BOB WEST ON GOLF: Pairing with Romo brings best out of Bailey

Published 5:47 pm Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Braden Bailey, who grew up in Groves as a fan of Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys, obviously was not star struck when paired with Romo Monday in U.S. Open local qualifying at the Gleneagles Country Club King’s Course in Plano.

The Baylor junior, whose game seems to be on an uptick following a slight downturn during the middle of the Bears’ season, gave Romo a clinic on the skills of a top college player. He placed second in a field of 113, with a near flawless three-under-par 69 to advance to the sectional qualifier.

“Playing with Tony was a lot of fun,” said Bailey. “He is a really nice, down-to-earth guy, and he’s a pretty good player. He treated everybody really well. We probably had 30 or so people following our group because of him. On the back nine, there were a lot of cameras and media.”

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What they saw was Romo, who tied for 37th with a 77, get a lesson in strong, smart, steady play from Bailey. Coming off a tie for 14th in last week’s Big 12 Championships at historic Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Bailey carded four birdies against only one bogey.

“My game is getting there. It’s close,” said Bailey, who has won once this season and posted six top 10s. “It is still not quite clicking on all cylinders, but I am hitting a lot of good shots. I just need to put all phases together. This will give me good momentum going into the NCAA regionals.”

And what about Romo’s game?

“I was impressed. Other than a couple of sloppy mistakes that cost him, he played well. He hits a nice, tight draw and gets it out there off the tee pretty good. I thought we were comparable in length. It looked like he could really be a good putter. On greens that weren’t very good, he drilled everything inside 5 feet.”

Despite Romo’s background, and his current role as Jim Nantz’ sidekick on CBS’ top NFL game each week, Bailey said he never brought up football.

“I thought about mentioning the draft but didn’t,” he said. “Most of the talk was about golf. We both played in the Western Amateur in Chicago last summer, so that was one of the things we discussed. We also talked about some of the courses he likes in Dallas.”

As one of eight players from Gleneagles advancing to U.S. Open Sectional qualifying, Bailey now faces a 36-hole test that could earn him a spot in the event where Pea Patch compadre, Andrew Landry, made a huge splash two years ago. His qualifying site will probably be Shadow Hawk outside Houston on June 4.

Meanwhile, there is no doubt that Landry, coming off his first PGA Tour win 10 days ago in San Antonio, has Bailey’s competitive fire burning even hotter.

“We were getting ready for our practice round at Southern Hills that Sunday he won,” Bailey recalled. “I said we don’t need to practice too long after the round because I have to get back and watch Andrew. I was able to see pretty much the entire back nine.

“That was so much fun. I know how hard he has been working and how close he came earlier in the year. It was just an unbelievable thing to see him win. His game looked really good in San Antonio from what I watched. He drives it so straight. I think he can win a couple more times this year.”

As much important golf as Bailey has on his plate in the next month, it will be taking a back seat the next few days. He had to rush back to Waco from Plano on Monday afternoon to study for his first final exam today.

Considering that he carries a GPA right at 3.8, has been selected to the Big 12 All-Academic team and is in position to graduate early, there is no reason to think Braden’s testing success won’t impress Tony Romo as much as his on-course performance.


Congratulations to PNG sophomore Timothy Feemster for earning a spot in the 5A state championships May 14-15 at White Wing Golf Club in Georgetown.

Feemster, after winning the District 22-5A championship, shot rounds of 77-73 in last week’s Region 3, 5A tournament at La Torretta. That enabled him to claim one of three state berths available to players with the low three scores not on teams qualifying for state.

Feemster will be the first PNG boy to play at state since Josh Elmore, who was then a sophomore, made it in 2016. PNG did have a player at state last year, however, as Karlei Hemler advanced on the girls’ side. …

In the Monday Senior 50 Plus 2 ball at Babe Zaharias, the team of Bob West, James Shipley, Paul Duplantis and Pete Reobroi won the front with minus 4. On the back, there was a tie at minus 2 between the foursome of Cap Hollier, Bob Luttrell, Mike Hollier and Larry Foster and the team of Joe Gongora, Rick Pritchett, Charlie Perez and Lee Bertrand . …

The Super Saturday Senior Senior 2 ball saw the team of Roy Carlin, Craig Castille, Trey Touchet and Rusty Hicks win the front with minus-3. There was a tie on the back at minus two between Cricket Owen, Pritchett, Gene Jones and John Veillion and the foursome of Russ Gloede, Harrell Guidry, Wes McGuire and Jay Hampson. …

It took minus-4 for the team of Hollier, Larry Reece, Reobroi and Duplantis to win the front in the Friday Senior 2 ball. Minus-5 won the back for Gloede, Guidry, James Trahan and Dwayne Benoit. …

The Thursday Seniors was played in a four-person scramble, with the team of Hollier, Gerald Huebel, Reobroi and Ron Overstreet tying the team of Gloede, Ron Mistrot, Duplantis and Art Miller. Closest to the pin winners were Gloede (No. 2) and Pritchett (No. 7, No. 12). …

In the Zaharais Wednesday DogFight, the team of Ron LaSalle, Gloede, Gary Anderson and Mike Rodgers finished on top with 20 points. Second with 19 was the team of Ed Holley, Reece, Duplantis and a ghost fourth player.

Closest to the pin winners were McGuire (No. 2), Earl Richard (No. 7), Jobie Irvine (No. 12) and Mistrot (No. 15). …

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