High school boys golf: (Updated) Benton runner-up in Division I; McWilliams second after forcing playoff

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The Benton Tigers finished runner-up in the Division I state tournament Tuesday at Farm D’Allie Golf Club in Lafayette.

The Tigers shot a 12-over par 300 in the second round for a two-day total of 18 over 594. First-round leader St. Paul’s of Covington won with a 10-under 566 after a second-round 1-over 289.

Baton Rouge Catholic was third, three strokes behind Benton. Byrd was fourth, six strokes behind the Tigers.

Benton sophomore Noah McWilliams, who was tied for fourth after the first round, shot a second consecutive 2-under 70. He and first-round leader Griffith Dorr of St. Paul’s finished tied for first at 4 under. But Dorr, who shot a 75 in the second round after a 65 in the first, took medalist honors, winning on the second hole of a playoff.

“He played great,” Benton coach Tim Cram said of McWilliams. “He played steady the whole tournament.”

Other Benton players’ scores: Ryan Steed (74-76–150), Brodie Romero (75-76–151), Braeden Bell (75-80–155), Miller Davis (81-78–159).

Airline’s Eli Hill shot a 74 Tuesday and finished eighth at even-par 144

Benton moved up to Division I last year after a dominant run in Division II. The Tigers won seven state titles, including five straight from 2012-2016 and another in 2018.

Last year, most of the golf season was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

No one was sure how the Tigers would fare in the higher classification, but Benton coach Tim Cram had a few veterans from the 2019 team back along with newcomer McWilliams. He thought Benton had a chance for another good year.

“Nobody expected is to step up like that even though we did real well in 4A (Division II),” Cram said. “But we have a bunch of fighters. They didn’t start off well but them suckers fought back. That’s why we ended up second. They all hung in there and played well. It was awesome.”