All six of the team champions and five of the six individual champions are back to defend their titles beginning Wednesday when the Acadiana area hosts the Allstate Sugar Bowl LHSAA State Golf Championships for the second straight year.
More than 250 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 because of heavy rains and wet courses. 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.
“Our whole goal is to make this the best event it can be for the kids,” said Robert Boudreaux, local chairman and golf coach at 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 will be going for 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 that same St. Louis team by only five strokes in last week’s regional at Alexandria’s Links on the Bayou.
The other top-enrollment boys division also has a multi-year winner, as C. E. Byrd of Shreveport shoots for its third straight title. Byrd finished 15 strokes ahead of Catholic-Baton Rouge in last year’s title event behind individual medalist Phillip Barbaree (68-73-141). Barbaree, hampered by a hand injury, struggled to a 78 in the regional round at Oak Wing, but returning top-10 finishers Carter Toms and Mason Barr led Byrd to a three-stroke win over West Monroe in the regionals.
Each division has eight teams, the top four qualifying from each of two regionals, as well as eight individual players who had the best regional scores among teams that did not qualify for the team competition.
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 captured the Division IV title. Tolson, a Louisiana-Lafayette signee playing as an individual, had the low round of the entire tournament last year with an opening 64 at The Wetlands and won medalist honors 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 3-under-par 69 in last week’s regional round at Beaver Creek.
East Iberville’s Julia Johnson won last week’s Division II regional by posted a 64, seven strokes better than the next competitor. Johnson won last year’s Division II title by eight strokes.