PORT ARTHUR —
Braden Bailey continues to have a summer to remember. A week after finishing in a tie for eighth in the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, Bailey shot a 148 last week to win the 36-hole tournament that’s tied in to the First Tee’s exclusive Advanced Player Academy in Dallas. The sophomore-to-be at Port Neches-Groves fired rounds of 75-73 over yet another PGA Tour venue — The TPC Four Seasons at Las Colinas. He was one of 24 young people ages 14-to-18 from all over the United States participating in an event stressing both academics and golf proficiency. The icing on the cake for Bailey was seeing his Champions Tour partner from Pebble Beach, Dick Mast, finish 15th in the U.S. Senior Open at Lake Orion, Mich . . . As grumbling local golfers know all too well, play in Southeast Texas the past 10 days has been extremely limited because of non-stop rain, and the resulting soggy conditions. One event that did come off as scheduled was Monday’s Southern Texas PGA Junior Tour tournament at Brentwood Country Club. Tyler Rawson fired a 75 to win Boys 16-18 by four shots over Drake Mosley and Jarrod Brown. Other winners were Tyler Ford in a sudden death playoff over Max Anderson, after both carded 79s in Boys 13-15, Peyton Weems (99 in Boys 10-12), Shelbi Vincent (86 in Girls 16-18) and Karlei Hemler (85 in Girls 16-18) . . . The Super Saturday Game at Babe Zaharias was played in a 4 man, 2 ball format. On the front nine, the team of Bill Hammond, Dave Arnaud, Charles Huckaby and Richard Sibley won with minus 2. That score was also good enough for the team of Larry Padia, Rick Pritchett and Bob Moore to win the back . . . Although he made the cut on the number last week in the John Deere Classic, Chris Stroud’s struggle with consistency continued. Of the 75 players remaining for final 36 holes, the former Lamar All-America was T59 in driving accuracy and T68 in greens in regulation. He offset that somewhat by finishing 23rd in strokes gained putting. Stroud’s ball-striking problem is apparently tied to swing changes he made this year in an attempt to relieve pressure on his left knee. It’s a similar situation to what prompted Tiger Woods to revamp his swing because of knee problems. Heading into this week’s True South Classic in Madison, Miss., Stroud is No. 72 on the money list with $865,665 in earnings and No. 81 in Fed Ex Cup points . . . There are still a limited number of openings for Southeast Texas’ best partnership event — the Neches River Four Ball at Beaumont Country Club this weekend. Although the entry fee is a tad steep at $550, players get considerable value back in pre-tournament gifts. They also get two tournament rounds and a practice round over the well-manicured BCC layout that always features lightning fast greens. Lunch is provided to players on Saturday and Sunday. Teams are flighted by the handicap of their low player and there’s considerable side action to keep things interesting. Anyone who is interested should call the BCC pro shop at 898-7011.
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