BOB WEST ON GOLF: Fleckman to speak at Zaharias Awards

Published 5:18 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Jerry Honza has hit another home run for the annual Babe Didrikson Zaharias Junior Golf Awards, scheduled for their seventh renewal on Thursday, June 8, in the Cardinal Club Room at Lamar University’s Montagne Center.

Coming back to his old stomping grounds as guest speaker is former Port Arthuran Marty Fleckman. Currently the Director of Instruction at BlackHorse Golf Club in Cypress, the 1962 TJ graduate was the first truly accomplished male golfer to come out of Southeast Texas.

Before turning pro, he starred at the University of Houston where he was a three-time All-America and won the 1965 NCAA championship. He also won the Texas State Amateur championship at age 20 in 1964.

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Fleckman shook up the professional golf world as an amateur in 1967 by leading the U.S. Open at Baltusrol at the 54-hole mark. He faded to an 80 in the final round, as Jack Nicklaus came roaring past to win, but still finished 18th and was the low amateur.

Fleckman went on to become one of only four players to win his first tournament as a pro — the 1967 Cajun Classic. Though he never won again, he went to the wire with Arnold Palmer and Julius Boros in the 1968 PGA
Championship in San Antonio, before settling for fourth place.

In 1986, Fleckman was voted in the Texas Golf Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the University of Houston’s Hall of Honor in 2006. In 2007, he was voted the Teacher of the Year for the Southern Texas PGA. He was one of the first inductees into Port Arthur’s Museum of the Gulf Coast.

After Fleckman speaks, plaques will be presented to the area Girls and Boys Player of the Year and the winner of the Girls and Boys Character/Leadership award.

Finalists for Girls POY are Brynna Bailey and Karlei Hemler of Port Neches-Groves, Shelby Seymour of Hardin Jefferson and Elizabeth Townsend of Kelly. Bailey and Hemler are also Leadership/Character finalists, along with Theresa Beckett of Little Cypress-Mauriceville and Mackenie Sears of Silsbee.

Boys POY finalists are Josh Elmore of PNG, Trent Kizer of Vidor, Brendan Marley of Nederland and Jonathan Miller of Kelly. Leadership/Character finalists are Jadon Bell of Nederland, Jaret Dowdy of Westbrook, Trey Love of LCM and Bryce Shaver of Lumberton.

The 2017 Zaharias Junior Golf awards are being presented by Champions Youth Development and the Babe Didrikson Zaharias Foundation. The dinner is sponsoreed by South Hampton Resources and Cheddars.


Better late than never for Bill Jones of Port Neches.

Jones, 70, scored his first hole in one last week at Brentwood Country Club. Jones used a 6-iron on the 156-yard second hole. Witnesses were Mike Sowell, Dustin Jackson and Doug Swartz …

Congratulations to PNG ex Braden Bailey. A week after being named to the Big 12 All-Academic team for the second time, Braden was one of 11 players selected All-Conference. Bailey is currently ranked No. 42 among college golfers.

Next action for Bailey and the No. 6 ranked Bears is Monday and Tuesday in the NCAA Regional at the Stanford University golf course. Baylor, after a disappointing showing in the Big 12 Tournament, needs to finish in the top
five in the 13-team field to advance to the NCAA tournament being played outside Chicago …

It was another tough week with a disheartening finish for Chris Stroud.

After getting into the Wells Fargo Championship late as a fourth alternate, Stroud missed the cut by one shot with a bogey on the 36th hole.

It was the third consecutive tourney Stroud has missed making it to the weekend by one stroke because of a bogey or the last or next-to-last hole. He’s playing well enough to beat half the field, then walking away empty

Stroud’s former Lamar teammate, Shawn Stefani, made the cut but didn’t have much to show for it. Stefani finished tied for 63rd in the Wells Fargo, which was good for a check for $15,900 …

PNG ex Andrew Landry looked like he was going to have a good week at the Tour’s stop in the Dominican Republic. Landry, though, after opening with rounds of 68-68, faded to 73-73 on the weekend and had to settle for a T60.

In the Tuesday Twister 2 Ball Game at Babe Zaharias, the team of Kenny Robbins, Larry Reece, E.T. Robicheaux and Mike Hollier won the front with minus-6. On the back, the team of Cap Hollier, Gary Hanan, Tom LeTourneau and a ghost partner tied the foursome of Bob West, Don MacNeil, Bill Jones and
Paul Brown at minus-4.

Minus-6 was the winning score on both nines in the Monday Senior 50 Plus 2 Ball Game at Zaharias. Posting that number on the front was the team of Benny Sharpe, Butch Pitman, Jim Mercer and Billy Thillet. The back was taken by the foursome of  Robbins, Hanan, Reece and James Trahan …

Saturday’s Super Senior 2 ball at Zaharias ended in a sweep by the team of Cap Hollier, Adam Noel, Thad Borne and Brad Royer. They were minus-6 on both sides …

The Friday two-ball at Zaharias resulted in a two-way tie on the front at minus-5 between the team of Earl Richard, Russ Gloede, John LeBlanc and Trahan and the foursome of Larry Johnson, MacNeil, Walter Colvin and Charles Leard.

On the back, the team of Noel, Rick Pritchett, Raymond Darbonne and Roger
Baumer won with minus-4 …

Thursday’s Senior 55 Plus Game at The Babe was played with four-man teams counting all points. Winning with 0 was the foursome of Noel, Ron Mistrot, Trahan and Ben Thornton. Second at minus-5 was the team of Pritchett, Bim Morrow, Darbonne and a ghost player.

Closest to the pin winners were Trahan (No. 2), Richard (No. 7) and Lee Bertrand (No. 15) …

PNG golf coach Ricky Keyes is hosting a teaching camp from June 5-8 at Babe Zaharias. The camp will operate in two phases with kids going to grades kindergarten through 4 being instructed from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and juniors who will be in grades 5 through 9 attending from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Babe Zaharias head pro and PGA instructor Mitch Duncan will be working with Keyes. Registration fee is $125, with pre-registration wrapping up on May 19. Late registrations will be taken but those signees are not guaranteed a camp T-shirt.

Anyone seeking further information should call Keyes at 409 466-1263.

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