, Port Arthur, Texas


July 10, 2012

Stroud's season hits speed bump after fast start


    If things had been going better of late, Chris Stroud probably would have skipped this week’s John Deere Classic. Recent struggles, however, dictated that he play the Silvis, Ill., event, as well as next week’s tour stop in Madison, Miss. Since finishing T24 at New Orleans in late April, the former Lamar All-America has made it to the weekend in just two of seven starts. His only paychecks are for a T13 at Colonial on May 27 and a T37 at the Travelers on June 24. As a result, he’s dropped to No. 72 on the money list and No. 77 in Fed Ex points. Thanks to a strong start, it’s been a good year overall but some opportunities could be slipping away. The major red flag in Chris’ stats are being No. 145 in greens in regulation percentage and No. 91 in driving accuracy. In his early years on tour, those were strong points. The flip side is that he’s No. 1 in scrambling and No. 17 in strokes gained putting. One obvious explanation for Stroud’s recent struggles is the life adjustment necessitated by a month-old second daughter . . . Beaumont attorney Walter Umphrey had to be feeling pretty good last week after a publication called Golf, Inc. announced its ratings for 2012 public course renovations. Randy Russell’s $3.2 million facelift at Umphrey’s Rayburn Country, glowingly reviewed in this space last month, was ranked No. 2 in the nation behind the $5 million fix-up job on the Bridges at Poplar Creek in Hoffman Estates, Ill. Another Texas track, Pecan Hollow in Plano, was ranked No. 3 Pinehurst No. 2 received honorable mention . . .  Due to the rains of the past week, meanwhile, there’s been little activity on the area scene. In the Senior Game at The Babe, played in a four person, two ball format, the team of Bob Moore, Dillard Darbonne, Guy Vancleave, Maurice Ross and Harold Wilkinson won with minus 3. Second at minus 1 was the team of Rick Pritchett, Lee Bertrand, Billy Mack and Charlie Huckaby. Closest to the pin winners were Joe Benoit (No. 2, No. 15), Larry Foster (No. 7) and Larry Morris (No. 15) . . . The Senior 50 Plus Game at The Patch was played in a 2 ball format. On the front nine, the team of Dennis Walsh, Greg Morgan, Don Storey and Glen Frederick placed first at minus 10. The back was won in minus 9 by the team of Charles Cooksey, Dr. Jay Pfister, David Guarnere, Wes McGuire and Tommy Lemire . . . In last week’s Senior 50 Plus Game, the team of Walsh, Ron Theriot, Gerald Huebel and Keith Rochua won the front in minus 9 and tied the back in minus 11. Also posting minus 11 on the back was the team of Jimmy Fetters, Richard McClelland, Joe Castleman and Tommy Lemire . . . Highlight of the month at The Patch was Charles Cooksey firing a 64 to finish one stroke  under his age . . . The YMBL Junior Classic scheduled for Monday and Tuesday was rained out. No word on plans to reschedule it.

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