Jesuit golfer shakes nerves, takes 5A state championship in Zachary

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 14, 2007


Editor and Publisher

LAPLACE – Scott Lawless may not have the money that Tiger Woods is making, at least not yet, but he got a little idea of what the top golfer in the world goes through, as he walked up the 18th fairway at Copper Mill Golf Course in Zachary last week.

Lawless found himself with a one shot lead on the last hole of the annual 5A State High School Golf Championship, and the LaPlace resident suddenly knew what Tiger must go through.

&#8220I was shaking as I walked up the 18th, since I knew I had a chance to win the tournament,” he recalled. &#8220And then I really found out how pressure affects you when I had a five foot putt on the 18th green, and knocked it two feet past.”

But in the end, Lawless showed a little of Tiger himself, as he calmly sank the short putt to secure the win, and surprise the field by winning the 5A championship in his senior year playing for the Jesuit High Blue Jays.

&#8220I was proud of the way I held on after I got the lead,” he said. &#8220Golf is a real mental game, and when you’re in the position I was in, needing a short putt to win, you really feel the pressure.”

Lawless has been playing golf since he was 10, and attending Jesuit since the eighth grade. He began to get serious about the game after playing along with his dad in his younger days.

He made the Jesuit golf team as a freshman, and then qualified for the state tournament the last three years in a row, slowly improving his finish before winning the title this year.

For Lawless, the 5A crown was probably a bit of a shocker to some of the favorites in the field, since he wasn’t even the top golfer all year for his own Blue Jay team, and didn’t win the regional title.

But playing at Copper Mill in the 36-hole event, he made his presence known on the first day with a three-under par 69, then followed up with the same score on the final day to win by a stroke.

Lawless was two shots down starting the final day of play, but was in the final group off the tee trailing two players who shot 67 on the first day. He must have gotten an inkling of what a great day it would be for him as he eagled the first hole, blasting an iron from 240-yards out on the par five, landing within 25 feet of the hole, and making the eagle putt. That tied him for the lead, then he birdied the third hole to take the lead. From there, he never was trailing again, although things got pretty tight on the final hole.

Lawless had a one stroke lead starting the 18th, and both players laid up in two on the par five hole. Lawless knocked his third shot within five feet, and his closest competitor was 25 feet out, two putting for a par. That left Lawless needing to two-putt for the win from five feet, which he made more interesting than he would have liked before winning.

&#8220It was really intense on that final hole,” he said with a smile. &#8220But I felt good to win, and hold the lead with that kind of pressure.”

He admits to not being active in the Junior circuit as many other players are who want to move on to the college game. And while he would like to play golf for LSU, the likely school he will attend in the fall, he said that golf is not the number one thing in his life.

&#8220I love to play, but my school and my future career is the number one thing to me,” he said.

He currently does not have scholarship offers, but may get some in the near future after his state performance, and after he competes very soon in the Tournament of Champions, which pits the top five of each state division in a tournament.

Scott is the son of Matt and Hazel Lawless of LaPlace.