Bailey impresses in AJGA North Carolina tourney

Published 11:27 pm Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Two thumbs up to PN-G ex Braden Bailey for his T8 in last week’s AJGA Footjoy Invitational in Greensboro, N.C. Playing on a Sedgefield Country Club Course that will be hosting a PGA Tour event in August, and competing against the strongest field he’s ever faced, Bailey carded rounds of 72-72-71-69 for a three-over-par 283. Braden will be taking another step up the competitive ladder next week when he travels to Birmingham, Ala., for the 15th annual Greystone Invitational. The Greystone field annually reads like a Who’s Who of collegiate, local, national and international amateur golfers . . . It’s not the norm to send out Happy Birthday wishes in this column, but I’m going to make an exception for Bailey’s sister, Brynna, since we both entered the world on June 16, albeit 55 years apart. Even though it’s a day late, Brynna, happy sweet 16th . . . Kudos are in line for West Orange-Stark ex Michael Arnaud who authored his best finish as a professional in last week’s Web.Com Tour Rust-Oleum Championship in Cleveland. Getting into the field at the last minute as the third alternate, Arnaud shot a 29 on the back nine on day one en route to a 65, faded a bit with rounds of 70 and 74, then closed with a 66 for a 275 that was good for a T18 and a check for $7,560. Lamar ex Dawie van der Walt, who was the first round leader with a sizzling 62, also finished T18 . . . Good Bruce Lietzke, as he always is, was on hand at Idylwild Golf Club Monday for the STPGA Bruce Lietzke Junior Classic. The scheduled 36-hole event, unfortunately, was limited to 18 holes because of Tropical Storm Bill. Joseph Wolcik won Boys 15-18 with a 74, edging Michael Glover by two shots. Other flight winners were Luke Whitehead (92 in Boys 13-14), Beau Autry 82 in Boys 11-12, Jaci Wolcik (110 in Girls 15-18 and Elizabeth Townsend (106 in Girls 13-14). More detailed results, including Little Linksters, can be found elsewhere on this page . . . Congratulations to 82-year-old Tommy Linder of Vidor for achieving a golfing feat rarer than an albatross or a hole in one. Linder, playing at Babe Zaharias, shot his age for the first time and beat everyone else in his group while doing it. The foursome included Dwain Morrison, John Atkins and Bernie Johnson . . . Morrison, who is from Nederland, had his own chance to celebrate at Zaharias, after holing a 4-hybrid from 97 yards for an eagle 2 on the 4th hole. Witnesses were Tommy Linden, Dale Reinstra, John Atkins and Morrison . . . Josh Elmore, who will be a sophomore at PN-G this fall, had an impressive showing in a Junior PGA qualifier last week at Augusta Pines in Spring. Elmore put together rounds of 75-71 for a 36-hole total of 146 that placed fifth among a field of 80 players ages 15-to-18 . . . Area juniors have a new playing opportunity in Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana, with the presence of the Beltway Junior Golf Tour. Started several years ago in Houston, it’s run by high school coaches and offers varsity and junior varsity divisions for boys and girls. There is also a nine-hole division for players with lesser skills. Upcoming tourneys are set for June 24 at Henry Homberg, July 2 at The National Golf Club of Louisiana, July 6 at Sunset Grove Country Club in Orange, July 15 at Gray Plantation in Lake Charles, July 23 at Idylwild Golf Club in Sour Lake and July 29, which will be the Tour Championship, at Brentwood Country Club in Beaumont. For information on the Beltway Tour, contact PN-G coach Ricky Keyes or e-mail . . . Jace Benoit of Sulphur, La., fired a 77 to win the Boys Gold (Varsity) Division in the opening Beltway tourney last week at Bayou Din. Daniel Stephens of Groves was second at 80. In Boys Silver, Micah Depew of Beaumont shot a 90 to edge Jake Fitzgerald of Port Neches by a stroke. Avery Cable of Deer Park was the victory in the Girls Diamond flight with a 54, while Trey Lisauckis of Groves finished first in the 9-hole Boys Bronze flight with a 50 . . . The “loaded” team of Dennis Walsh, Larry Morris, Charles Cooksey and Jay “Dr. J” Pfister shot a 53 to win the St. Paul Lutheran Church Scramble at Zaharias. Closest to the pin winners were Bobby Wactor (No. 2), Colby Cobb (No. 7), Cooksey (No. 12) and Matt Wolfe (No. 15). Cooksey also had the long drive on No. 18. Long putt winners were Robert Stroder (No. 1) and Charles Morgan (No. 9) . . . The team of Adam Noel, Mickey Hern, Jim Cooper and John Overland won the Babe Zaharias DogFight with 17 points. Two teams tied for second at 15. Closest to the hole winners were Gary Whitfill (No. 2), Mark Petry (No. 7), Charles Leard (No. 12) and Cap Hollier (No. 15) . . . The Senior Game at The Babe was played in a 4 person, 2 best ball format. There was a two-way tie on the front at minus 1 between the team of Hollier, Bob Barnes, Pete Reobroi and Tom Stafford and the team of Raymond Darbonne, Ron Mistrot, Ed Hetzel and Stedman Tahaney. On the back, there was a three-way tie at minus 1 between the foursome of Larry Vicknair, Harry Green, Larry Foster and Ben Thornton, the team of Earl Richard, Bill Jones, Gene Noble and Larry Rogers and the Darbonne team. Closest to the pin winners were Wactor (No. 2), Noble (No. 7), Reobroi (No. 12) and Jones (No. 15) . . . The Super Saturday Game at The Babe was played in a best 2-ball format, with the team of Rick Pritchett, Larry Thompson, Jay Hampson and John Ramsey winning the front in minus 4. On the back, minus 1 was good enough to win for the team of Adam Noel, Don MacNeil, Jeff Rinehart and Dennis Dubois . . . The Senior 50 Plus Game at The Babe was also played in a best 2-ball format. Noel, Wactor, David Arnaud and Charles Huckaby won the front with minus 1. On the back, the team of Benny Sharpe, Butch Pitman, Marc Petry and J. Thompson won with minus 2.
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