The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
AUSTIN -- Although it was too little and too late to overcome Monday’s sub-par performance in the opening round of the 4A state championship, Port Neches-Groves put together a second round Tuesday at Jimmy Clay Municipal that left little doubt it will be one of the teams to beat in 2013.
With freshman Braden Bailey’s one-under-par 71 leading the way, the Indians roared back with a 299 that was topped by only by state champion Austin Lake Travis’ stellar 288, and a 298 by runner-up Dallas Highland Park. The Indians moved up from eighth to sixth with a 36-hole score of 617.
Lake Travis, which had four players in the individual top five, finished with a 588. Highland Park was 13 shots back at 601, followed by Northwest Nelson at 607, Montgomery at 607 and Boerne Champion at 615.
Highland Park’s Scottie Scheffer did win medalist honors with a 140 (68-72), but Lake Travis’ Klein Klotz and Andrew Liu fired the final day’s best rounds of 69 to finish second and tied for third, respectively.
Bailey’s 71, after an opening 80, enabled him to finish tied for 18th at 151. Right on his heels in a tie for 20th at 152, after carding a 73 on Tuesday, was District 20-4A champ Jarrod Brown. Brandon Provost shot 76-156 to tie for 27th and Lonnie LaBove posted his second consecutive 79 for a 158 and a tie for 33rd.
No. 5 man Tyler Rawson, whose score did not count in the team total, added an 80 to an 85 for a 165 and a tie for 43rd.
PN-G, which doesn’t have a senior in its top five, looked for a while like it might make a really dramatic move up the leaderboard. But, after making the turn in a collective plus 2, all four players shot higher on a back nine that ended up plus nine.
Bailey, after making birdies at the par 3, 2nd, the par 4, 6th and the par 4, 8th, was out in 34. He added another birdie on the par 5, 10th, but dropped shots at the par 4, 13th and the par 4, 15. Still, his 71 tied for the day’s third low round.
Brown had the day’s most unusual round, making birdies four birdies on the front — 2, 4, 7 and 8 — but offsetting them with bogeys at 1, 3, 5 and 8. He didn’t make his first par until the 9th hole to turn in 36, than had eight pars and a bogey on the back for a 37.
Provost shot his 76 without the help of a birdie. He had eight pars and a bogey on the front for 37, then carded six pars and three bogeys on the incoming nine for 39.
LaBove was out in 39 with three bogeys. He then sandwiched birdies at 10 and 12 around a bogey at 11 and was only two over through 13 holes. Three consecutive bogeys from 14 through 16 and a double at the 18th saddled him with a 40 on the back.
LC-M’s Brooke Brasseaux, the area’s only entrant in the girls 4A state tournament, improved two shots from her opening round with an 84 and finished tied for 34th at 170. Lindsey McCurdy of Buda Hayes shot 73-140 to win the gold medal by a single shot. Montgomery A, with a 622, edged Northwest Nelson by three strokes, to win the team title. — BOB WEST