PORT ARTHUR —
Jerry Honza, who has done a terrific job in his role as Executive Director of The First Tee of the Golden Triangle, has agreed to assume extra duties in the sphere of junior golf. Honza is replacing former Bayou Din head pro Clint Martin as Director of the Beaumont area of the Southern Texas PGA Junior Tour.
Martin, who had held or shared the position with Ed Campbell the past 10 years, decided to get out of the golf business last summer. Honza, a former head pro at Belle Oaks, was the logical choice because of his role with The First Tee.
“Ed asked me if I’d be interested,” said Honza. “The job description looked pretty much like what I do every day. It’s exciting for me to have a chance to become even more involved with junior golf.”
Honza’s prime responsibilty with the STPGA will be to stage its weekly summer junior tour events around Southeast Texas. He’s already doing basically the same thing with The First Tee’s Junior Winter Tour that will be wrapping up its six-tournament run Saturday at Bayou Din.
“There is no conflict at all in me doing this,” Honza said. “The First Tee by design does not schedule tournaments in June, July or August in deference to the STPGA. Our big thing in the summer months is camps and clinics. We’ve reached a point with area club pros on that to where they handle much of the day-to-day sessions.
“More often than not, I drop by the STPGA tournaments to watch, check scores, pat a kid on the back and lend a hand if needed. The only real differences will be setting up tee times and getting results to the media. I’m used to doing that on the Winter Tour.”
Honza said his primary goal, which is pretty much an extension of his First Tee efforts, will be increasing participation.
“I need to sit down and try to figure out what it will take to get new kids involved,” he said. “We see so many of the same kids year after year, but it’s important for new faces to be out there. A lot of kids play golf but there is a smaller number who play tournament golf.
“What I need to be able to do is educate parents on how easy it is to be involved. It’s all about the more the merrier.”
CHIP SHOTS: Corey East of Sulphur, La., invaded the Southeast Texas Junior Winter Tour Saturday and slipped away with the championship of Boys 16-18. East shot a 79 at Brentwood Country Club to clip Ralph Barbaso by one shot. Other flight winners included Reid Whaley (90 in Girls 16-18), Brice Perryman (76 in Boys 14-15), Jack Burke (76 in Boys 12-13), Micah Depew (36 co-ed 10-11, 9 holes) and Will Thillet (31 in co-ed 7-9, 6 holes) . . . PN-G freshman Karlei Hemler competed in the STPGA/Prestige Tour College Golf Camp of America Kick Off tournament at Gleannloch Pines Golf Club in Spring over the weekend. Hemler shot a 36-hole total in gusty conditions to place fifth among 12 players in Girls 13-15 . . . The Senior 50 Plus Game at Babe Zaharias was played in a 2-ball format Monday, with the team of Gary Whitfill, Wes McDonald, Bud Auffurth and Terry Johnson winning the front at minus 6. On the back, the team of Craig Fonteno, Adam Noel, Dennis Wright and Gene Hardy won the back with minus 4 . . . Rufus Mier finished plus 4 to win the Monday Seniors Points Game at Belle Oaks. Jim Brown was second at plus 4. Joe Vanderweg and Twyman Ash tied for third at plus 2. Brown was the closest to the pin winner on No. 8 . . . In the Friday Senior Game at Belle Oaks, Ash won with minus 3. Brown and Mier tied for second at minus 5. There was no closest to the pin winner . . . The Senior Game at the Babe was played in a fourperson scramble format. Winning team at minus 8 was the fivesome of Adam Noel, Charlie Huckaby, Bob Moore, Joe Benoit and Paul Bourgeois. Tied for second at minus 7 was the team of Harry Green, Larry Johnson, Joe Cormer and Larry Rogers and the foursome of David English, Don MacNeil, Jim Cooper and Ron Overstreet. Closest to the pin winners were Moore (No. 2) and Rick Pritchett (No. 12) . . . The Super Saturday Game at The Babe was played in a 2-ball format. On the front, the team of Tony Trevino, Wes McDonald, Cap Holler and Ryan Thompson came in first at minus three. There was a two-way tie for second. On the back, the team of Randy Monk, David English, Larry Johnson and Charlie Huckaby won with minus 4. Second at minus 1 was the foursome of Rick Brunner, Rick Pritchett, Dillard Darbonne and Dan Flood.
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