All six of the team champions and five of the six individual champions are back to defend their titles beginning today when the Acadiana area hosts the Allstate Sugar Bowl LHSAA State Golf Championships for the second straight year.
More than 250 prep golfers will compete in six divisions, four boys and two girls divided by enrollment, over three Lafayette-area courses. The Farm d’Allie will host boys’ Divisions I and III, The Wetlands will stage the boys’ Divisions II and IV, and Les Vieux Chenes will host the girls’ Divisions I and II competition.
The two-day 36-hole tournaments begin at 8 a.m. Wednesday. Play was originally scheduled for Monday and Tuesday but was postponed for two days due to heavy rains. There is no charge for admission.
The LHSAA golf event is in its fourth year of bringing all boys and girls classifications to the same area at the same time. Lafayette hosted the event for the first time last year.
“Our whole goal is to make this the best event it can be for the kids,” said Robert Boudreaux, local chairman and golf coach for host Teurlings Catholic. “We think we brought the tournament to a new level last year, and now we’re going to try to add to that.
“All the rains are going to make it pretty wet, but the superintendents here have done a great job of getting the courses in the best shape possible considering the amount of rain we got.”
Benton seeks its fifth straight Division II state title, having begun its championship streak in 2012, but the Tigers will have to do it without last year’s now-graduated individual champion Jacob Wyatt. Benton won last year’s Division II title by 24 strokes over runner-up St. Louis, but edged St. Louis team by five strokes in last week’s regional round.
The other top-enrollment boys division also has a multi-year winner, as C. E. Byrd of Shreveport shoots for its third straight crown. Byrd finished 15 strokes ahead of Catholic High in last year’s title event behind individual medalist Phillip Barbaree (68-73--141).
The other returning champions include Dunham, which edged University High by six strokes in last year’s boys Division III event, Episcopal School of Acadiana in boys Division IV, Sulphur in girls Division I and Notre Dame in girls Division II.
Wyatt is the only individual champion not returning to this year’s field. University High’s Trey Winstead, son of LSU golf coach Chuck Winstead, won in Division III and Jack Tolson III of Westminster won Division IV title. Tolson had the low round of the tournament last year with an opening-round 64 at The Wetlands and won by 12 strokes.
Mary Frances Chauvin of Hammond Magnet won last year’s Division I girls individual title as a sophomore, after finishing as runner-up as a freshman. But she finished second to Ben Franklin’s Camille Simon’s three-under-par 69 in last week’s regional round at Beaver Creek.
East Iberville’s Julia Johnson posted a stellar 64, the best round of the event by seven strokes, to win last week’s Division II regional. Johnson won Division II title by eight strokes last year.