ZACHARY — St. Amant senior Blake Gautreaux played it safe to avoid making key mistakes and recorded a 6-under-par 66. When he found himself in a sudden death playoff with Catholic High’s Triston Elston, Gautreaux took a chance.
“The wind set up perfectly for the kind of drive I wanted to hit,” Gautreaux said. “I was figuring I’d end it, one way or the other. I figured I’d either end up in the water or would win.”
Gautreaux’s long drive on the first playoff hole set the stage for a title-clinching par putt at the Baton Rouge Metro Boys Golf Tournament played Wednesday at BREC’s Beaver Creek Golf Course.
Elston, a sophomore who also carded a 66, finished second to close the one-day tournament. Though he didn’t win, Elston’s score played a big role in Catholic’s team victory.
The Division I-Class 5A Bears finished with a score of 295. Division IV-2A University High, led by third-place finisher Trey Winstead’s 3-under 69, cracked the group of Division I leaders by taking second at 300. The area’s other two Division I powers, Denham Springs (303) and Zachary (313), were next. Parkview Baptist (321) placed fifth.
“I was very pleased with their performance today,” Catholic coach Pat Dulaney said of his team. “We had a few little hiccups on the front nine, and then we settled in to scramble and take care of business. They showed some resilience.”
The round proved to be a grind for many competitors, thanks to gusting winds. Dutchtown freshman Logan Leary, who placed fourth at 71, was the only other competitor to shoot below par. U-High’s Michael Sotile (72) was fifth. Zachary’s Peyton McCulloch and Cody Maxwell, of Denham Springs, tied for sixth at 73.
Gautreaux played with one of the early foursomes and completed his round earlier than most. He recorded eagles on No. 6 and No. 11 and three birdies by taking a cautious approach.
“The eagles had a lot to do with how low I shot,” Gautreaux said. “I just knew if I hit greens instead of going for the pins I’d give my putter a chance. I felt like that would keep the big numbers off my card.”
Elston, seeded as Catholic’s No. 3 competitor, took the opposite approach and netted 10 birdies. Elston finished his round later. Then Gautreaux and Elston had to play a waiting game.
Winstead started his round later because he had to take a exam before making the trek to the tournament. Winstead just missed forcing a three-way playoff on Beaver Creek’s 370-yard No. 9 hole.
“I went for every pin and hoped for the best and ended up with 10 birdies,” Elston said. “For the playoff, I just tried to stay calm and stick with my game plan. I hit an iron off the tee, and then I didn’t hit the second shot quite like I wanted to. Then I had to make the putt and tried to be aggressive but it didn’t go.”
Gautreaux, who hopes to walk-on to the Louisiana Tech golf team, missed a 16-foot putt for birdie on the playoff hole. He tapped in for par. Elston’s 14-foot putt to save par also missed the mark.