BOB WEST ON GOLF: Future is now for Stroud, Landry, Van der Walt

Published 6:15 pm Tuesday, September 6, 2016

While the focal point for the PGA Tour-oriented golf world this week is on the BMW Championship, which whittles the field for the Tour Championship down to 30 players, Southeast Texans figure to be focused on the opening event in the Tour Finals at Canterbury Country Club in Cleveland, Ohio.

Three players with local ties will take the first step in trying to reclaim their PGA Tour cards after failing to finish in the top 125 in FedEx Cup points. Pressure figures to be greatest on Port Neches-Groves and Lamar ex Chris Stroud, a PGA Tour regular since 2007. Stroud has banked nearly $10 million during that time.

Andrew Landry, who followed Stroud at PN-G, and Dawie van der Walt, who came after him at Lamar, also have much at stake. But, after only one year on the PGA Tour, it seemingly would be easier for them to return to the Tour that it would be for Stroud.

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The ticket back for all three is to finish in the top 25 in money in the four tournaments that comprise the finals. The higher they can get on that money list, the more PGA Tour playing opportunities there will be for the 2016-17 season.

Round one in what is titled the DAP Championship begins Thursday for a field of 142 players, roughly half of whom played on the PGA Tour this past season. All three locals have mid-day tee times Thursday, then are out early on Friday. Stroud goes at 6:41 a.m. Friday, followed by Van der Walt at 7:25 and Landry at 7:36.

The finals move to Boise, Idaho, next week, then touch down in Columbus, Ohio Sept. 22-25. After a week off, the fourth tourney is set for Jacksonville, Fla., Oct. 6-9. Each event offers a $1 million purse, with $180,000 going to the winner. Cuts will be made to the low 65 and ties after 36 holes.

Canterbury Country Club is an old-time favorite of the PGA Tour. It has hosted 13 major championships, including the 1940 and 1946 U.S. Opens. Jack Nicklaus won the PGA Championship there in 1973. Arnold Palmer won the Senior PGA’s TPC Championship at Canterbury in both 1984 and 1985.

The Golf Channel will air the Finals all four days. Times are 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Satuday and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.


Roddy Weatherly of Groves authored what was his sixth hole in one Tuesday at Babe Zaharias.

Weatherly, playing the 115-yard second, sank his tee shot with a 9-iron. The ace was witnessed by Charlie Perez, Larry Rogers and Walter Colvin. …

The Monday Senior 50 Plus Game at Zaharias, played in a best two-ball format, saw the team of Adam Noel, Gary Fontenot, Cap Hollier and Don Duplan win the front in minus-7. On the back there was a four-way tie at minus 2 between the Noel foursome and teams captained by Gary Whitfill, Javier Torres and Jim Jordan. …

In the Super Saturday two-ball game at The Babe, the team of Randy Monk, Don MacNeil, Scottie Ray and Tom LeTourneau won the front in minus-6. On the back, the foursome of Jordan, John Williams, Gene Jones and Charlie Huckaby finished first with minus-5. …

The Friday Game at Zaharias, also played in a two-ball format, ended in a three-way tie on the front at minus-3 between teams captained by Bob West, Mike Lansford and
Jordan. On the back, the foursome of Torres, Fontenot, LeTourneau and Mike Hollier prevailed with minus-7. …

The Thursday Senior Game was played in a points format. Winning with plus 5 was the foursome of Weatherly, Wayne O’Banion, Stedman Tahaney and Larry Rogers. The back was won in plus-4 by the team of Jim Huebel, Hollier, Lee Bertrand and Larry Foster. Closest to the pin winners were Noel (No. 2), Earl Richard (No. 7), Charles Leard (No. 12) and
Wayne O’Banion (No. 15). …

The Babe Zaharias DogFight ended in a three-way tie at 15 points. Included was the team of Pritchett, Dillard Darbonne, Brad Royer and Jess McPhilips, the foursome of James Shipley, Bill Hammond, Larry Reece and Dan Flood and the team of Bob Briggs, Richard, Leard and David Sturgal. Closest to the pin winners were Rogers (No. 2), Sturgal (No. 7), Cole Lee (No. 12) and Ron LaSalle (No. 15). …

The KAM Golf Academy at Babe Zaharias is preparing to host a Junior Golf Clinic Series for Boys and Girls ages 5 to 13. Starting Sept. 13, the clinic meets every Tuesday the rest of
September and October from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Zaharias. Cost is $140 per player, with the clinic open to the first 16 players to pay. Among the areas of instruction are short game and full swing, rules, etiquette and course management and a PGA Sports Academy curriculum. Equipment can be provided upon request. Registration blanks are available at Babe Zaharias Golf Club.

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