, Port Arthur, Texas

September 17, 2013

West golf notepad: Rayburn Country hosting Adams Pro Tour Series

Bob West
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — Port Neches-Groves and Arkansas ex Andrew Landry heads a five-player area contingent that teed off Tuesday in Adams Pro Golf Tour Series’ 2nd Annual Rayburn Country Open. Up for grabs in the 72-hole event is a $15,000 first-place check.

There was never any doubt that the Adams Tour would be returning to Rayburn Country, after Randy Russell’s $3.2 million makeover for owner Walter Umphrey drew rave reviews from the participants. It stood up well as a test of golf from the young bombers, too, with winner Michael Whitehead posting a higher-than- normal winning score of 12-under-par.

“They turned that into a great golf course,” said West Orange-Stark ex Michael Arnaud, who had recommended Rayburn Country. “One of the Adams Tour guys was asking me about different courses. I told him a place guys would love to go and I’ve heard so much about is Rayburn Country. Everybody was impressed. They thanked me for turning them on to it.

“It’s probably in the top three among the courses we’ll play. They made that a great course. They did everything right from the clubhouse to the golf course. To turn what they had into what it is now is a huge credit. I have to think the Adams Tour will want to keep coming back here for a long time.”

Arnaud, who now lives in Covington, La.,  is back to join Landry, former Beaumonter Anthony Broussard, Lamar ex Casey Clendenon and recent PN-G graduate Lonnie Labove in a field of 84 professionals and three amateurs.

Landry is currently No. 5 on the Adams Tour money list with $28,122.75 in eight tournaments. Clendenon is No. 40, Broussard No. 72 and Arnaud No. 87. Arnaud was the higher finisher among area players last year at Rayburn, placing sixth.

Proof of the talent level on the Adams Tour is personified by Patrick Reed and how quick it can translate to the big show. Last year, Reed played in the inaugural Rayburn Country Open. This year, he won on the PGA Tour and was one of four Adams Tour exes — Chris Stroud, Bubba Watson and Kevin Stadler — who advanced to  the Fed Ex Cup BMW Championship.

For anyone interested in checking out the action at Rayburn Country the next three days, admission is free.

CHIP SHOTS: Following a rash of double eagles, aka alabatross’, in 2012, the rarest of golf’s birds have been absent in Southeast Texas for most of 2013. At least that was the case before Warren Madden of Lumberton struck at Bayou Din on Sunday. Madden sank his 9-iron, second shot on the 426-yard, par 5, 13th on the Bayou Back. Witnesses were David Linney and Les Harrington . . . There was a tie for first in the Babe Zaharias DogFight. The team of Joe Gongora, Brian Grant, Buddy Sepeda and Larry Rogers finished with 20 points. Also amassing 20 points was the foursome of Jim Jordan, Mark Petry, Randy Becker and Hernandez. Closest to the pin winners were Ray Trahan (No. 2), J.R. Humble (No. 7), Becker (No. 12) and Lewell Sullivan (No. 15) . . . The Senior Game at The Babe was played in a two-person, 9-9 format. David English-Dillard Darbonne won First Flight at minus 8, edging Jim Jordan and Harry Green by a shot. In Second Flight, there was a three-way tie at even par between Bob Byerly-Steve Richard, Bill Jones-Gene Noble and Charles Huckaby-Dickie Robinson. Third Flight also ended in a three-way tie, with Robert Lynch-Bob Moore, Stedman Tahaney-Ben Thornton and Paul Bourgeois-Joe Benoit all finishing at plus 5. Closest to the pin winners were Thornton (No. 2), Noble (No. 7), Darbonne (No. 12) and English (No. 15) . . . The Super Saturday Game at The Babe was played in a 2-ball format. On the front nine, the team of Paul Flores, Troy Touchet, Cole Lee and Glenn Marino, the foursome of Jim Jordan, Luke Peddy, Mark Petry and Richard Sibley, and the team of Tony Trevino, Wes McDonald, Charles Leard and Gene Noble all tied at minus 5. On the back the Trevino team tied the foursome of Larry Stansbury, Gerald Huebel, Colby Olson and Paul Brown at minus 8 . . . The Senior 50 Plus Game at The Babe was played in a 2-ball format. The front nine finished in a tie at minus 3 between the team of Tony Trevino, Roger Koch, Billy Thillet and Gene Noble and the foursome of Rick Pritchett, Roger Foster, Danny Wright and Pete Reobroi. The Pritchett team won the back at minus 5.  Raymond Rice finished plus 5 to win the Monday Seniors at Belle Oaks. Rufus Mier and Joe Vanderweg tied for second a plus 1. Rice was the closest to the pin winner on No. 15. In the Friday Seniors at Belle Oaks, Ralph Childress won with plus 4. Barry Jackson was second at plus 3 and Dennis Neef third at plus 2. Norm Shannon took closest to the hole on No. 8.

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