, Port Arthur, Texas


April 9, 2013

West golf notepad: Tom Lawton bags fifth hole in one


    According to golf lore, one of the game’s all-time greats, Ben Hogan, never made a hole in one. If true, and my research indicates it is, Hogan is now five aces behind Tom Lawton of Groves. Lawton, 66, got No. 5 last week on the 119-yard, 15th hole at Babe Zaharias. His club of choice was a 9 iron. Witnesses were Robert Bonin, Lee Terro and Lee Soliz. According to Lawton, seeing a tee shot roll into the cup never gets old. “I know a lot of good golfers who never made one,” he said. Yeah, starting with Ben Hogan . . .   Tootie Litchfield of Port Neches, who has probably never been accused of being a good golfer,  can also claim to having made multiple aces. Litchfield, playing in a foursome with Larry Voight, Don Albanese and M.J. Romero Tuesday at Zaharias sank a 7-iron from 125-yards on No. 2. It was his third hole in one . . . Somebody connected to Lamar University’s golf program seems to make news on an almost weekly basis. A month ago, it was former Cardinal Dawie Van Der Walt winning on the European Tour. Then it was Shawn Stefani leading after the first round of the PGA Tour even in Tampa, before eventually tying for 7th. Two weeks ago, Cardinal coach Brian White got considerable attention for a putting lesson that helped D.A. Points win the Shell Houston Open. This past week LU ex M.J. Daffue picked up $22,000 for winning the NGA Pro Golf Tour (formerly the Hooters Tour) NeSmith Chevrolet Classic in Townsend, Ga. Daffue, the 2011 Southland Conference Player of the Year, shot a closing 67 to win by one stroke. While Daffue was winning in Georgia, his fellow South African Van Der Walt narrowly missed picking up a Tour title in the Brasil Classic. Van Der Walt’s final round 66 left him one stroke behind champion Benjamin Alvarado, earned him $72,900 and moved him to 8th place on the money list . . . Most popular college golf tournament in the country might be the Augusta State Invitational? Why is that? Because all players on participating teams get tickets to attend the Monday practice round at the Masters. Among those taking advantage of the Augusta State hospitality this year were players from Texas, Houston, Baylor and TCU. The No. 1 ranked Longhorns edged Augusta State by two shots to win the  tournament . . . The Babe Zaharais DogFight was played in a 4 man, 2 ball format. On the front nine, the team of Tony Trevino, Adam Noel, Ivory Hatch and Harold Wilkinson won with minus 2. On the back, the team of Hilario Padia, Don MacNeil, Charlie Huckaby and Paul Duplantis finished first with minus 3 . . . The Senior Game at The Babe  was played in a 4 person scramble format and wound up in a three way tie. Shooting 63 was the team of Gary Wagner, Cap Hollier, Bill Draughn, Larry Vicknar and Paul Bourgeois, the team of Rick Pritchett, Don MacNeil, Bill Fears and Charlie Huckaby and the foursome of Gerald Huebel, Jim Cooper, Ted Estes and L.J. Hardy. Closest to the pin winners were Gene Hardy (No. 2), MacNeil (No. 7, No. 15) and  L.J. Hardy (No. 12) . . . The Super Saturday Game at The Babe was played in a 2-ball format. The foursome of Thad Borne, Tom Lawton, Lowell Benoit and Ted Estes won the front with minus 2. On the back, minus 1 won for Randy Monk, Rick Pritchett, Don MacNeil and Dan Flood . . . Major Rising finished plus 2 to win the Monday Seniors at Belle Oaks. Jim Brown and Mike Hebert tied for third at plus 1. Bill Taylor was the closest to the pin winner on No. 8 and No. 15 . . . In the Friday Seniors at Belle Oaks, Brown won with plus 5. Joe Vanderweg was second at plus 4 . . . Entry deadline is nearing for the Nederland Heritage Festival tournament set for Saturday at Babe Zaharias (best ball) and Sunday at Bayou Din (scramble). Entry fee is $100 per team for the two-man competition, with all of that going to the prize fund. Not included in the entry is cart or greens fee. Teams will be flighted by the low handicap player, with an 8 a.m. shotgun planned both days. Anyone wishing to enter can call the Zaharias pro shop (722-8286) until 7 p.m. Thursday . . . Also upcoming this weekend is the Port Arthur Sertoma Club Scramble Friday at Belle Oaks. Proceeds benefit Southeast Texans with speech and hearing difficulties. Contact person is Holly Hinds at 728-6206 . . . On tap for Saturday, April 20 is the Estelle and Allen Fetters Center Scramble at Belle Oaks and the Memorial High School PTSA Scramble at Babe Zaharias. Entry fee for the Fetters Center tourney is $50 per person or $200 per team. Contact Leroy Falcon (962-5047 or 960-2475) or Mike Melancon (962-4755 or 289-1781). The Memorial PTSA event has an entry of $60 per player and golfers are asked to consider sponsoring a Memorial golfer. Contact Emanuel Preston (363-1979) or Cheryl Harkless (365-8305).

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


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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

    July 23, 2014

  • Mid County knocked out of tournament

    The Mid County 16-18 Babe Ruth squad’s run to the World Series is over.

    July 22, 2014

  • West golf notepad: West duo claims title in Texas Father-Son

    July 22, 2014

  • Mid County sets up championship series with Tri County

    The Southwest Regional Babe Ruth championship series is set and yes the hometown Mid County squad will be there to play.

    July 21, 2014

  • MC Babe Ruth goes 2-0

    First things first, give Clint Landry and the rest of the officials credit for making the Southwest Regional Babe Ruth tournament possible this weekend at Nederland High School.

    July 19, 2014

  • Up the odds for solid bank fishing

    There are certain limitations to fishing without a boat.

    July 19, 2014

  • Derek Williams, Summer Money League light up the lanes at Max Bowl

    Thursday nights Summer Money League produced some very impressive scores.

    July 19, 2014

  • West column: Pacers hiring Pat Knight didn't help Lamar

    July 19, 2014

  • Babe Ruth.jpg Mid County Babe Ruth set to host Southwest Regional

    The Mid County Babe Ruth 18U team is once again knocking on the World Series door. Mid County will host the Southwest Regional at Nederland High School starting today. Mid County’s first game of the tournament is slated for 7 p.m. Friday against Pine Bluff, Ark. Thursday was a special day for Mid County Babe Ruth as two locals, Jimmy Collins (shown speaking) and Skip Hopkins (back left) were inducated intot he Southwest Regional Babe Ruth Hall of Fame. Both Hopkins and Collins have been involved in Babe Ruth for over 40 consecutive years either as player, coach or board member. There are nine teams in the tournament with the winner headed to Washington state for the World Series.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • West golf notepad: Eleven-year-old Henry scores ace in YMBL tourney

    July 15, 2014

From the Fieldhouse blog