Reigning boys state champions David Cole of Benton and Jack Tolson III of Westminster headline a star-studded field Monday when Tamahka Trails Golf Club at Paragon Casino Resort hosts the 12th annual Louisiana Champions Golf Invitational.
The tournament, which is sanctioned by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association as the official All-Star event for prep golfers, will consist of a15-player field in the boys division and four players in the girls division. Participants will be competing for $2,600 in vouchers to GolfBalls.com for golf equipment.
The one-day, 18-hole tournament has a restricted field and is open to boys who finished in the top five individually in their respective high school state tournament divisions and to girls who finished in the top three of their state events.
In an effort to expand participation to deserving players, tournament officials also added four sponsor exemptions this year. Of the 24 boys eligible to participate, 15 accepted slots in the tournament.
Four of the 10 girls eligible to take part in the tournament will be participating.
Players will begin at 8 a.m. Monday over the par-71 Tamahka Trails layout, with the boys’ course to be set at 7,000 yards and the girls’ course to be set at 5,600 yards — both college standards, as compared to the normal shorter course setup for high school players. A $750 voucher will be awarded to the champions of both the boys and girls divisions. The tournament will also give awards for second through fifth place in the boys division. Second place in the girls division will also receive a voucher.
Last year, St. Thomas More’s Drew Gonzales won the event on the boys competition with a two-over-par 73. McGehee’s Angelica Harris shot a 78 to win the girls title. Both will be in action on Tuesday.
Benton’s Cole won the Division II title earlier this month with a two-day score of 142, and Westminster’s Tolson won the Division III title with a score of 148.
Matt Ramsey of North DeSoto, the runner-up in Division II (143) and Jamison Thomassee of Opelousas Catholic, the Division IV runner-up (149) are also in the field.
Thomasse, Gonzales and Jeffrey Berry of Byrd are the only players returning for their second straight All-Star event. Berry was fifth last year after carding a 77.
Division I champion Olivia Hansen of St. Louis and Division II runner-up Sydney Cavin of Dunham headline the girls field. Hanson will also be returning for her second straight event after finishing tied for third last year with a round of 82.