St. Thomas More, Catholic-New Iberia’s Micah Goulas take honors at Acadiana Area golf event _lowres

Photo by Dan McDonald Micah Goulas of Catholic-New Iberia watches his shot on the 18th fairway Thursday during the Acadiana Area High School Golf League Championship. Goulas won the individual title with a 69.

BROUSSARD — It came as no surprise that St. Thomas More’s team and Catholic-New Iberia’s Micah Goulas took top honors Thursday in the Acadiana Area High School Golf League’s season-ending championship.

STM’s Cougars were the defending champion and returned the same five players that won last year’s title by a 15-stroke margin. Goulas was the most consistent player all season in the eight AAHSGL regular-season events, and he also won last year’s event as a sophomore.

The Cougars posted a solid 311 team score, putting three players in the top dozen and all four of their counting scores in the top 20 and took a four-stroke victory over the 12-team field in the event that was postponed from the previous Thursday because of weather and wet course conditions.

CHSNI finished second in the team chase with a 315 score, boosted greatly by Goulas’ stellar 3-under 69 that included two eagles on Le Triomphe Golf Club’s 6,566-yard par-72 layout. Notre Dame, which won the girls varsity and the boys junior varsity titles in last week’s other AAHSGL events, finished third with a 317 score.

STM’s veteran group had a pair of 3-over 75s from nationally-ranked Drew Gonzales and Beau David, but the key for the Cougars was that all five players on the roster bettered their scores from last year’s event.

“Some of these kids have been playing with us for a long time,” STM coach Chad Massie said. “That makes a big difference when it comes to tournament time.”

Matt Andrus added a 79, Hunter David an 82 and John Davis — who had the team’s best score in last year’s AAHSGL tournament with a 75 — finished with an 84.

Goulas, who had a 2-under 70 to win last year’s event at Squirrel Run, topped that score this year, and it could have been even better. A bogey at the par-four 17th and a missed birdie putt at the par-four 18th cost him an even better round.

“The par fours killed me,” Goulas said. “I kept it in the fairway most of the day, but I wasn’t putting it very well.”

Goulas putted well enough to mop up on Le Triomphe’s par-fives, a similar strategy that the professionals used three weeks ago in the Tour’s Chitimacha Louisiana Open. On Thursday, Goulas took advantage of his length to eagle the par-five 7th and 12th holes after starting with a birdie on the par-five No. 1.

“I just wanted to go out and start good, and it felt good to birdie the first hole,” he said. “After the first eagle, I started thinking that I was going to shoot pretty good, and after the second one it was like this could be really good.”

As it was, Goulas needed all of those strokes to hold off Westminster’s Jack Tolson III, who posted a two-under 70 for runner-up honors. Westminster, in fact, had two players finish in the top five individually, with William Reiszner finishing fifth with a 2-over 74.

Kristian Fontenot of Opelousas Catholic was third individually with a one-under 71 while Notre Dame’s Ryan Fulton posted a one-over 73 for fourth place.

The local tournament was held after this week’s district events for most teams because of the weather delay. Most of the squads will move on to regional competition scheduled next week, with the top four teams and top four individual finishers in each regional advancing to the LHSAA state tournament set Sunday-Tuesday, May 3-5 in Lafayette.