LAFAYETTE — Episcopal of Acadiana sits atop the Division IV leaderboard after the first day in the boys tournaments for the LHSAA state golf championships.
The Division II and IV boys tournament, 36-hole contests, got under way Wednesday at the The Wetlands. ESA led with a 320 score. Alex Billeaud, who shot a 3-over 75, registered AES’ top score. The Falcons hold a 12-stroke lead over second-place Hamilton Christian.
“Our team is just really consistent,” ESA coach Stephen Nickel said. “It helps us be competitive with some of the teams that have a strong golfer but maybe don’t have the same depth.”
The low individual score in Division IV belonged to Country Day’s William Boyd who fired an even-par 72. St. John’s Michael D’Albour is second with a 73.
D’Albour said he thought the shift in the wind forced him to change the way he was playing.
“The wind on the front nine was really calm. I thought I scored better on the front,” D’Albour said. “On the back (nine), the wind was much more into effect, and you had to play different clubs.”
Westminster’s Jack Tolson III shot a 75, but he said his short game will have to be much better Thursday.
“I’m going to work on my putting and chipping,” Tolson said. “It was rusty, and that’s just because it’s been raining and I haven’t been able to practice.”
Tolson said once he gets the rust knocked off, he will be in the running for the individual title.
“All I have to do is go out and make some birdies tomorrow, and I’ll be right back in it,” Tolson said.
Division IV golfers will kick off the second and final round Thursday morning.
The afternoon saw golfers from Division II take the course.
Loranger’s Kristofer Kerr put on a show, knocking in four birdies on the back nine to post a 5-under 67 that included six birdies.
“I was hitting the ball really good today,” Kerr said. “My putting was pretty good too, and I was finally started to roll in some birdies on the back (nine).”
Another player who generated lots of buzz in the afternoon group was E.D. White eight-grader Nick Arcement. He held the lead for much of the afternoon and finished at 3-under 69. After back-to-back brides on the 11th and 12th he was 4 under, but a bogey on the par-3 16th dropped him to 3 under. Arcement is tied for second with Hayden White of Benton.
On the team side, four-time defending Division II champion Benton leads with a 6-over 294. The Tigers hold a 10-stroke lead over second-place E.D. White.
The state tournament concludes Thursday at The Wetlands.
Carter Toms carded a bogey-free 5-under-par 67 Wednesday and helped pace his C. E. Byrd team to the first-day lead in the Division I tournament at The Farm d’Allie in Carencro.
Toms eagled the 528-yard par-five fourth hole and then added three birdies on the back side to take a six-stroke lead in the individual chase heading into Thursday’s final round. Teammate Philip Barbaree, the returning individual champion, is in second place after posting a one-over 73 over the 6,516-yard par-72 Farm d’Allie course.
Matt Weber of St. Thomas More, Brady Bennett of Zachary and Zack North of West Monroe are tied for third at three-over 75, and Ray Poche of Fontainebleau and Stewart Perrilloux of Catholic-Baton Rouge are tied for sixth at four-over 76.
University High put two players in the top five and ran out to a huge team advantage, and Catholic-New Iberia’s Micah Goulas posted a blazing front nine in taking the individual lead on the first day of Division III competition in the Allstate Sugar Bowl LHSAA state golf championships at The Farm d’Allie in Carencro.
Defending individual champion Trey Winstead posted a four-under-par 68 and teammate Parker Johnson also broke par with a one-under 71 to lead the Cubs to a 299 team score. That was good for an 18-stroke edge over second-place Catholic-New Iberia after one round.
Goulas eagled the 540-yard par-five first hole and added birdies on the fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth and ninth holes to make the turn at seven-under-par 29. The senior and fourth-place finisher last year was eight-under through 12 holes but bogeyed three straight at the 13th through 15th, but he parred in from there for a five-under 67 to lead the medalist chase.
Winstead also had a strong front nine, eagling the 528-yard par-five fourth hole and adding two other birdies in making the turn at four-under 32 and adding a birdie at the par-four 10th. Winstead finished with five straight pars and stands one stroke back in the individual event entering Thursday’s final round.
Joe Bourque of Iowa and Price Butcher of Isidore Newman are tied for third at two-under 70, and Johnson joined Garrett Dolecheck of Ouachita Christian and Mikey Landry of St. Charles Catholic tied for fifth at one-under 71. They were the only players to match par in Wednesday’s first round.
Trailing U-High and CHNI in the team standings were St. Charles Catholic at 323 and defending Division III team champion Dunham at 324. Notre Dame was at 333, Menard at 335 and Ouachita Christian at 339 in the team standings.
Final-round play begins at 8 a.m. Thursday.