BOB WEST ON GOLF: Windy conditions also tear up professional players

Published 5:45 pm Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Golfers in Southeast Texas have experienced several days of late when gusting winds have sent scores soaring. We’re talking two- and three-club winds that impact every shot in the bag, including putts.
If you happen to be one of those whose game has suffered because of the windy conditions, don’t feel too bad. You need look no further than the soaring scores at the PGA Tour Farmer’s Insurance Open to realize even the world’s best players can go haywire when gusts climb above 20 miles per hour.
After three relatively serene days in San Diego, a winter storm roared off the Pacific Ocean Sunday morning. Play was stopped three different times and finally suspended, with the last group still eight holes from finishing.
The tournament was completed Monday morning, with brutal conditions once again wreaking havoc. By the time it was all over, the average score for the final 18 holes was 77.9, more players shot 80 and above (17) than signed off on rounds of 75 and under.
Brandt Snedeker pretty much stole the tournament, coming from 27th place, six strokes off the pace after 54 holes. Snedeker, who completed his round Sunday, shot an amazing 69 that was the only score under par for the final 18 holes.
Just one other player, Robert Streb, managed to shoot even par 72. Scott Brown, who went to the final round tied for the lead, tumbled all the way to tied for 49th after an embarrassing 87. K.J. Choi, the other 54-hole co-leader, finished second on the strength of a closing 76.
On one 4-par hole into the wind, only five players managed to get their second shot onto the green. Most were coming up short with driver, 3-wood. Players were taking as much as 5-iron to reach the downhill, 132-yard, third hole.
So the next time the wind beats you up, think about what it can do to the egos of guys who hit the ball more than 300 yards under normal circumstances.

West Orange-Stark ex Michael Arnaud was the only player with area ties to make a cut on either the PGA Tour or Tour last week.
Arnaud shot a 72-hole score of 278 to finish tied for 18th and win $7,106 in the Panama Claro Championship. Kelly ex Anthony Broussard, making his debut, missed the cut after a 151 (75-76). Both are playing in Club Colombia Championship in Bogota, Colombia this week. …

Lamar exes Dawie van der Walt (144) and Shawn Stefani (149) did not make it to the weekend at the Farmers Insurance Open. Neither did former PN-G and Arkansas star Andrew Landry (148), who missed his fifth consecutive cut. Chris Stroud, who returns after a week off, and Stefani are playing in this week’s Waste Management Open in Scottsdale, Arizona. …

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PN-G’s golf team opened its spring season with a shaky outing at the Magnolia Shootout played over High Meadow Ranch last week. The Indians placed 16th in a 23-team field with a two-day total of 682. The Woodlands won with a 623. Josh Elmore had by far the best showing for the Indians, shooting rounds of 77-80 for a 157 that was 11th among all players in the field. Blake Thibodaux was 66th with a 172, Cameron Keith placed 77th at 176, Danny Stephens finished 82nd at 177 and Tyler Feemster was at 104 with a 184. Next outing for the Indians is Feb. 19-20 in the Barbers Hill Invitational
at Eagle Pointe. …

Area juniors are reminded that the entry deadline for Saturday’s opening event in the Texas-Louisiana Junior Tour is 5 p.m. today. Entry fee is $20 for boys and girls ages 7 through 18 as of March 1.
Interested players should call the Babe Zaharias golf shop at 722-8286 or e-mail Jerry Honza at

Saturday’s tourney is at Grey Plantation in Lake Charles. The tour moves to Idylwild Golf Club on Feb. 13, The National on Feb. 20 and Bayou Din on Feb. 27. …

The Monday Senior 50 Plus Game at Babe Zaharias was played in a best 2-ball format. On the front nine, the team of P.Y. Young, Jim Mercer, Gene Hardy and Wes McGwire won with minus 5. On the
back, the foursome of Bob Byerly, Cecil Norris, Harrell Guidry and Larry Rogers prevailed with minus 4. ….

The Super Saturday Game at Babe Zaharias was also played in a best 2-ball format. The team of Craig Fontenot, Gerald Huebel, Lee Bertrand and Cole Lee won the front with minus 2. That was also
the winning score on the back for the foursome of Tim Turner, Rick Pritchett, Tom Lawton and Wes McDonald. …

The Friday Game at Babe Zaharias was played in a best 2-ball, with the foursome of Gary Whitfill, Bob Barnes, Ron Mistrot and Dillard Darbonne taking the front in minus-3. The Whitfill team made it a
sweep by posting minus 2 on the back. …

The Thursday Senior Game at The Babe was contested in individual stroke play with handicaps. In First Flight, Earl Richard edged Fontenot by one shot with a 69. Second flight was won by Joe Gongora with a 66. Guidry was second at 73. Charlie Huckaby and Larry Foster tied in Third Flight with 69s. Closest to the pin winners were Richard (No. 2, No. 7) and Larry Stansbury (No. 12). …

On a chilly, windy, wet Wednesday, the team of Cap Hollier, Huebel, Bob Moore and Paul Duplantis won the Babe Zaharias DogFight with 14 points. Closest to the pin winners were Huebel (No. 2) and Pritchett (No. 12).


About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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