, Port Arthur, Texas


September 17, 2013

West golf notepad: Rayburn Country hosting Adams Pro Tour Series

PORT ARTHUR — Port Neches-Groves and Arkansas ex Andrew Landry heads a five-player area contingent that teed off Tuesday in Adams Pro Golf Tour Series’ 2nd Annual Rayburn Country Open. Up for grabs in the 72-hole event is a $15,000 first-place check.

There was never any doubt that the Adams Tour would be returning to Rayburn Country, after Randy Russell’s $3.2 million makeover for owner Walter Umphrey drew rave reviews from the participants. It stood up well as a test of golf from the young bombers, too, with winner Michael Whitehead posting a higher-than- normal winning score of 12-under-par.

“They turned that into a great golf course,” said West Orange-Stark ex Michael Arnaud, who had recommended Rayburn Country. “One of the Adams Tour guys was asking me about different courses. I told him a place guys would love to go and I’ve heard so much about is Rayburn Country. Everybody was impressed. They thanked me for turning them on to it.

“It’s probably in the top three among the courses we’ll play. They made that a great course. They did everything right from the clubhouse to the golf course. To turn what they had into what it is now is a huge credit. I have to think the Adams Tour will want to keep coming back here for a long time.”

Arnaud, who now lives in Covington, La.,  is back to join Landry, former Beaumonter Anthony Broussard, Lamar ex Casey Clendenon and recent PN-G graduate Lonnie Labove in a field of 84 professionals and three amateurs.

Landry is currently No. 5 on the Adams Tour money list with $28,122.75 in eight tournaments. Clendenon is No. 40, Broussard No. 72 and Arnaud No. 87. Arnaud was the higher finisher among area players last year at Rayburn, placing sixth.

Proof of the talent level on the Adams Tour is personified by Patrick Reed and how quick it can translate to the big show. Last year, Reed played in the inaugural Rayburn Country Open. This year, he won on the PGA Tour and was one of four Adams Tour exes — Chris Stroud, Bubba Watson and Kevin Stadler — who advanced to  the Fed Ex Cup BMW Championship.

For anyone interested in checking out the action at Rayburn Country the next three days, admission is free.

CHIP SHOTS: Following a rash of double eagles, aka alabatross’, in 2012, the rarest of golf’s birds have been absent in Southeast Texas for most of 2013. At least that was the case before Warren Madden of Lumberton struck at Bayou Din on Sunday. Madden sank his 9-iron, second shot on the 426-yard, par 5, 13th on the Bayou Back. Witnesses were David Linney and Les Harrington . . . There was a tie for first in the Babe Zaharias DogFight. The team of Joe Gongora, Brian Grant, Buddy Sepeda and Larry Rogers finished with 20 points. Also amassing 20 points was the foursome of Jim Jordan, Mark Petry, Randy Becker and Hernandez. Closest to the pin winners were Ray Trahan (No. 2), J.R. Humble (No. 7), Becker (No. 12) and Lewell Sullivan (No. 15) . . . The Senior Game at The Babe was played in a two-person, 9-9 format. David English-Dillard Darbonne won First Flight at minus 8, edging Jim Jordan and Harry Green by a shot. In Second Flight, there was a three-way tie at even par between Bob Byerly-Steve Richard, Bill Jones-Gene Noble and Charles Huckaby-Dickie Robinson. Third Flight also ended in a three-way tie, with Robert Lynch-Bob Moore, Stedman Tahaney-Ben Thornton and Paul Bourgeois-Joe Benoit all finishing at plus 5. Closest to the pin winners were Thornton (No. 2), Noble (No. 7), Darbonne (No. 12) and English (No. 15) . . . The Super Saturday Game at The Babe was played in a 2-ball format. On the front nine, the team of Paul Flores, Troy Touchet, Cole Lee and Glenn Marino, the foursome of Jim Jordan, Luke Peddy, Mark Petry and Richard Sibley, and the team of Tony Trevino, Wes McDonald, Charles Leard and Gene Noble all tied at minus 5. On the back the Trevino team tied the foursome of Larry Stansbury, Gerald Huebel, Colby Olson and Paul Brown at minus 8 . . . The Senior 50 Plus Game at The Babe was played in a 2-ball format. The front nine finished in a tie at minus 3 between the team of Tony Trevino, Roger Koch, Billy Thillet and Gene Noble and the foursome of Rick Pritchett, Roger Foster, Danny Wright and Pete Reobroi. The Pritchett team won the back at minus 5.  Raymond Rice finished plus 5 to win the Monday Seniors at Belle Oaks. Rufus Mier and Joe Vanderweg tied for second a plus 1. Rice was the closest to the pin winner on No. 15. In the Friday Seniors at Belle Oaks, Ralph Childress won with plus 4. Barry Jackson was second at plus 3 and Dennis Neef third at plus 2. Norm Shannon took closest to the hole on No. 8.

Golf news should be e-mailed to or faxed to 724-6854.




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  • Bassmaster Elites are coming back

    The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
    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