, Port Arthur, Texas


February 26, 2013

West golf notepad: Inagaki, Riley bag an Albatross on same day


    It was open season on the Albatross, aka double eagle, Sunday on golf courses in Southeast Texas.

    The game’s rarest bird, which sometimes goes a whole year without making an appearance, got bagged at both Bayou Din and Wildwood. Byron Inagaki of Bridge City meet Woodville native and former college baseball star Braden Riley.

    Inagaki, who matriculated to Southeast Texas from Hawaii via the Coast Guard, got his albatross by holing his tee shot on the 274-yard, par 4, 16th at Bayou Din. Riley’s double eagle was a bit more conventional, if that’s the right word for going three-under par on one hole. He sank his 210-yard second with a 4-iron on the 485-yard, par 5, 11th at Wildwood.

    “I was lucky,” said Inagaki, who didn’t see his ball roll into the cup on the dogleg left of the Bayou Back. “I saw the drive land on the cart path and take a big bounce. When we got to the green and didn’t see the ball, I figured it had rolled over. We looked behind the green, then I said, ‘well, maybe it’s in the hole.’ Sure enough it was.”

    For Inagaki, who said he doesn’t have an established handicap but usually shoots in the high 70s, it was his fourth hole-in-one. The aces have come in Houston in a Coast Guard tournament, on No. 7 at Bayou Din and No. 2 at Babe Zaharias. The latest and most spectacular of those aces was witnessed by David Thornes.

    Riley, meanwhile, was able to say he saw his against-the-odds shot fall into the cup.

    “I watched it all the way,” he said. “It was a pretty cool thing to see. I hit a little bit of a fade into the wind. It hopped once, landed about a foot from the hole and rolled in. I’d never seen a double eagle, but I was watching when Louis Oosthuizen made his on No. 2 at the Masters last year.”

    For the 24-year-old Riley, who says he’s pretty much a scratch player, the shot touched off a family celebration. He was playing with his dad, Martin Riley, his brother-in-law, T.J. Lingle and close friend Ted Borowski.

    Prior to the albatross, his most memorable shot was a hole-in-one at Dogwood in Woodville when he was 9.

    An assistant superintendent at Houston Country Club, Riley is better known for his hitting prowess as a baseball player at Sam Houston State. The highlight of his collegiate career was hitting .387 as sophomore for the Bearkats and leading Division 1 in total hits.

    CHIP SHOTS: Ryan Mireles of Sour Lake won Boys 16-18 in the sixth and final stop on The First Tee of the Golden Triangle /Southeast Texas PGA Junior Winter Tour at Bayou Din. The 36-hole event, titled the Karlei Hemler Juniors Against Cancer Tournament, saw Mireles shoot 151 (73-78), then need a sudden-death playoff to get past Jeffrey Roundtree of Lumberton. Other flight winners were Felicia Sauceda of Nederland (159 in Girls 16-18), Josh Elmore of Port Arthur (168 in Boys 14-15), Ashley Young of Orange (213 in Girls 14-15), Peyton Weems of Lumberton (179 in Boys 12-13), Jack Burke of Orange (92 in Boys 10-11, 9 holes) and Micah Depew of Kountze (84 in Boys 7-9, modified tees) . . .  Chris Stroud, who made only one cut and $13,392 in five tournaments on the PGA Tour’s West Coast swing, returns to action this week at the Honda Classic. Stroud should have good vibes playing the PGA National Champion layout in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., seeing as how he finished T9, collected $153,000 and became the first player to ever birdie the par 3, 17th hole at the back end of what’s called the Bear Trap in all four rounds . . . More good news rolled in last week for the March 28-31 Shell Houston Open. With three of the top 10 in World Golf Association Rankings — No. 1 Rory McIlroy, No. 5 Louis Oosthuizen and No. 8 Lee Westwood — already commited, the SHO got word that No. 9 Phil Mickelson, who won at Redstone in 2011, and No. 15 Keegan Bradley intend to compete in Houston. Players have until March 22 to commit . . . The Babe Zaharais DogFight ended in a tie between the team of Adam Noel, Jim Cooper, Cap Hollier and Gary Anderson (13&2) and the team of Roland Burris, Gary White, Charlie Huckaby and Jobie Irvine (13&0). Closest to the pin winners were Earl Richard (No. 2, No. 12, No. 15) and Steve Picou (No. 7) . . . The Super Saturday Game at The Babe was played in a two best ball format. On the front, the team of Gerald Huebel, Rick Pritchett, Harrell Guidry and Dan Flood finished minus 4 to edge the team of Bill Henley, Alex Espinoza, Harry Green and Larry Vicknair by one shot. On the back the Henley team won with minus 2, edging the foursome of Adam Noel, Raymond Darbonne, Thad Borne and Charlie Huckaby and the team of Craig Fontenot, Gene Rountree, Lowell Benoit and Steve Cameron by a stroke . . . The Babe Senior 50 Plus Game, played in a two-ball format, ended in a sweep of both nines by the team of Bill Hamond, Cap Hollier, L. Johnson and Pete Reobroi. They were minus 1 and on the front and minus 3 on the back . . . Jim Brown and Bill Taylor tied for first at plus 5 in the Friday Seniors at Belle Oaks. Rain washed out the Monday Seniors . . . Jerry Honza, executive director of The First Tee of the Golden Triangle, plans to put together a Junior Boot Camp during spring break week (March 11-15) for junior high and high school golfers. Cost, schedule and other details will be announced in next week’s Golf Plus. Interested parties can contact him ahead of time at . . . Head pro Richard Cockrell has announced a fee change for Wildwood Golf Club. New rates are $22 for Monday-Tuesday, $26 for Wednesday-Friday and $30 for Saturday-Sunday. Afternoon rates remain $22 for rounds that being after 1 p.m. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, seniors get $3 off the regular fee.

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




Text Only
  • West column: Results, not words needed for The Palms, Belle Oaks

    July 29, 2014

  • Despite obstacles, progress is being made at The Palms

    July 29, 2014

  • West golf notepad: Barbaso claims first win in Boys 16-18

    July 29, 2014

  • Trophy stab 1.jpg WEST COLUMN: Bum Phillips trophy an impressive piece of work

    There was lots of excitement around the Port Arthur News this week, with the long-awaited delivery of the magnificent Bum Phillips trophy that will be presented annually to the winner of the Nederland-Port Neches-Groves football game.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ned 13U Babe Ruth wins

    It was a much better day Saturday for the Nederland 13U Babe Ruth team compared to Friday.

    July 26, 2014

  • MOORE COLUMN: Flounder dream started in Bridge City

    The first flounder that grabbed my attention lived in what is now the Lower Neches Wildlife Management Area in Bridge City. 

    July 26, 2014

  • TODORA COLUMN: Hermsen rattles racks in Monday Seniors League at Max Bowl

    Mondays Seniors League had some nice scores this past week. Rick Hermsen started with a 263, finished with a 270 and fit in a 212 in the middle for a nice 745.

    July 26, 2014

  • ESTRADA COLUMN: PED update /Key injuries with contrasting outcomes

    The results of Saturday night’s UFC on Fox: Lawler vs. Brown event were not available as of the time of this writing. It will be covered in a future column.

    July 26, 2014

  • Nederland 13U Babe Ruth loses 9-0

    The Nederland 13U Babe Ruth team lost 9-0 Friday to Bryant.

    July 25, 2014

  • 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

From the Fieldhouse blog