BOB WEST ON GOLF: Landry off to good start in playoffs
One week into the Web.com playoffs, Port Neches-Groves ex Andrew Landry has every reason to fell confident that he’s going to be able to reclaim his PGA Tour card for the 2016-17 season. As for PNG and Lamar ex Chris Stroud and former LU star Dawie van der Walt, there is reason for concern.
In week one of the four-tournament Web.com Finals, Landry was steady from start to finish, shooting rounds of 66-72-69-72 on the par 70 Canterbury Country Club layout in Cleveland. He finished tied for 22nd and collected $9,372.
If there were no more tournaments to play, Landry would be in. PGA Tour cards go to the 25 players who win the most money in the Web.com Finals. With three more events to play, however, starting with the Albertson’s Boise Open this week, Landry must continue to play well.
Stroud and Van der Walt, meanwhile, are hardly in panic mode. Because so much of the prize money is lumped into the top 10 places, they could go from being on the onside looking in to making plans for next year with one good tournament.
Their concern goes to the fragile nature of confidence after not playing well in Cleveland. Stroud opened with a 73, then withdrew citing a wrist injury that has caused him problems for most of the year.
The injury is not something he can’t play through. Most likely, Stroud withdrew because of problems with his wedges, and the probability that he wasn’t going to make the cut. He told his dad he needed to make some changes with his wedges and that he expects to score much better in Boise.
In Van der Walt’s case, he’s not played well in a good while, having missed the cut in six of his final nine PGA Tour events and only once finishing inside the top 50. Rounds of 72-74 in Cleveland could not have left him in a positive frame of mind.
Of the three, Landry certainly looks like the best bet to get his PGA card back. His final two PGA events saw him finish T8 and T57 and he continues to be one of the straightest drivers of the ball on any tour.
Don’t count Stroud out, though. It’s hard to imagine that a guy with his degree of success on the PGA Tour for 10 years won’t respond to the challenge he’s facing. The good news is that he really needs only one really good tournament to survive.
With golf in the area severely curtailed last week by rain and lightning, there are limited results to report. The Bridge City/Orangefield Rotary Scramble, played at Babe Zaharias, was won with a 58 by the Jerry Jones team. Placing second with a 59 was the Becky Rutledge team, with the Davis Ess
team finishing third at 67. Closest to the pin winners were Billy Tarver (No. 2), Gerald Robinson (No. 7) and Andy Meshwert (No. 15). Robinson won the long drive on No. 18. …
The Monday Senior 50 Plus Game at Zaharias, played in a best two-ball format, saw the team of Benny Sharpe, Ronnie LaSalle, Billy Thillet and Ed Hetzel win the front with minus-7. On the back, the foursome of Paul Young, Ricky Melancon, Walter Colvin and Bob Frazier won with minus-4. …
The Friday Game at Zaharias was also played in a best two-ball format. On the front, the team of Young, Bobby Wactor, Lee Bertrand and Paul Duplantis won with minus-4. Minus-7 was the winning total on the back for the foursome of Javier Torres, Rick Pritchett, Cole Lee and Richard McClelland. …
The Thursday Senior Game at The Babe was played in a Select Drive All Points Count format. Adam’s Noel’s team that included Cap Hollier, Gary Anderson, Jobie Irvine and E.T. Robicheaux won with 25 points. Placing second with 10 points was the foursome of Larry Thompson, Gary Hanan, Art Millier and Larry Foster.
Closest to the pin winners were Lee Bertrand (No. 2), Larry Thompson (No. 7), Dillard Darbonne (No. 12) and Mike Hollier (No. 15). …
Port Neches-Groves ex Braden Bailey, coming off spring and summer performances that elevated him
to No. 66 in the World Amateur Golf Ratings, kicks off his sophomore season for Baylor in the Fighting Illini Invitational Friday in Chicago.
The 54-hole event at historic Olympia Fields Golf Club in Chicago, will give Bailey a chance to continue moving up in the individual ratings. Competition in the 15-team field includes No. 1 ranked Texas, No. 2 Illinois, No. 4 Oklahoma State and No. 8 Southern California. Baylor is No. 24.
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