PORT ARTHUR — Somerville’s death leaves pall over Jackson tourney
Amidst all the triumph and joy of a golf tournament that raised over $20,000 toward the bills stacking up from Belle Oaks pro Bryan Jackson’s cancer treatment, an incredibly sad story played out with the death of one of the event’s committee members.
Ron Somerville of Port Arthur, who worked tirelessly to help make the
tournament a success, passed away Sunday at a Houston hosptial.
For Jackson, who had become close friends with Somerville in recent
years, the news was devastating.
“That man meant the world to me,” Jackson said Tuesday morning. “I must have cried for an hour when I was told Ron had died. He had the
biggest heart in the world. He was such a giving person, always doing something for somebody and never wanting anything in return.
“He was living with and taking care of both of his parents. He took his dad
to kidney dialysis three times a week. He’d take him early in the morning,
then come out and play in the Senior Game. I’ve dreamed about Ron the last
two nights. This is just sad beyond words.”
Somerville’s death came nine days after he’d collapsed following a round of golf at Belle Oaks on July 26. Three days prior to that, he’d participated in a planning meeting for the golf tournament. He showed up with items to put into the silent auction and was enthusiastic about the progress that had been made to date.
A 1965 graduate of Port Arthur’s now defunct Bishop Byrne HighSchool, Somerville will long be remembered at Belle Oaks, and not just for his thoughtful actions and outgoing disposition. To perpetuate his memory, Joe Vanderweg of Jiffy Trophies in Nederland is donating a plaque that will be placed on the 15th tee.
A memorial service is planned for Monday at 4 p.m. at Levingston Funeral Home in Groves.
CHIP SHOTS: Chris Stroud arrived in Rochester, N.Y. Monday, got in some practice for this week’s PGA Championship and indicated a recent injury to his left heel should not be a problem. “The heel is much better, after staying off of it most of last week,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to hamper me at all.” Stroud, after his first look at Oak Hill Country Club, called the golf course “a beast”, said it reminds him of a hilly Colonial Country Club (Fort Worth), and indicated it has the thickest rough he’s seen in years. “It’s tree lined and the rough is going to be an issue,” he said . . . Ben Thornton, playing in the Senior 50 Plus Game at Belle Oaks on Monday, made his second hole in one. Thornton sank an 8-iron from 119 yards. Witnesses were Butch Pittman, Cap Hollier and David English . . . The Senior 50 Plus Game was played in a two-ball format, with the team of Jimmy Fetters, Mimi Rose, Paul Duplantis and Richard Sibley winning the front in minus 8. On the back, there was a four-way tie at minus 2. In that traffic jam were the Fetters team, the team of Larry Thompson, Wadsworth Thompson, Larry Voight and Marc Petry, the team of Gerald Huebel, Rick Pritchett, Gary Wagner and Gene Noble and the team of Dennis Walsh, Pat Waite, B. Thillet and J. Selensky . . . Recent PN-G graduate Jarrod Brown fired a two-under par 69 to edge former Indian teammate Brandon Soileau by one stroke and Nederland’s Thaine Tilllie by two shots in Boys 16-18 in the Southern Texas PGA Junior Tour stop at Bayou Din. Other winners included Drake Dodson of Vidor, who bested Seth Morgan in a playoff after both posted 75 in Boys 13-15, Jack Burke (78 in Boys 10-12), Courtney Shaw (88 in Girls 16-18) and Karlei Hemler (76 in Girls 13-15) . . . On Tuesday, the STPGA Junior Tour moved to Babe Zaharias and Ralf Barbaso of Port Arthur won Boys 16-18 with a 71. Tillie and Brown tied for second with 76s. Dodson won again in Boys 13-15 with 71, while Brittany Leatherwood of Nederland took Girls 16-18 with a 96 and Caroline Zebre of College Station won Girls 13-15 with an 86. . . . The threesome of Cody Metts, Clint Martin and Ben Sherrod teamed up for a 60 to win First Flight in the Port Arthur Sertoma Club Bryan Jackson Benefit Tournament. Tying for second with 61s were the team of Rob Long, Seve Long and Lance Matthews and the trio of Charles Heider, Richard Scully and Price Youngs. Second Flight was won with a 59 by the team of Richard Briggs, David Girouard and Dennis Walsh. Carding a 61 to finish second was the threesome of Robert Bodin, Reagan Bodin and Hunter Huff. Third Flight was won with a 62 by Paul Flores, Roger Wallace and Jared Wallace. Finishing second with a 63 was the team of Leonard Mosca, Mike Blackwell and Billy Jordan. Closest to the pin winners were Mike Brown (No. 3), Ben Sherrod (No. 8), Vince Olivia (No. 12) and Karl Segura (No. 15) . . . The team of Joe Gongora, Don MacNeil, Harry Green and Malcom Tiller finished plus 21 to win the Babe Zaharias DogFight. Second with 18 points was the foursome of Steve Picou, Randy Becker, Jim Cooper and James Moore. Closest to the pin winners were Richard Sibley (No. 2), Adam Noel (No. 7) and Picou (No. 15) . . . The Senior Game at The Babe was played in a four-person scramble and ended in a three way tie. Carding minus 11 was the team of Larry Foster, Larry Vicknair, Bob Byerly and Jack Wilson, the foursome of Rick Pritchett, Bill Fears, Mariano Nassar and Bob Moore and the fivesome of Larry Thompson, Gene Noble, Pete Reobroi, Harold Wilkinson and Dwayne Morrison. Closest to the pin winners were Foster (No. 2), Noble (No. 7), Wilkinson (No. 12) and Bill Jones (No. 15) . . . The Super Saturday Game at the Babe was played in a two-ball format. The front nine was won at minus 8 by the team of Price Youngs, Troy Touchett, Roger Koch and Dan Flood. On the back, the team of Thad Borne, Jim Jordan and George Peddy won with minus 9 . . .Bill Worsham finished plus 5 to win the Monday Senior Game at Belle Oaks. Major Rising was second at plus 4 and Bill Taylor third at plus 3
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