, Port Arthur, Texas


July 8, 2014

Area golf notepad: Thaine Tillie dominating STPGA Junior Tour

PORT ARTHUR —     With Braden Bailey playing state and  national events, Nederland senior-to-be Thaine Tillie has stepped up as the dominant player in area junior golf circles. Tillie on Monday won his third STPGA Junior Tour tournament in five starts this summer, firing a three-over par to 75 at Babe Zaharias to edge Cameron Keith of PN-G, Hunter Huff of Nederland and Clayton Vincent of Baytown in Boys 16-18 by a stroke. Other flight winners included Karlei Hemler of Groves (74 in Girls 16-18), Jason Bryant of Mont Belvieu (78 in Boys 13-15), Raelynn Hardgrave of Conroe (88 in Girls 13-15) and Beau Autery of Beaumont (82 in Boys 10-12). Winners on the Junior Links Tour were Jack Burke of Orange (39 in Boys 10-12, 9-hole red tees), Carter Baker of Buna (24 in Boys 10-12, 5-hole modified tees), Layton Fielder of Sour Lake (64 in Boys 10-12, 9-hole modified tees), Claire Ren (31 in a playoff over Riley Little of Beaumont and Connor Williams of Kingwood  in Co-ed 6-9, 5 hole modified tees, Chase Johnson of Bridge City (56 in Co-ed 6-9, 9-hole modified and Elizabeth Townsend of Kountze (47 in Girls 10-12, 9-hole modified. Jerrit George of Groves won Boys 13-15 on the Junior Links tour with a 60 . . . Congratulations to my occasional golfing partner — Dr. Don Duplan — for scoring his first ever hole in one. Duplan bagged the ace with a pitching wedge from 125 yards on No. 15 at Babe Zaharias. Witnesses were Adam Noel, Dillard Darbonne and Don McNeil . . . Duplan wasn’t the only area player celebrating a first hole in one. Kirby Hanley of Nederland broke the ice on the 156-yard, 2nd hole at Bayou Din. Hanley swung a 8-iron for an ace witnessed by Michael Shaw and Bryce Whaley . . . Rodger Koch of Lumberton didn’t get a hole in one, but he also had a golf-course moment to savor. Koch recently posted his best ever round of 69 at Babe Zaharias. To make the accomplishment even sweeter, the score enabled him to match his age. Witness were Cody Metts, Robert Stansbury and Paul Duplantis . . . Wildwood Golf Club once again treated area golfers to wonderful hospitality and terrific course conditions in its annual Old Glory tourney over the July 4th weekend. T.J. Lingle and Braden Riley teamed to shoot 18-under-par 126 to win Championship Flight, in a format that called for best ball on Saturday and scramble on Sunday. It was their second victory in three years. The Lingle-Riley duo edged Steve Martin-Cory Romero by one shot. Other winners included Buddy Landry-Kenny Simmons (130 in 1st Flight), Ryan Perkins-Jeremy Holland (132 in 2nd Flight), Thaine Tillie-John Tillie (137 in 3rd Flight), Randy Stanley-Tristan Stanley (144 in 4th Flight in a scorecard playoff over Lawrence Williams-Drew Charlton), Cody Ray-Casey Zampirra (148 in 5th Flight) and Scott Winfield-Derrick Nail (155 in 6th Flight) . . . Rick Pritchett shot a 63 to edge David Feldshau by two strokes in a Babe Zaharias DogFight played in a handicapped, flighted format. Roger Koch won 2nd Flight with a 58, which was seven better than Charles Leard’s 65. Robert Lynch took 3rd Flight with a 60, besting Jim Thompson’s 63. Closest to the hole winners were Ivory Hatch (No. 2), Ron Overstreet (No. 7), Don Duplan (No. 12) and Allen Suire (No. 15) . . . The Senior Game at The Babe was played in a 4-man scramble format, with the team of Earl Richard, Gary Wagner, E.T. Robicheaux and Stedman Taheny winning at minus 13. Three teams tied for second at minus 11. Closest to the hole winners were Lynch (No. 2) and Harrell Guidry (No. 12) . . . The Super Saturday Game at The Babe was played in a 2-ball format, with the team of Bill Hanley, Troy Touchet, Jay Hampson and Richard Sibley winning the front at minus 2. On the back, the team of Larry Morris, Joe Vanderweg and John Jessen won with minus 1 . . . Results from a week ago, when the PA News golf writer was competing in a tournament at Bandon Dunes in Southern Oregon, were highlighted by Nederland’s Thaine Tillie winning Boys 16-18 in the Southern Texas PGA Junior Tour stop at Henry Homberg Golf Club. Tillie fired an even-par 72 to clip Bulldog teammates Michael Glover and Hunter Huff by four strokes. Other flight winners included Josh Elmore of Port Arthur (76 in Boys 13-15), Beaumonter Beau Autery (91 in Boys 10-12), Abby Alton (84 in Girls 16-18), Kensey Dukes of Groves (101 in Girls 13-15). Little Linksters winners included Micah Depew of Kountze (42 in Boys 9-hole red tees), Joe Penland III of Beaumont (32 in Boys 10-12 modified tees), Victor Aponte of Port Neches (48 in Boys 10-12 modified tees), Nathan Petrash of Highlands (31 in Co-ed 6-9 modified tees) and Elizabeth Townsend of Kountze (51 in Girls 10-1 9-hole modified tees). Jerrit George of Groves shot 60 over 9 holes to win Boys 13-15 on the Junior Links Tour . . . The Senior 50 Plus Game at Babe Zaharias was played in a 2-ball format, with the team of Dennis Walsh, Walter Colvin, Ron Theriot and Ben Thornton winning the front in minus 5. On the back, the foursome of Tony Trevino, Roger Baumer, Dennis Frazier and Arvie Young won in minus 5 . . . The June 26 Senior Game at The Babe was played in a 3-man scramble format and ended in a two-way tie for first. The team or Rick Pritchett, Don MacNeil and Ben Thornton carded minus 7, as did the trio of Thad Borne, Paul Duplantis and Paul Bourgeois. Closest to the hole winners were John Overland (No. 2) and Larry Johnson (No. 12) . . . The June 28 Super Saturday Game at The Babe was played in a 2-ball format. On the front, the team of Paul Flores, Larry Johnson, Ed Holley and Mark Petry won with minus 2. The back was won by the foursome of Adam Noel, Don MacNeil, Dillard Darbonne and Don Duplan with minus 3 . . . The June 24 DogFight at Bayou Din was won with 18 points by the team of Steve Picou, Mark Petry and Ray Gallier. Second with 16 points was the threesome of Jeff Rountree, Harry Green and Don Smith. Closest to the pin winners were David English (No. 7) and Ray Gallier (No. 11).

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  • Bassmaster Elites are coming back

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    The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
    I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
    It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
    • Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
    Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
    Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
    • East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
    • Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
    • Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
     It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
    The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
    We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
    It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
    (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on

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From the Fieldhouse blog