PORT ARTHUR —
No matter what the scores say, 11-year-old Makenna Henry of Sour Lake was the big winner in Tuesday’s YMBL Junior Classic at Bayou Din. Henry teed up her 17-degree hybrid on the 125-yard, 11th hole, made solid contact and seconds later watched her orange golf ball roll into the cup for her first ever hole-in-one. The shot was witnessed by Elizabeth Townsend, who beat Henry by one stroke in a playoff after both shot 53 in Girls 10-12 . . . Henry wasn’t the only area golfer to celebrate an ace in the past week. Matt Hendon of Groves and Bill Hammond of Lumberton, both scored holes in one on No. 2 at Babe Zaharias, although from different distances. Hammond sank his tee shot from 119 yards with a pitching wedge. It was his first ace. Witnesses were Richard Sibley, Ed Holley and Robert Lynch. Hendon’s ace came from 171-yards with a 7-iron. He was playing in a foursome that included Jordan Leger, Steven Havard and Cody Mire . . . Hunter Huff of Nederland and Blake Stock of Hewitt were declared co-champions in Boys 16-18, after threatening weather Tuesday shortened the Southern Texas PGA’s YMBL Junior Classic to 27 holes. Huff and Stock both shot 72-37 for a 109 total. Other winners were Karlei Hemler of Groves (77-37-114 in Girls 16-18), Jason Bryant of Mont Belvieu (82-38-120 in Boys 13-15), Leah Alberto of Kingwood (81-42-123 in Girls 13-15) and Jacob Borow of Lake Jackson (81-39-120 in Boys 10-12) . . . Shelbi Vincent of Nederland, a sophomore-to-be at the University of Houston-Victoria, had a strong showing last week at the Collegiate Players Tour Santa Maria Open in Baton Rouge. Vincent finished outright fifth with rounds of 80-79-76 for a 54-hole score of 230 . . . PN-G star Braden Bailey continues to earn opportunities to play in some of the nation’s top junior events. Latest elite invitation for Bailey is to the inaugural Shell Houston Open Junior Championship Aug. 30-Sept. 1 at Redstone Golf Club, site of the PGA Tour’s Shell Houston Open. It’s a limited field of the state’s top players, with 54 boys and 30 girls competing in the 54-hole event . . . There was a two-way tie in the Babe Zaharias DogFight, with the team of Adam Noel, Don MacNeil, Ivory Hatch and Allen Suire and the foursome of Butch Landry, Bob Byerly, Malcolm Tiller and Lovell Sullivan accumulating 17 points. Closest to the pin winners were Bill Draughon (No. 2), Butch Landry (No. 7), Ed Hetzel (No. 12) and Gene Hardy (No. 15) . . . The Senior Game at The Babe was played in a 3-best ball format. On the front, the team of Larry Johnson, MacNeil, Larry Rogers and John Overland winning the front in plus 2. The back was won in plus 6 by the team of Rick Pritchett, Cap Hollier, Boy Byerly and Dwain Morrison. Closest to the hole winners were Hollier (No. 2) and Dwain Morgan (No. 12) . . . The Super Saturday Game at the Babe was played in a 2-ball format. Winning the front in minus 8 was the team of Cody Metts, Thad Borne, Dan Flood and Charles Huckaby. On the back, the foursome of Larry Morris, Tom Lawton, John Jessen and Malcolm Tiller prevailed with minus 6 . . . The Senior 50 Plus Game at Zaharias was played in a 2-ball format, with the team of Tommy Prejean, Ron Mistrot, Jerry May and Gene Hardy winning the front in minus 4. The back went to the team of Tom Prejean, Walter Colvin, Richard Sibley and Pete Reobroi with minus 2 . . . Jim Brown won the Monday Seniors points game at Belle Oaks with plus 5. David Vorpahl was second at zero and Raymond Rice third at minus 2. Rice won closest to the pin on No. 15. The Friday Senior Game at Belle Oaks was won by Rufus Mier at plus 8. Ralph Childress was second at zero and Vorpahl third at minus 6. Vorpahl claimed closest to the pin on No. 15 . . . Area golfers in growing numbers seem to be thoroughly disgusted with the condition of Belle Oaks. Don’t think I’ve ever heard as much criticism of an area course as the feedback that’s been coming in on the Taylor Landing layout, starting with the roughs not being mowed and the sand traps in deplorable condition. I’ve been in and out of town the past four weeks and have not played at Belle Oaks since mid June, but plan to get a first hand look at it this weekend, then see what Kevin Johnson of the Port Arthur Renaissance Group has to say. From what I’m being told, the amount of play has dropped way off. I’d welcome e-mails from anyone with thoughts on their recent experiences at Belle Oaks.
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