GOLF: Landry is eager for first time Tiger pairing

Published 9:19 pm Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Among Andrew Landry’s near misses on the way to a tie for 8th at the Quicken Loans National in Potomac, Maryland was a much-desired first ever pairing with Tiger Woods. In round three, Landry and Abraham Ancer played in the group immediately in front of Woods.

It was an eye-opening, ear splitting day for the Port Neches-Groves ex. With Woods on a roll that saw him make four consecutive birdies on the front nine, while one-putting seven straight greens, Tiger’s massive galleries kept Landry and Ancer with their heads on a swivel.

Landry, however, was not complaining and even suggested it helped him focus.

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“I loved it,” he said. “It was really hard for the first 10 holes or so, then we kind of got out in front of them. Until that point, it was just a bleeping crazy madhouse. We always had to be aware of when Tiger was over a shot because of the reaction.

“If he was hitting an iron shot when we were getting ready to tee off, we just waited. If he was over a putt, you waited. We were playing No. 8 and he made a birdie on 7 and the crowd at 8 when wild. It is amazing how much he moves the needle and how many people are following him.”

Landry, of course, was in his impressionable years when Woods was dominating golf like nobody ever has. He watched him win at an unprecedented rate. Now that Andrew is on the PGA Tour, and cashing big checks, he’s even more appreciative of Tiger’s impact on the game.

“The money wouldn’t be near the same without Tiger,” he said. “He’s responsible for bigger TV contracts and bigger purses. I think everybody is excited about the comeback he is making.”

Though it can be intimidating for players getting paired with Woods for the first time, Landry relishes the possibility.

“It would have been awesome if it had happened for the final round last week,” Landry said. “When it finally happens, it is going to be so cool to be paired with him. I’ll be able to handle it.

“I love playing in front of a lot of people. It helps me focus, makes me want to perform, to be an entertainer. I know there will be distractions, but that will just help me focus.”

Though he has just this year come into his own as a PGA Tour player, Landry says Woods has been very nice to him when they cross paths.

“He has come up to me multiple times and spoken. He has really been nice to me. He always says hello. I don’t think he used to be that way. Now he goes out of his way to acknowledge you, and guys really appreciate it.

“I just have so much respect for him for what he has accomplished. What he did was not human. For me, the emotion of winning one time was overwhelming. He’s done it 79 times. It is unreal. It is going to be so much fun when I get to spend 18 holes with him.”

It won’t happen any time soon. Woods isn’t playing again until the British Open. Landry is taking the week off, then hopes to seize a spot in the British by finishing in the top four in the John Deere Classic the following week. He could also qualify based on his Official World Golf Ranking.

Landry moved up to No. 70 in the OWGR after his T8 at the Quicken Loans. Everybody in the top 50 get into the Open, but he says players in the 70-80 range usually are taken.

If Landry makes it, Carnoustie would be a great place to share the stage with Tiger.

CHIP SHOTS: Making that first hole in one is a thrill golfers never forget. Drew Barnett of Groves, however, went overboard to insure his initial ace was worthy of a lifetime memory.

Barnett, a former PN-G baseball and football player, authored a hole in one last Tuesday at Beaumont Country Club that was also an albatross/double eagle. He did so by sinking his tee shot with a driver on the par 4, 283-yard, 15th hole.

The shot was witnessed by Cody Clifton and Brent Buchanan and paved the way for Barnett, the son of the late Mike Barnett, to shoot a back nine 30. For an encore, he almost made a second ace, missing by two feet on the par 3, 17th.

Barnett, who did not become serious about golf until after his 2008 graduation from PN-G, has become a player who can go low. His best rounds are 64s at Bayou Din Golf Club and Brentwood Country Club . . .

Brendan Marley of Nederland shot a three-over-par 75 to easily win Boys 15-18 in the Wildwood Junior Ole Glory stop on the Southern Texas PGA Junior Tour. Marley finished 11 shots clear of Caleb Folmar.

Other flight winners included Makenna Henry (89 in Girls 15-18), Cade Jeanes (102 in Boys 13-14), Montana DiLeo (94 in Girls 13-14) and Lincoln Parks (86 in Boys 11-12) . . .

Next stop on the tour is the always popular 36-hole YMBL hosted tourney at Bayou Din on July 9-10. Juniors who have not signed up are reminded the entry deadline is Thursday at 5 p.m. Among the perks of the event is the meal service provided by the YMBL.

Bryce Parsley need a playoff to win Boys Gold at Babe Zaharias in the Beltway Junior Tour event played at Babe Zaharias. Parsley and Dalton Shields both shot 72, with Parsley prevailing by a shot in a three-hole playoff.

Foster Cecka won Boys Bronze with a 43, while Tatum Bean shot 43 to take the Girls Pearl flight . . .

In the Senior 50 Plus 2 ball game at Babe Zaharias Monday, the team of Craig Geoffroy, Ray Darbonne, Tom LeTourneau and Aubrey Ward won the front with minus 4. That was also the winning score on the back for the team of Kenny Robbins, Don MacNeil, Harrell Guidry and Bill Jones . . .

The Saturday Super Senior 2 ball at Zaharias saw the team of Craig Fontenot, Thad Borne, Vincent Barajas and Charlie Perez win the front with minus 5. On the back, the trio of Rick Pritchett, Cap Hollier, Doc Sigura and a ghost player won with minus 4 . . .

In the Friday Senior 2 ball at Zaharias, the team of Geoffroy, Lee Bertrand, Charles Leard and Perez finished first with minus 3. The back was won in minus 4 by the foursome of Benny Sharpe, Larry Perez, LeTourneau and Dwayne Benoit . . .

Format for the Thursday Senior Game was stroke play with handicap. Gary Fontenot won with a 68, edging Larry Johnson and Charles Perez by one stroke. Pritchett won closest to the pin on both No. 7 and No. 12.

The Wednesday Zaharias DogFight was won with 18 points by the team of Bim Morrow, MacNeil, Roy Martinez and Carl Certa. Placing second with 17 points was the foursome of Hollier, Darbonne, Wes McGuire and Tommy Duhon.

Closest to the pin winners were LeTourneau (No. 2, No. 7), Fontentot (No. 12) and Darbonne (No. 15).

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