SPOTLIGHT:  Loyola, Webb primed for shots at state titles

WEBB GEM: Loyola’s Holden Webb will get one last shot at a state golf title.

By JOHN JAMES MARSHALL, Journal Sports

At 12:56 today, Loyola senior Holden Webb will tee it up for a pair of “one last chances” in the Division III state golf championships.

For Webb, it’s one more chance for the individual crown.

For Webb and his teammates, it’s a chance to get past a roadblock that has kept them from winning the school’s first state team title since 2012.

In both 2019 and 2021 (there was no tournament in 2020), the Flyers finished in second place to Ascension Episcopal (Lafayette). Although Eli Ortego, the state’s No. 1 player, is now at UL-Lafayette, Ascension Episcopal is back again to try to win another title.

But the Flyers have a player in five of the six top groups that will tee off today at Cane Row Golf Club in New Iberia. No other team has that many at the top of the pairings sheet.

“I think we can do it,” Webb said. “We’ve kind of been stuck by the team in Lafayette the last couple of years. But I think if we can execute (because) it’s all about showing up on game day.”

For Webb, who has signed to play collegiate golf at LSU, it would be the crowning achievement to his outstanding high school career.

He was the co-medalist at the regional event last week at Stonebridge as the Flyers staged a dominating performance. Loyola had a 294 total score as Webb and Charlie Bell each shot an even-par 72 and were joined by Jack Gilmer (74), Ross Alford (76) and Connor Cassano (77) as Loyola won by 22 strokes. Loyola won the district tournament two weeks ago by 61 shots.

“It’s special,” Webb said of this year’s team. “We’ve got a lot of good players this year and we’ve been practicing harder than in past years. I think we are going to have a really good shot this year. This is what I came here as a freshman to do.”

Webb didn’t waste any time in making an impact on the Flyer golf team. He finished second in the state tournament as a freshman. After no tournament was played the following year, he placed fifth at state in his junior season.

“I’ve just tried to improve every day,” he said. “Just grind it out, no matter what. The goal is to keep improving every day. I just try to put in the work and hope it pays off in the end.”

The son of former LSU golfer Craig Webb, he said there are areas of improvement he’d like to make before starting his college career.

“I feel like I’ve struggled a little bit with my ball striking off the tee, so I want to try to nail that down to where I’m hitting the ball where I want to,” he said. “But I generally feel pretty confident with my putting.”

Which means practice, practice and then a little more practice. “On a typical school day, we get out early so I can go hit a little bit and then go play, whether that’s nine holes or 18 holes,” Webb said. “On shorter days when I don’t get there until 3:15, I just do work on the range with chipping and putting.”

Though high school and college golf have a team aspect to it, ultimately it is an individual sport. That was the appeal to Webb when he ended his youth soccer career to concentrate on golf.

“My favorite thing I like about golf – and the reason I started playing – is that there is nobody else,” he said. “There’s are no highs like there are in golf and there are no lows like there are in golf. It’s all up to you.”

Photo by GRAHAM TRAWICK


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