PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – If LSU is going to make a run at its second NCAA title in five years this upcoming season, the Tigers will have to do so without Jacob Bergeron.
Bergeron, who finished his freshman season ranked 119th in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, notified LSU head coach Chuck Winstead earlier this year to tell him that he would not be returning for his sophomore season.
“We agreed that it was the right move for my progression as a player,” Bergeron told Golfweek Tuesday at the U.S. Amateur, where Bergeron is sweating out the match-play cut after he shot 4 over.
Bergeron, one of six LSU players in the field this week, posted four top-10s last season that included a co-victory at the David Toms Intercollegiate. He qualified for the U.S. Open this summer at Shinnecock Hills, one of three current Tigers to make the field.
“I didn’t play as great as I wanted to there,” said Bergeron, who missed the cut on Long Island, “but it was a great learning opportunity for the future and a great experience to draw upon.”
At Shinnecock, Bergeron picked the brains of Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth, who gave Bergeron advice on making the jump to pro golf. He also has sought advice from New Orleans local pros Kelly Gibson and Ken Looper.
Bergeron plans to turn his focus now to the first stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.
“It will be a fun ride,” Bergeron said.
As for LSU, the Tiger return a strong group that includes U.S. Open co-low amateur Luis Gagne, Philip Barbaree, Winstead’s son Trey and incoming freshmen Garrett Barber and Michael Sanders.
“As a coach and as a mentor, when you’re in college you’re an adult and I certainly believe that everyone gets to choose their path,” Winstead said. “He chose the path to chase pro golf.
“We certainly want to support our players. We wish him the best.”