• 81°

BOB WEST ON GOLF: Landry, Stroud hit highs, lows at John Deere

During a week that saw another Port Neches-Groves ex, Andrew Landry, achieve his highest finish in a PGA Tour event, Chris Stroud may have hit his lowest point in 10 years at golf’s highest level.

Stroud, on the verge of nailing down his tour playing card for next season, suffered an agonizing meltdown that puts 2017 and beyond in jeopardy. Rolling along at six-under-par through 16 holes in the second round of the John Deere Classic, the former Lamar All-America finished double bogey, bogey.

He went from being tied for 25th to missing the cut by a stroke, and opened the door to mental demons that could pose the greatest challenge he’s faced in golf.

The double bogey came on a par-5 Stroud would expect to birdie probably 40 percent of the time. The bogey at 18 came as the result of a missed putt inside 4 feet. In the span of a half hour, Chris was back on the outside looking in, having dropped to 132 in FedEx Cup points.

That makes this week’s Wyndham Classic all or nothing for Stroud. If he doesn’t manage a high-enough finish to get back into the top 125, probably a top 20 or better, he faces the uncertainty of having to survive a four-tournament crap shoot with the top 75 on the Web.Com Tour and PGA Tour players who were 126-to-200 in FedEx points.

We’ll get into more detail on those events next week, because Landry and Lamar exes Shawn Stefani and Dawie van der Walt are all faced with having to play in what is called the Web.com Tour Championship. Stefani, though, at No. 133, still has a punchers chance at saving his PGA card.

Stroud, at age 34, must not only overcome the haunting thoughts of the John Deere finish, he must do it on a course where he’s enjoyed precious little success. In nine starts at the Wyndham, he’s made the cut only twice. His best finish at Sedgefield Country Club is a 37th-place tie.

While Stroud’s confidence has to be pretty fragile heading to the Wyndham, Landry’s may be higher than it was coming out of his impressive showing at the U.S. Open. Andrew opened with a 69 at the John Deere, then finished with three consecutive 67s to finish tied for eighth.

It was his first top 10 on the PGA Tour and earned him $124,800. Only at the U.S. Open, where he pocketed $152,234 for a T15, has he collected a bigger check. As far as the FedEx Cup, it’s too little too late for Landry, who jumped from 188th to 177th. But it could get him on a roll for the Web.com shootout that starts Sept. 8 in Cleveland.

CHIP SHOTS

Playing the Contraband Bayou layout at L’auberge, Beaumont car dealer Bill Taylor hit a parlay appropriate for a casino golf course.

Taylor, 74, scored his first hole-in-one when his 95-yard pitching wedge went into the cup on the first bounce on the eighth hole. Ultimately, the 1 on his scorecard enabled the Taylor Landing resident to shoot his age for the first time.

Witnesses were George Adams, Mike Hebert and Bob West. …

Ed Watson of Port Arthur also got to celebrate his first hole in one. Watson sank a 7-iron tee shot from 152 yards on the 15th hole at Babe Zaharias. The shot was witnessed by Sam Jackson and Bernard Whitaker. …

The Golden Triangle Beltway Junior Tour wrapped up its season with a Parent-Junior Scramble at Babe Zaharias.

Winning team with a 68 was Brendan Marley and his dad, Shawn Marley. Second place went to Bryce and Scott Parsley with a 70. There was a tie for third at 71 between Cameron and Scott Curtis and Micah and Michael Depew. …

The Monday Senior 50 Plus Game at Zaharias was played in its usual two-ball format, with players dodging several rain showers. On the front the team of Steve Picou, Ray Darbonne, Charles Huckaby and West won with 2-under. The back ended in a five-way tie at plus 2. Captains of the winning teams were Roddy Weatherly, Adam Noel, Craig Fontenot, Larry Thompson and Lee Bertrand. …

The two-ball Super Saturday Game at The Babe saw 2-under win the front for the team of Mike Lansford, Gene Hardy and Larry Johnson and minus-3 take the back for Fontenot, James Shipley and Dan Flood. …

The Friday Game at Zaharias saw two-team tie at minus-4 on both the front and back. On the front, the deadlock was between the team of Gary Whitfill, Bob Briggs, Ed Hetzel and Ryan Thompson and the foursome of Joey Alexander, Jim Cooper, Johnson and West. The back saw the team of Randy Monk, Gary Hanan, Larry Reece and Danny Harrington tied with the foursome of Noel, Benny Sharpe, Gene Jones and Charlie Perez. …

The Thursday Game at The Babe was played in a 9/9 best ball, scramble format. The duo of Cap Hollier-Joe Gongora shot 64 to win First Flight by two strokes over Earl Richard-Bob Byerly. In Second Flight, Larry Reece-Harrell Guidry shot 67 to win by three strokes over two teams tied for second place. Guy Van Cleave-Charles Perez fired a 72 to win Third Flight by five strokes. Closest to the pin winners were Perez (No. 2), Guidry (No. 7) and Mike Lansford (No. 15). …

The Babe Zaharias DogFight was won with 17 points by the team of Don MacNeil, Tom LeTourneau, Gary Anderson and Jobie Irvine. Closest to the pin winners were Whitfill (No. 2), Rick Pritchett (No. 7), David Sturgal (No. 12) and Gary Fontenot (No. 15).

Golf news should be emailed to rdwest@usa.net

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.

email author More by I.C.