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BOB WEST ON GOLF: Elmore finishes second in region preview

High school golf season is about to heat up, and Port Neches-Groves star Josh Elmore continues to service notice that he’s a good bet to make a return trip to the state tournament in Austin.

Elmore, a junior, placed second over the weekend in the 5A Region III Preview Tournament at River Ridge, on the strength of shooting 145 (71-74). He was four shots off the winning pace of Cedar Park’s Ben Dunne, who posted rounds of 69-72 to grab medalist honors at the layout near Sealy.

PNG’s team, which hopes to ride Elmore’s coattails to Austin, finished third with a 652 (325-327) team total. The Indians, who had four players seeing River Ridge for the first time, finished well back of winner Magnolia’s 600 but were only 17 back of runner-up Magnolia.

Other PNG scores included Chase Selmon at 167 (83-84), Bryce Parsley at 167 (86-81), Timothy Feemster at 173 (85-88) and Brian Landry at 176 (87-89).

Parsley played his final four holes the second day in one-under to help the Indians nail down second place.
Elmore’s first round 71 included six birdies, with four of them coming on par 5s. On the second day, in gusting wind, he rebounded from playing the first four holes in three over and played the rest of the way even par.

Nederland, meanwhile, placed seventh with a 685 (341-345). Brendan Marley was low man for the Bulldogs with a 162 (79-83). Other scores included John Krautz 165 (77-88), Brice Perryman 178 (93-85), Daniel Cormer 181 (92-89) and Tyler Wallie 186 (98-88).

On the girls side of the competition, PNG was seventh at 737 but finished 91 shots behind first place Magnolia’s 646.
Karlei Hemler led the way for PNG with rounds of 83-83, coming in fifth with a 166. Medalist Ava Schwenteck of Magnolia carded a 147.

Also for PNG, Brynna Bailey had a 168 (80-88), Rian Weatherford was at 198 (97-101), Kensey Dukes had 205 (99-106) and Kassidei Hemler shot 236 (114-122).

Key upcoming dates for PNG and Nederland are the District 22-5A championships April 3-4 and the 5A Region III tourney at River Ridge the week of April 24-27. The 5A state tourney is May 22-23 at Wolfdancer in Bastrop.

CHIP SHOTS

Gary Whitfill of Port Arthur authored what is believed to be a first at Babe Zaharias when he scored a hole-in-one on the par-4, 11-hole last Friday. The 11th, a dogleg left, was playing 233 yards for those who chose to go straight at the green over a water hazard.

For the 63-year-old Whitfill, who had never made a hole in hole, he accomplished the rare feat of getting his first ace and first albatross (double eagle) on the same shot. He said he couldn’t see the ball roll into the cup, but knew it was close after seeing Cap Hollier jumping up and down behind the green.

Whitfill, who is a scratch player and the low handicap in the senior games played Monday through Saturday at Zaharias, paced his team to victory on both nines in the Friday two-ball game. Along for the ride were Rick Pritchett, Gary Fontenot and Roger Koch. They shot minus-4 on the front and minus-2 on the back. …

Other noteworthy individual feats during the week at Babe Zaharias included Troy Touchet of Groves making two eagles within six holes, Richard Melancon of Groves holing a pitching wedge from 104 yards for an eagle-2 on the par-4 fifth, Tony Trevino chipping in from 60 yards for an eagle on No. 5. and Wes MacDonald of Port Neches shooting a best ever round of 79.

Trevino’s shot was by far the most interesting. After a booming drive, he hit a bump and run shot that looked to be a little hot. The ball, however, kissed off partner Mike Hollier’s ball and went into the cup.

Touchet, meanwhile, chipped in from 30 yards for an eagle 2 on No. 4, then hit driver, 6-iron to 6 feet on the par-5, ninth and sank the putt for a second eagle on the front. He wound up shooting 37.

Touchet’s fireworks were not enough to help a team that included Joe Gongora, Jim Cooper and Gerald Huebel win the front in the Tuesday Twister, but they did take the back in minus-2. Winning the front in minus-2, with the help of a ghost player, was the threesome of Adam Noel, Rick Pritchett and Dillard Darbonne …

With the help of Trevino’s above-mentioned eagle, his team that included Bob West, Don MacNeil and Hollier ran away with the front nine of Monday’s Senior 50 Plus Game in minus-10. On the back, the team of Benny Sharpe, Tom LeTourneau, Darbonne and Larry Foster won with minus-5. …

The Super Saturday 2-ball game at Zaharias saw a sweep by the foursome of Steve Picou, Thad Borne, Touchet and Gene Hardy. They were even on the front and minus-2 on the back …

Select drive, all points count was the format for the Thursday Senior 55 Plus Game at Zaharias. Winning with 19 points was the team of Adam Noel, Ron Mistrot, James Trahan, Paul Brown and Bob Barnes.    Placing second with 17 points was the foursome of Earl Richard, Jim Cooper, Bob Frazier and John Jessen. Closest to the pin winnes were Hollier (No. 2), Richard (No. 7), Mistrot (No. 12) and Pat Waite (No. 15) …

Eighteen points won the Wednesday Zaharias DogFight for the team of Kenny Robbins, Craig Fontenot, Don Duplan and Hollier. Second with 17 points was the foursome of Cricket Owen, Lee Bertrand, Terry Angelle and Harold Wilkinson.

Closest to the pin winners were Richard (No. 2, No. 12), Robbins (No. 7) and Bill Jones (No. 15).

Golf news should be emailed to rdwest@usa.net