Benton is in third place after Monday’s first round of the Division I boys state tournament at Farm D’Allie Golf Club in Lafayette.
The Tigers shot a 6-over par 294 on the par-72 course. St. Paul’s, with three players shooting sub-par rounds, leads at 11-under 277. Byrd is second, two shots ahead of Benton.
Benton’s Noah McWilliams and Airline’s Eli Hill are tied for fourth in the medalist competition at 2 under. Hill is playing as an individual. Airline did not qualify as a team.
St. Paul’s Griffith Dorr, who had seven birdies, leads at 7 under. Barbe’s Zach Robertson is two strokes back in second. St. Paul’s Kason Shaw is third at 4 under.
McWilliams made the turn at 1 under. After birdieing No. 10 to get to minus-2, he double bogeyed the par-3 13th. But he finished strong, making a 2 on the par-3 17th and a 4 on the par-5 18th.
Hill had two birdies and a bogey on the front nine. He added another birdie on the par-4 16th.
Benton’s Ryan Steed shot a 74 and is tied for 18th. His teammates, Brodie Romero and Braeden Bell, are one stroke behind him. Miller Davis shot an 81 and is tied for 33rd.
Benton is playing in its first Division I tournament. The Tigers moved up from Division II last year but the state tournaments weren’t held because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Benton won seven Division II state titles including five in a row from 2012-2016.