Noto says he was lucky to stay in contention.
“It was another opportunity,” he said. “It’s not often in golf you get a second chance.”
Noto signed to play golf at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for the Ragin’ Cajuns last fall joining fellow Luling golfers Seth Dufrene and Dustin Petit.
He boasted a 73.81 stroke average in 2007 and tied for third in the U.S. Junior Sectional Qualifier at Oakbourne Country Club in Lafayette last year.
And the wins don’t stop there. Here’s just a few of Noto’s recent victories.
At the 2007 Southern Junior Championship Noto shot 71-73-73 to claim fifth place and placed third at the Louisiana Amateur Championship at Beaver Creek Golf Club in Zachary where in turned in rounds of 69,73, and 70.
He had four other top-30 finishes in 2007: AJGA Jerry pate Andrews Institute Southern Junior (14th), LHSAA 5A State Championship (15th), AJGA Medicus Preseason at Texarkana (19th) and the AJGA Fidelity Investments Stars of Texas Junior (29th).
Other notable finishes include a runner-up finish at the 2006 Louisiana Junior Amateur Championship and helped HHS to the 2005 LHSAA 5A State Championship.
Noto was also the 2007 5A Region III medalist, as well as a 2006 5A All-State selection.