The Port Arthur News
HUNTSVILLE — After an uncharacteristically poor performance on the first day of the Region III, 4A golf championships, Port Neches-Groves’ hopes of qualifying for the state tournament may depend on Thursday’s weather.
Well, the weather and dramatically improved play.
With only one player — senior Lonnie LaBove — breaking 80 on a windy day, the Indians struggled to a season worst 327. That left them in fifth place some 35 strokes behind Huntsville. If there was any good news, it was that the Indians were only five shots behind runner-up Montgomery and three behind third place Georgetown. The top three teams advance to state
“We really had our problems, especially on the greens,” said PN-G coach Ricky Keyes. “We couldn’t buy anything inside five feet. Three of our players made a quadruple bogey. I have to think we will play much better on Thursday.”
The rub there is whether predicted bad weather will allow the final 18 holes of the regional to be played. Starting times have been moved up 30 minutes in hopes of beating the heavy rains that are predicted.
Ironically, while PN-G had problems on Wednesday it’s Mid-County rival Nederland, who finished 46 shots behind the Indians in district, had one of its better days. The Bulldogs, with Hunter Huff setting the pace with a 79, were in fifth place, only one stroke behind the Indians.
Michael Glover and Thaine Tillie added 82s for Nederland and Cole Trevino shot an 85. Avery LeBlanc’s 89 didn’t count toward the team total.
Lonnie LaBove was PN-G’s low man with an 78. Sophomore Braden Bailey, making a quadruple bogey in the first round of regional for the second consecutive year, was next at 81. Tyler Rawson and Brandon Soileau had 84s.
Jarrod Brown, who was the second medalist in regional last year, struggled to an 86.
Huntsville’s impressive 294 was triggered by a four-under-par 68 by sophomore Chandler Phillips. Phillips was the medalist last year with rounds of 70-66.
Summer Creek’s Connor Black posted the day’s second lowest round of 70 and James Walker of LC-M, competing as a medalist, shot 72. — Bob West