Louisiana golfers fight back to take second place in state tournament
The Louisiana golf team capped its successful season off with a second-place finish at the Class 1 state tournament May 13-14 in Bolivar.
The team was third after the first round of the tournament at Silo Ridge with a collective score of 349. The team managed to shave six strokes off that score the second day with a 343.
That gave the Bulldogs a 692 for the tournament, 22 strokes more than the state champion team from Barat Academy in St. Louis, which shot a 670.
Earlier in the season, the team took second place at the sectional tourney and first at the district tournament.
“While we went to Bolivar with every intention of playing for first, we are still very happy about the second-place finish,” said Louisiana Golf Coach Derrick Branstetter.
Seniors Brendan Ross and Dylan Smith both earned all-state honors for their performances.
Ross tied for 14th individually at the state tournament, shooting an 82 the first day, and an 86 in the second round for a composite score of 168.
Smith tied for 15th place with an 86, followed by an 84 for a two-day score of 170.
Senior Greg Pitzer overcame a bad first round of 96 by shaving 13 strokes on the second day for an 83 and a composite 179.
Sophomore Dallas Castagna tied Pitzer for 39th place with an 89 and a 90 for a total of 179.
Sophomore Justin Lenz picked the right time to turn in two good rounds, shooting a 92 on Monday and a 90 on Tuesday for a total of 182 and 47th place.
Trevor Cronin of Barat Academay was first, shooting a 155, led by his opening round of a 4-over 76.
With the exception of Lenz’s Tuesday round, “None of the kids will tell you that they played their best golf,” Branstetter said. “In fact, a few of them were really fighting their swings this week.
“However, they squeezed enough out of their rounds to pull out a second-place finish.
“Justin Lenz came up big for us on Monday, shooting his lowest round of the year when Greg struggled. Greg turned it around on Tuesday carding our low score for the day.
“Dallas had some rough spots but gave us two solid scores and Dylan and Brendan were solid both days making all state.”
Branstetter acknowledged his three seniors for bringing excellence to his program.
“Greg, Brendan, and Dylan have been a part of some very good golf teams over the last four years winning multiple tournament titles, three conference championships and qualifying for state as a team three times.
“All three made all-state at least once in their career, and I’m very happy they were able to close it out by bringing home some state hardware. I’m proud of their accomplishments and they will definitely be missed.”