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Golf: 4-time defending champ Benton leads Div. II state tourney by 10 strokes

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The Benton Tigers are off to a very good start in search of their fifth straight LHSAA Division II state golf title.

Benton shot a 6-over 294 in the first round at the par-72 Wetlands in Lafayette on Wednesday. The Tigers lead E.D. White by 10 strokes. Lake Charles St. Louis Catholic, which finished five strokes behind Benton in the Region I tournament last week, is third at 317.

Airline is in sixth place in the Division I state tournament after shooting a 322 at The Farm D’Allie course in Carencro. Byrd, seeking its third straight title, leads with a 296. Carter Toms, son of former Airline star David Toms, shot a 5-under67 and is the individual leader.

The 36-hole tournaments concludes today.

Benton sophomore Hayden White shot a 3-under 69 and is tied for second with E.D. White’s Nick Arcement,two strokes behind leader Kristofer Kerr of Loranger.

“We had a good day,” Benton coach Tim Cram said. “They all played good.”

David Cole, the 2014 individual medalist, shot a 72 and is tied for fourth. Colton Ryan fired a 74 and is tied for seventh.

Before the tournament, Cram said the key to winning another title would be how the Tigers’ No. 4 and 5 players perform. The low four scores count in the team scoring.

Phil Tran came through with a 79 and is tied for 16th.

E.D. White, one of the tournament’s hosts, put two other players in the top 12 — Will Dupont (74, tied for seventh) and Scott Ford (76, 12th). The Cardinals’ fourth- and fifth players both shot 85.

Caden Maxwell’s 78 was Airline’s best score in the Division I tournament. Other Vikings in the scoring were Carter Jurkovich (80), Jacob Hill (81) and Jacob Guest (83).

— Russell Hedges, rhedges@bossierpress.com