, Port Arthur, Texas


May 27, 2014

West golf notepad: First Tee salutes top high school players, leaders

PORT ARTHUR — PN-G’s Braden Bailey (Boys Player of Year), LC-M’s Lauren Cox (Girls POY), Memorial’s Ralf Barbaso (Boys Leadership) and Nederland’s Reagan Bodin (Girls Leader) were the winners at Friday night’s Babe Didrikson Zaharias Junior Golfer of the Year Banquet co-hosted by The First Tee of the Golden Triangle and the Babe Zaharias Foundation. Special recognition also went to Silsbee’s Allison Davis for qualifing for the state tournament four consecutive years and to Legacy Christian’s James Garret for winning his state championship. Finalists in the four award categories heard Zaharias Foundation president W.L. Pate Sr., talk about the Babe, then listened to guest speak Terry Garth Jr., discuss his father — Terry Garth Sr. — qualifying for the 1941 U.S. Open at 15 years of age. Garth also talked about his favorite aspects of golf and the overall greatness of the game. First Tee head honcho Jerry Honza, as he always does, delivered a memorable event for those involved . . . Chris Stroud was unable to score his first PGA Tour victory Sunday in Fort Worth, but a former PN-G golfer did win a professional tournament. Adam Landry, who played at Lamar, then transferred to Arkansas, birdied the 72nd hole to win the Adams Tour’s Bay Oaks Open by one stroke over Michael Smith, Brian Rowell and David Lee. Landry, whose best finish in five previous Adams Tour events this year was T26, pocketed $15,000 after rounds of 69-68-66-69. His 36-hole total of 272 was 16-under-par at Houston’s Bay Oaks Country Club. Beaumonter Anthony Broussard finished 6th at 275 and West Orange-Stark ex Michael Arnaud finished T16 . . . Stroud, meanwhile, after riding a sizzling putter to a tie for the 54-hole lead, closed with a two-over-par 72 and had to settle for a T14. His downfall during a final round that saw him play much better tee to green than he had all week, ironically, was the flat stick that got him in contention. Following rounds when his totals were 23, 24 and 29, he took 33 putts on Sunday. Included were three missed par putts inside 9 feet and four missed birdies from 8 to 13 feet. Stroud was tied for the lead through eight holes of the final round, but a three-putt bogey on nine started him sliding down the crowded leaderboard. He did receive a nice consolation prize with a check for $102,400 that boosted his season winnings to $1,324,082, but at this stage of his career it’s as much or more about Fed Ex points and moving up in the world ratings than money. Chris will be back in action Thursday at Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament in Columbus, Ohio, then will play in a Monday sectional qualifier for the U.S. Open in Columbus . . . CBS’ Jim Nantz was well armed with material on Stroud for Sunday’s telecast but didn’t get to use much of it because he wasn’t in contention coming down the stretch. Nantz, provided Lamar golf coach Brian White’s phone number by a certain golf writer in Southeast Texas, had a lengthy conversation about Stroud with White after Saturday’s round. While a network guy like Nantz always hopes for a finish with name players like Adam Scott and Jason Dufner that will boost ratings, I’m convinced he was silently rooting for Stroud. “Wish he had played better today. Good guy. He will win soon!,” Jim e-mailed me Sunday night . . . Josh LaBove of Port Neches and Harrell Guidry of Groves both scored aces last week at Babe Zaharias. LaBove’s second hole in one came with a 5-iron from 175 yards on No. 12. Witnesses were Lonnie LaBove, Brandon LaBove and Scott Meents. Guidry, playing in the Babe Zaharias DogFight, recorded his hole in one from 118-yards on No. 15, using an 8-iron. It was also his second ace. The shot  was witnessed by Bill Hanley, Richard Sibley and Carl Certa . . . The foursome  of Roddy Richards, Brad Gilmore, Darrell Latiolais and Marr Magnuson teamed for a 52 to win the Bridge City Strutters Scramble at Babe Zaharias. Second with a 57 was the team of Kirk Roccaforte, Andy Meshwere, Kevin Mott and Mike Johnson. Closest to the pin winners were Richards on No. 2 and Tray Tate on No. 12 . . . The team of Craig Fontenot, Raymond Darbonne, Roger Koch and Bud Auffurth, playing a 2-ball format, won the front nine of the Senior 50 Plus Game at The Babe with minus 6. On the back, minus 5 won for Adam Noel, Larry Johnson, A. Sterling and B. Hernandez . . . The Babe Zaharias Dogfight was won with 18 points by the team of Jay Hampson, Bill Hanley, Ron Overstreet and David Strugal. There was a three-way tied for second. Closest to the pin winners were Richard Sibley (No. 2), Bryan Grant (No. 7), Harrell Guidry (ace on 12) and Adam Noel (15) . . . The Senior Game at The Babe was played in a points format, with the team of Larry Johnson, Robert Lynch, John Overland, Tommy Linder and Larry Rogers winning with 21 points. Second with 11 points was the team of Larry Thompson, Bill Avery, Paul Duplantis and Ben Thornton. Closest to the pin winners were Duplantis (No. 2), Thompson (No. 7), Joe Vanderweg (No. 12) and Ron Overstreet (No. 15) . . . The Super Saturday Game at The Babe was played in a 2-ball format, with the team of Adam Noel, Raymond Darbonne and Dillard Darbonne tying the foursome of Paul Flores, Cap Hillier, Ryan Thompson and Dwain Sibley on the front at minus 3. On the back, the Flores team with minus 5 . . . Entries are being taken for the 4th Annual Roy Esquivel Three-Person Scramble Saturday, June 7 at Brentwood Country Club. The fee is $60 per person and covers all costs. Entry forms are available by calling Brentwood CC (840-9440), Billy or Barbara Curl (727-5688), Randy or Paul Poulter (727-7004, Lane or Mickie Emmett (727-7453) or Hayden White (749-4917).

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