BOB WEST ON GOLF: Improving Lietzke starts second round of chemo

Published 4:33 pm Tuesday, August 1, 2017

News continues to be encouraging on Bruce Lietzke’s battle against brain cancer.

After some down time from his initial rounds of radiation and chemo,
Lietzke has begun a second round of five chemo treatments that were part of the plan from the beginning.

The former Beaumont PGA Tour pro’s recovery has been going so well he was able to visit one of his best tour buddies, Bill Rogers, in San Antonio recently. He’s been able to cut grass on his tractor, fish in lakes on his ranch and ride an ATV around on the property.

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One thing Lietzke is hoping to do is make contact with Arizona Sen. John McCain, who has begun treatment for the same type glioblastoma tumor that Lietzke had removed, and Bruce wanted to go over what to expect with him.

“It really helped me, and eased my mind, when (former Lamar golfer) Jim Bishop went through his experience with me,” Lieztke said. “I would like to be able to do the same thing for Sen. McCain.”

Lietzke, interestingly enough, won his first PGA Tour tournament — the Tucson Open — in the state McCain represents. He would go on to win again in Tucson in 1982.

“I have been blessed with how well my recovery has gone,” said Lietzke. “Please tell everyone in Southeast Texas how much I appreciate their prayers.”

CHIP SHOTS: If there was good news to be found in Andrew Landry’s final round 73 in the Digital Ally Open, it was that he actually padded his lead atop the Tour money list. Though he won only $5,989 after tying for 21st, the two players immediately behind him skipped the event.

The flip side, of course, is that the Port Neches-Groves ex could really have created some space with another sub par round. It is hard to believe that in the same week he shot a pair of 63s Landry did not finish in the top 20 …

Chris Stroud, after missing the cut in the Canadian Open, dropped three places to 144th on the FedEx Cup points list. Stroud has two chances left — this week’s Barracuda Championship in Reno and the Wyndham Championship two weeks hence in Greensboro, N.C. — to move up.

The Barracuda, because it is being played opposite a World Golf
Championship this week, is offering a format different than the usual PGA medal play fare. A modified Stableford format is being used, which means points, not score, will determine how players finish.

Scoring will be as follows: 8 points for double eagle, 5 points for eagle,
2 points for birdie, 0 for par, minus-1 for bogey and minus-3 for double bogey or more. It’s a format that encourages players to go for broke and one that should be fun to watch …

Braden Bailey, who has had to scale back his golf this summer because of shoulder issues, returned to action two weeks ago by tying for 12th in the U.S. Amateur qualifier at Golfrest Country Club in Pearland.

Bailey, who had to skip some other summer events, shot rounds of 74-71 and did not qualify.

On Tuesday, the PNG ex shot an even-par 71 in the first round of the prestigious Western Amateur in Chicago. The goal in the Western is to be in the top 44 after 36 holes. That earns the right to play 36 more holes of stroke play on Thursday to try to advance to the “Sweet 16” for match play.

Bailey had four birdies and four bogeys in his opening round. He was 3-under early in the day, dropped two shots by the turn, got back to 2-under, then had a couple of late bogeys. With players still on the course at the time this was written Tuesday afternoon, he was tied for 51st.

Round 2 is set for Wednesday, then the cut to 44 will be made.

Previous winners of the Western Amateur include a couple of guys named Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods …

The Southern Texas PGA Junior Tour wrapped up its summer schedule Monday with its Texas-Louisiana Open at Sunset Grove Country Club in Orange. Brendan Marley of Nederland, who has had an outstanding summer, won Boys 15-18 but needed a sudden death playoff to get past Jack Burke of Orange.

Both players shot 1-over par 72s.

Other flight winners included Reece Frank of Austin (85 in Boys 13-14) and Peyton Galyean of League City (95 in Girls 15-18).

Two thumbs up to Jerry Honza and Babe Zaharias pro Mitch Duncan for their efforts in creating a terrific outlet for junior golf competition in the summer months …

In the Monday Senior 50 Plus two-ball game at Babe Zaharias, the team of Tony Trevino, Dwayne Morvant, Larry Johnson and Pete Reobroi won the front with minus-4. On the back, the foursome of Gary Hanan, Ronnie LaSalle, Bob Luttrell and Roger Baumer finished on top with minus-7.

The Super Saturday Senior two-ball at Zaharias saw the team of Bim Morrow, James Shipley, Don MacNeil and Don Duplan win with with minus 1. The back was won in minus-4 by the team of Rick Pritchett, Cap Hollier, Ed Holley and a ghost player …

In the Friday two-ball at Zaharias there was a tie on the front at even
between the team of Mike Lansford, Harrel Guidry, Charles Leard and Dan Chandler and the team of Benny Shape, Morrow and MacNeil. The Sharpe team won the back with minus-1.

In the Thursday Senior 55 Plus Game, the team of Sharpe, Earl Richard, Morrow, Carl Hudman and Robert Lynch won with plus-4. Teams captained by Joe Gongora and Joe Landry tied the back with plus-2.

Closest to the pin winners were Hollier (No. 2), Morrow (No. 7), Sharpe (No. 12) and Mitch Priddy (No. 15).

The Wednesday Zaharias DogFight was played in a 9/9 tw0-man flighted format. Teams played best ball on the front and scramble on the back.

In First Flight, the teams of Bob West-Pritchett, LaSalle-Bobby Wactor and Earl Richard-Larry Thompson tied with 66s.

Second Flight was won by the duo of Rodney Christman-Gary Fontenot with a 70, while the team of Tommy Duhon-James Trahan took Third Flight with a 74.

Closest to the pin winners were MacNeil (No. 2), Jess McPhillips (No. 7), Wactor (No. 12) and Thompson (No. 15).

Golf news should be e-mailed to rdwest at