LAFAYETTE – Notre Damegolf standout Ali Lucas continued here remarkable summer run last week by winning the Arrowhead Coca-Cola Stoke Play Championship at Beaver Creek in Zachary.
By doing so, Lucas, the tour’s points leader heading into the event, was named the Arrowhead Junior Golf Tour Player of the Year in the girls age 15-19 division.
“I am really excited about winning the Player of the Year award,” said Lucas, who also earned an exemption for one tournament on the American Junior Golf Association Tour with the victory. “Next year, I won’t be playing on the Arrowhead Tour so I kind of left my signature mark with the award.”
Lucas, who finished one spot ahead of Lafayette’s Anna Heim in the points race, shot a three-round total of 214 (71-71-72) to defeat Arkansas signee Megan Roberts of Ocean Springs, Miss., by one stroke on the tour’s final event of the summer.
She opened her three rounds with birdies on four of the first eight holes and had a three-stoke lead heading to the back nine on the final day. A pair of bogies by Lucas tightened up the race for the title, but her birdie on the par-three 15th hole helped her escape a come-from-behind bid by Roberts, who birdied the final two holes.
Lucas hit 14 greens in the opening round, 17 the second day and 15 in the final round.
“My approach shots were really good this weekend but my putting, I was just making puts,” said Lucas, who was 7-for-10 on up-and-downs the final day.
As if the field wasn’t tough enough in the final tournament, Lucas also had to deal with the pressure of having coaches from UL-Monroe, Mississippi State, McNeese and St. Edwards on hand to watch her perform.
“It was a little added pressure knowing that those coaches were there to watch me, but it was fun,” said Lucas. “The whole (recruiting) process is exciting. But I know the closer it gets to November (signing day), the more stressful it will get.”
Lucas, the 2009 Class AAA state champion, competed in 15 Arrowhead Tour tournaments over the summer, winning eight while placing second in the other seven.
“I love the way I ended the summer,” said Lucas. “I was just so consistent. My summer has been really successful as far as golf and the way I ended it (71-71-72) really mirrors the way my whole entire summer has been. My scores have been dropping and I have been really consistent.”