LHSAA State High School Golf Championships set for Monday and Tuesday

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LHSAA GolfLAFAYETTE – Louisiana’s best high school golfers will converge on Acadiana beginning Sunday as the area hosts the 2018 Allstate Sugar Bowl LHSAA state golf championships for the fourth consecutive year.

Championship play is set for Monday-Tuesday with 18-hole rounds each day, with approximately 250 boys’ and girls’ qualifiers from last week’s regional competitions taking part in six divisions determined by enrollment.

Boys’ Divisions I and III will compete at The Wetlands (6,348 yards, par 72) in Lafayette, boys’ Divisions II and IV will compete at The Farm d’Allie (6,516 yards, par 72) in Carencro, and girls’ Divisions I and II will compete at Les Vieux Chenes (5,679 yards, women’s par 74) in Youngsville. Play will begin at 8 a.m. in boys’ Divisions III and IV, 9 a.m. in girls’ Divisions I and II and 1 p.m. in boys’ Divisions I and II on Monday.

Tournament activities begin Sunday with practice rounds at all three courses and a 7 p.m. banquet honoring the teams and the LHSAA’s All-Academic Team, to be held at the tournament headquarters Garden Plaza Hotel & Conference Center (formerly the Ramada Conference Center) on NE Evangeline Thruway. Carr McCalla, the long-time executive director of the Louisiana Golf Association and a nationally-recognized authority on the Rules of Golf, will serve as guest speaker. Tickets for the banquet are $20 (free for tournament competitors and their head coaches) and will be available at the door.

All six of last year’s team champions made their way back into the state field through district and regional qualifying, including three who will be gunning for a fourth straight state crown – University High (Baton Rouge) in boys Division III, hometown product Episcopal of Acadiana in boys Division IV and Sulphur in girls Division I.

Jesuit (New Orleans) is the defending champion in boys Division I, having snapped a streak of three straight titles for C. E. Byrd of Shreveport last year. Hometown team Teurlings Catholic, the host school for the event, won last year’s boys Division II crown and broke a streak of five straight titles claimed by Benton. Lacassine, which had not made the state tournament for three years, is the girls Division II defending champion.

However, none of the defending champs in the boys’ divisions were able to win their regional competition, where the top four teams and the top four individuals not on those teams advanced to this week’s state tournament. Jesuit, which returns four of its five players from last year, finished second to Catholic (Baton Rouge) 304-308 in the Division I regional Tuesday at Carter Plantation.

The other returning boys’ champions all have only two of their five-man team back from last year’s winning squads. Teurlings Catholic was second in its Division II regional at Grand Ridge 322-342 to Vandebilt Catholic, University (330) finished third behind Episcopal (322) and Ascension Episcopal (328) in the Division III regional at Santa Maria, and ESA finished second by one stroke to Metairie Park Country Day (363-364) in the Division IV regional at Atchafalaya.

Ironically, none of last year’s individual winners are returning with all six of them claiming 2017 titles in their senior season. The field does include three runners-up from last year in Matt Weber of hometown St. Thomas More in boys Division I, Grayson Gilbert of St. Frederick’s in boys Division IV and Brooke Tyree of Sulphur, who has finished in the top three in girls Division I for three straight years.

Twelve regional tournaments were held across the state Monday-Thursday – two in each division — with the top four teams and the top four individuals not on those teams in each tournament qualifying for the state championships. Teams play 18-hole rounds on both Monday and Tuesday with team and individual awards presented after Tuesday’s final rounds.

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