GIRLS Outstanding Player
After shooting a 5-under-par 67 during the opening round of the LHSAA Division II girls state golf championship, Abbey Daniel said she felt confident.
But during the second and final round at Les Vieux Chenes in Youngsville, the Hannan freshman had to dig deep into her arsenal to win her first prep state title. With three-time state champion Julia Johnson of East Iberville closing the gap, Daniel made a couple of key putts down the stretch to end with a two-day total of 138.
That score gave her a four-stroke victory over Johnson.
“Everything I hit the first day was right at the pin,” Daniel said. “It felt like an easy 67. But on the second day, the back nine especially, I was having to work more. Everything was harder. I was looking at a lot of 10- to 15-foot putts. Like on No. 17. I had a 10- or 12-footer that I made for par. Julia had a birdie. If I miss that putt, it could have been a really big swing.”
Moments like that par-saving putt are only part of the reason Daniel is The New Orleans Advocate’s outstanding girls golfer this year. She was the only golfer in the metro area to win a state title in 2016, and with her pedigree (her mother was a state champion and a collegiate and amateur standout), she figures to be in the hunt for more prep championships in coming years.
Daniel also was the all-metro golfer of the year as an eighth-grader last season, when she finished second to Johnson in the state tournament.
The 15-year-old is sharpening her game this summer on numerous junior circuits and hopes to qualify for the USGA girls junior amateur championship to be held in July in New Jersey. She said when she takes leads in big tournaments in the future, she always can look back to her first high school championship and use that experience as a guide.
“It was an awesome feeling — not so much to win, but to be able to shoot a really good score in a big tournament,” Daniel said. “I think the big thing for me is now that I know I can shoot that low in a big tournament, I have to be comfortable with it. I need to be able to be used to playing like that. When you go really low, you get nervous. ... I need to stay focused on shooting good scores.”
Ben Franklin, Jr.
Sacred Heart, 7th grade
St. Scholastica, Sr.
Sacred Heart, Soph.
BOYS Outstanding Player
When he looks back at his years at Newman, Price Butcher will have plenty of fond memories from the golf course.
There are the four district titles he won, and there’s the school record 3-under-par 33 he shot on nine holes at Lakewood Country Club when he was a freshman. There’s also the 4-under 32 he shot at English Turn this year to break his own record.
And he’ll definitely remember the second-place finish in this year’s LHSAA Division III boys golf championship at Farm d’Allie in Carencro in May.
He can also claim he was The New Orleans Advocate’s 2016 outstanding boys golfer of the year.
“My time at Newman was exciting,” said Butcher, who graduated last month. “There were some ups and some downs, but mostly ups, fortunately. I learned a lot playing golf at Newman.”
He also won a lot. Butcher said he medaled in all but three prep tournaments while at Newman, and he had a chance to win this year’s high school championship. He entered the second and final day of play at Farm d’Allie four strokes behind eventual champion Trey Winstead of University High. He closed the gap by two strokes, but a triple bogey on No. 15 kept him from getting any closer.
Still, he’s not disappointed. His two-day total of 144 put him four strokes behind Winstead.
“I played well,” he said. “Trey really was playing great golf. I’m not sure I could have caught him anyway, but I left a few shots out on the course. But you always play to win.”
Butcher also won LGA junior championships in 2013 and 2015. He’ll attend Ole Miss and study business, and he said he may try to walk on to the golf team. If not, Butcher said he’ll continue to play amateur golf tournaments when he can.
Newman coach Michael Lemon said replacing Butcher will be tough.
“Price has been the leader of the Newman golf program since he arrived on campus as a freshman,” Lemon said. “He has elevated the level of the entire team through his competitive excellence and his relationships with younger players. His legacy on the Newman golf team will be felt for a long time to come.”
St. Charles Catholic, Soph.
Pope John Paul II, Jr.
Country Day, Soph.
Country Day, Sr.