, Port Arthur, Texas


April 9, 2013

West golf notepad: Tom Lawton bags fifth hole in one


    According to golf lore, one of the game’s all-time greats, Ben Hogan, never made a hole in one. If true, and my research indicates it is, Hogan is now five aces behind Tom Lawton of Groves. Lawton, 66, got No. 5 last week on the 119-yard, 15th hole at Babe Zaharias. His club of choice was a 9 iron. Witnesses were Robert Bonin, Lee Terro and Lee Soliz. According to Lawton, seeing a tee shot roll into the cup never gets old. “I know a lot of good golfers who never made one,” he said. Yeah, starting with Ben Hogan . . .   Tootie Litchfield of Port Neches, who has probably never been accused of being a good golfer,  can also claim to having made multiple aces. Litchfield, playing in a foursome with Larry Voight, Don Albanese and M.J. Romero Tuesday at Zaharias sank a 7-iron from 125-yards on No. 2. It was his third hole in one . . . Somebody connected to Lamar University’s golf program seems to make news on an almost weekly basis. A month ago, it was former Cardinal Dawie Van Der Walt winning on the European Tour. Then it was Shawn Stefani leading after the first round of the PGA Tour even in Tampa, before eventually tying for 7th. Two weeks ago, Cardinal coach Brian White got considerable attention for a putting lesson that helped D.A. Points win the Shell Houston Open. This past week LU ex M.J. Daffue picked up $22,000 for winning the NGA Pro Golf Tour (formerly the Hooters Tour) NeSmith Chevrolet Classic in Townsend, Ga. Daffue, the 2011 Southland Conference Player of the Year, shot a closing 67 to win by one stroke. While Daffue was winning in Georgia, his fellow South African Van Der Walt narrowly missed picking up a Tour title in the Brasil Classic. Van Der Walt’s final round 66 left him one stroke behind champion Benjamin Alvarado, earned him $72,900 and moved him to 8th place on the money list . . . Most popular college golf tournament in the country might be the Augusta State Invitational? Why is that? Because all players on participating teams get tickets to attend the Monday practice round at the Masters. Among those taking advantage of the Augusta State hospitality this year were players from Texas, Houston, Baylor and TCU. The No. 1 ranked Longhorns edged Augusta State by two shots to win the  tournament . . . The Babe Zaharais DogFight was played in a 4 man, 2 ball format. On the front nine, the team of Tony Trevino, Adam Noel, Ivory Hatch and Harold Wilkinson won with minus 2. On the back, the team of Hilario Padia, Don MacNeil, Charlie Huckaby and Paul Duplantis finished first with minus 3 . . . The Senior Game at The Babe  was played in a 4 person scramble format and wound up in a three way tie. Shooting 63 was the team of Gary Wagner, Cap Hollier, Bill Draughn, Larry Vicknar and Paul Bourgeois, the team of Rick Pritchett, Don MacNeil, Bill Fears and Charlie Huckaby and the foursome of Gerald Huebel, Jim Cooper, Ted Estes and L.J. Hardy. Closest to the pin winners were Gene Hardy (No. 2), MacNeil (No. 7, No. 15) and  L.J. Hardy (No. 12) . . . The Super Saturday Game at The Babe was played in a 2-ball format. The foursome of Thad Borne, Tom Lawton, Lowell Benoit and Ted Estes won the front with minus 2. On the back, minus 1 won for Randy Monk, Rick Pritchett, Don MacNeil and Dan Flood . . . Major Rising finished plus 2 to win the Monday Seniors at Belle Oaks. Jim Brown and Mike Hebert tied for third at plus 1. Bill Taylor was the closest to the pin winner on No. 8 and No. 15 . . . In the Friday Seniors at Belle Oaks, Brown won with plus 5. Joe Vanderweg was second at plus 4 . . . Entry deadline is nearing for the Nederland Heritage Festival tournament set for Saturday at Babe Zaharias (best ball) and Sunday at Bayou Din (scramble). Entry fee is $100 per team for the two-man competition, with all of that going to the prize fund. Not included in the entry is cart or greens fee. Teams will be flighted by the low handicap player, with an 8 a.m. shotgun planned both days. Anyone wishing to enter can call the Zaharias pro shop (722-8286) until 7 p.m. Thursday . . . Also upcoming this weekend is the Port Arthur Sertoma Club Scramble Friday at Belle Oaks. Proceeds benefit Southeast Texans with speech and hearing difficulties. Contact person is Holly Hinds at 728-6206 . . . On tap for Saturday, April 20 is the Estelle and Allen Fetters Center Scramble at Belle Oaks and the Memorial High School PTSA Scramble at Babe Zaharias. Entry fee for the Fetters Center tourney is $50 per person or $200 per team. Contact Leroy Falcon (962-5047 or 960-2475) or Mike Melancon (962-4755 or 289-1781). The Memorial PTSA event has an entry of $60 per player and golfers are asked to consider sponsoring a Memorial golfer. Contact Emanuel Preston (363-1979) or Cheryl Harkless (365-8305).

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


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