Perilloux gains golf experience _lowres

Advocate photo by HOWARD ARCENEAUX -- Stewart Perilloux, of Zachary, finished tied for 39th at the AJGA St. Francisville Area Foundation Junior at The Bluffs tournament held June 29-July 2 for players and their families.

When Stewart Perilloux was a young boy, his parents, Brannon and Alicia Perilloux, of Zachary, would take their children to the local swimming pool.

Stewart wasn’t too keen on swimming, so he chose to head for the nearby practice green to putt. He got to be pretty good at putting — and became proficient at chipping, driving and the myriad other shots it takes for a well-rounded golf game.

In fact, now a rising senior at Catholic High School, Perilloux had a chance to measure his game against some pretty strong competition at the American Junior Golf Association’s St. Francisville Area Foundation Junior at The Bluffs, held June 29 through July 2.

Perilloux, whose home course is Copper Mill Golf Club, finished in the middle of the pack in the prestigious tournament, which attracts some of the nation’s top junior golfers. It was his fifth AJGA event.

“It’s great tournament experience as well as college coaches look at these tournaments for recruiting players,” Perilloux said. “It’s a good way to get your name out there.”

Perilloux finished tied for 39th in the 57-player field. His friend, Brady Bennett, who will be a senior at Zachary High School in the fall, finished tied for 42nd. Both players were named to The Advocate’s All-Metro golf team for Division 1 and Division 2 players.

Zachary’s Tyler Armstrong also made the prestigious list.

Catholic High finished in second place behind Shreveport’s Byrd High School in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s state championship tournament in May. Perilloux finished tied for 15th.

One of Byrd’s top golfers, Carter Toms, is the son of former LSU golfer David Toms, and Perilloux has become friends with the younger Toms, who finished in the top 10 in the AJGA tourney.

“You get to know the players because you’re with them for eight hours over two days at these tournaments,” Perilloux said.

While it might be tempting to get pointers and tips from the other golfers and the coaches who attend the AJGA events, Perilloux relies on his own abilities.

“Most of the time, I play my own game,” he said. “I might learn something, but I try to stay within my game.”

Perilloux said his strengths are putting and his short game. He’s good out of the sand and is pretty comfortable hitting flop shots with a 56-degree wedge. He averages about 275 yards per drive.

Next up for Perilloux is the Louisiana Golf Association’s Junior Amateur scheduled for Carter Plantation and the AJGA David Toms tournament in Shreveport in early August.

Like most prep golfers, he hopes to gain the attention of college recruiters. So far, he’s had the most interest from Emory and Belmont College, but also has had inquiries from Samford and Spring Hill. Perilloux’s goal is to earn a scholarship and to play at the collegiate level.

“I’d like to play for a college team and I’ll keep working at getting better,” he said. “We have a young team next year, two seniors, and I look forward to playing and seeing how we do.”

O’Brien wins tourney title

Kylie O’Brien, of Zachary, recently held off Caroline Covington, of Denham Springs, by one stroke to win the 12- to 14-year-old title at Country Club of Louisiana. O’Brien shot a 192 to win the event, which is part of the U.S. Specialty Sports Association’s Junior Golf Tour.

Kristen Jones earns All-Metro

Zachary’s Kristen Jones was named to The Advocate’s All-Metro golf team. Jones led the Lady Broncos to a third-place finish in the Metro tournament and placed ninth at the Division 1 state tournament.

Send sports news, photos and stats to Howard Arceneaux at harceneaux@theadvocate.com.